Day of the virgin

Where I will be sitting after I water the terraza pots.

And not just any virgin, mind you. It’s the Virgin of Guadalupe whom we are celebrating today. It began this morning with lots of explosions, which is how Mexico prefers to celebrate, and the explosions begin at dawn or before. Such fun.

It it’s a repeat of last year, and it likely will be in spite of our being told not to gather in crowds, we will have not one but two bone-shaking concerts on the nearby plaza. Those will be accompanied, of course, by more explosions. The virgin likes blasts.

At 8 a.m., it was 10 degrees Celsius and 50 Fahrenheit outside, which is just fine. An otherworldly cloud hung in the sky, perhaps Guadalupe gazing down on my hardscrabble barrio. I hope so. We need all the help we can get.

Or maybe a space ship?

Being Saturday, chores are in short supply. It’s mostly a day of rest, but I do have to water the potted plants in the downstairs terraza. Then I’ll sit a spell in the rocker, trying to ignore the racket that’s already under way on the plaza just up the street.

Kitchens and virgins

Tank space

CONSTRUCTION WORK continues at the Hacienda. In the photo above, you see a second-story brick wall going up that will serve to hide the water tank that will sit up there above the lavatory.

As previously announced, the initial plan of building a storefront has been modified. While the new space will have a large opening to the street so it can be rented or used as a storefront, our new plan is to outfit the area as a big, stand-alone kitchen where my wife can bake her stupendous pastries to hawk on the downtown plaza.

The new roof has been installed. Instead of just the traditional clay tiles that were there before, an additional subroof of plywood was added and the tiles now sit atop that. It makes for a tighter environment for the kitchen. The plywood will be painted to match the exposed wood beams that support the roof.

Saturday marks the end of the work’s third week and a photo album of the construction is here. The contractor initially told us the work would take four to six weeks, but that ain’t gonna happen.

The floor still has to be cemented and ceramic tile laid, the plumbing and electrical must be completed, the interior walls finished and painted, the door to the street installed, the propane tank, kitchen sink, bathroom sink, potty, water heater installed, the septic tank excavated. In short, God knows when it will be done.

* * * *

But Friday was more than just another construction day. It also was the Virgin of Guadalupe’s day. As you may know, the Virgin of Guadalupe is the personal virgin of us Mexicans. She is special to us because she is brown-skinned as most of us are. She is not just some old white virgin, and we love her for that.

Old white virgins — like old white men — are passé, so yesterday.

There was a parade downtown today, and there will be earth-shaking concerts on our local plaza Friday and Saturday nights. December 12 is when the Virgin was born, or was first spotted, or maybe her resurrection. I really don’t keep up with these things. I can’t keep Jesus’ or Moses’ lives straight, much less a Mexican virgin’s.

portal

I was downtown in mid-afternoon, and I shot this photo. It was tranquil — which is how I prefer it — the calm before the storm. But before I departed two hours later, there was a blaring taxi parade and associated drums, clarinets and tubas. The virgin apparently loves racket.

I got out just in the nick of time via a back street.