Look-about in late July

fragment
Even ceramic fragments add to decor.

THIS IS SUNDAY, the day of rest according to Christian belief, but I am not a Christian, so I stepped outside this morning after black café and bagels to attend to mounting chores.

I swept. I watered. I wiped and refilled the birdbath. I doubt the birds care, but I do. Appearances matter. I chopped some green detritus and dropped it into a big trash bin. I wiped the Jesus Patio table, and I swept the veranda.

pot
Oblong pot of something or other.

We wake every morning in the low 60s, temperature-wise, but by afternoon it’s warmed to the low 70s.

face
He scares the snails.

A niece and her 1-year-old daughter moved to town yesterday from the nearby state capital. Her boyfriend left her, so she’s coming here to work in the coffee shop. To complicate the matter she discovered this week she’s four months pregnant, a gift from the same boyfriend, but he’s still gone.

One of my child bride’s brothers drove his truck here from his home in Querétaro and moved the niece’s few and quite humble belongings to the mountaintop. We’ll see how this plays out.

Her mother, my child bride’s sister, has four children and has never been married. I think I see a repeating pattern.

Highlands Mexican life is great weather and nonstop drama.

Most of my chores this morning are behind me, so I’ll shower, dress and slip into a Christian-like Day of Rest. It will be nice. We’ll eat in a restaurant.

Two nights ago, lying in bed reading our Kindles, the both of us, a big storm began outside, coming down from the mountains. The bedroom window was open. As wind whipped outside, it pushed the sweet smell of golden datura into the bedroom from the big bush just beyond. It covered us like Chanel.

That sort of thing can deliver sweet dreams.

Two days with a baby

paula

PAULA ARRIVED Friday evening. She brought Margarita with her.

Margarita, 23, is her mother, the daughter of one of my child bride’s many siblings, the sister who lives in the state capital.

Paula, being just eight months old, had to bring her mother along for the ride because Paula does not do much without assistance.

I’m not really a baby sort of guy. They make lots of noise and generally disregard all rules of hygiene and proper behavior. They think the universe revolves around them. Everyone knows it revolves around me.

I’m so not a baby sort of guy that I got a vasectomy when I was just 24.

But Paula is better than most babies, and has created little inconvenience. She does not cry. She does not howl. I’ve seen no evidence of poop or pee since she arrived, though I suspect we must credit her mother for that. Paula minds her own business, but your company is always met with a smile.

If you’re gonna have a baby in your house, invite Paula. She behaves herself far better than your run-of-the-mill kid, and she grins a lot. She is a good-humored child. I even held her a time or two, and it wasn’t that bad.

As I write this Sunday morning, we are preparing to drive to the state capital for shopping, eating at a restaurant and hauling Paula (and her mother) home to their small apartment. The two of them enjoyed a couple of nights at the Hacienda, and I rather enjoyed it too.

Paula comes calling

Who’s the Gringo with the camera?

OLE FELIPE’S not really a baby person, but sometimes you gotta make allowances.

The second generation of the Mexican relatives are mostly in their 20s, so they’re breeding like hamsters.

A baby slept here last night with her mama whose name is Margarita, just like the beverage, frozen or otherwise. This kid is named Paula, and she’s about a month old.

Paula brought her mother from the state capital yesterday due to a baby shower held last night for yet another niece who’s about to deposit yet another Mexican into this world.

For a baby, Paula is remarkable. She is nice and quiet. She sleeps through the night. She minds her own business. If she poops, I have neither seen nor smelled it.

Gracias to Margarita.

I scratched Paula’s head occasionally so she knows she’s not alone in the world. She held my finger.

Paula doesn’t howl. She doesn’t barf. She meditates.  If she keeps up the superlative behavior, she can visit again.

When she starts walking, we’ll have to renegotiate. Ambulatory humans below the age of 7 are nuisances.

But I own rope.

Sunny side up

(To celebrate the Moon’s new color scheme, and to note the arrival of some new followers who’ve likely not seen The Pearls of Zapata, here’s a brief fiction piece from years ago.)

* * * *

LIKE ALL  pre-menopausal women, Bett produced a monthly egg. But it wasn’t like the eggs of other women.

It was more like a condor’s.

EggShe had never married, and she’d never taken the issue to a medical professional. It was her secret. She had a nest in the spare bedroom, made of pillows and potpourri, not twigs.

And none of her eggs had ever hatched. Bett assumed that if she kept one warm, like good mothers should, it would in time vibrate and crack open. And there would be her baby.

Or likely not, due to lack of fertilization. Bett had no boyfriend.

So she ate them. Over easy. Sunny side up. Scrambled.

They even poached.

And they were great with grits.