Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Few Odd Things...

Sometimes the small events that make up the fabric of life are just as curious and interesting as the bigger, splashier events that make for long blog posts.

De Colores
In the past I have posted about house colors in and about Banámichi. Whenever we drive along the Rio Sonora, I  look for newly painted, brightly colored houses. The colors always make me happy. So when it came time to paint our own house, we gave serious thought to the colors. Initially when we moved in, we painted our house a robin's egg blue with white trim, and it looked beautiful. However, even the best paint Home Depot had to offer faded quickly in the hot, bright, direct sun of a western exposure to become white on white.

Banámichi offices of thePAN political party
Then we visited Greece last fall and were very taken with the white with royal blue trim which is so popular there. We settled on these colors - a very classic, clean look. Then our friend Tracy reminded us that these are the colors of the PAN (Partido Acción Nacional -National Action Party) political party. As visitors in Mexico, we are not supposed to participate in any form of politics there. Our Mexican friend Beto was consulted. He said that if we used the blue and white, people might think that the PAN gave us the paint, or that we wee closet supporters. Not a good thing.

Our new house colors in Banamichi

So we reluctantly abandoned the blue and white concept. A visit to Sherwin Williams narrowed our choices to two, and finally we settled on white and "Fabulous Grape"...a vibrant purple that Dan calls "Goofy Grape." The white won't fade, and at least the purple doesn't  represent any political party! It looks gorgeous again, if a bit blindingly white in the western sun.



When we arrived in Banámichi this last time the weather was gorgeous...brilliant blue skies, wall to wall sunshine and pleasant temperatures. I ripped open all the windows and let the beautiful clean air circulate through the house. It was particularly lovely at night to go to bed bathed in silky air imbued with the fragrance of orange blossoms.

Somewhere around 4 AM that first night we were abruptly awakened from a deep sleep by a loud and jarring "RRRRK-A-RRRK-A-ROO!!! There were answering echoes from nearby streets and from all over town. Sleep was over. The thing was right outside our bedroom window across the path, in the neighbor's yard. Our neighbors had a new rooster and a seemingly solitary chicken who just clucked quietly and followed the rooster around.

So the windows were reluctantly closed. Even through the double glazing the thing could be heard from early morning on into the evening hours. Dan said it had to die. We were hoping the neighbors would decide to eat it for Easter dinner, but no such luck.

...and I thought they were gone for good...
One day, I saw the rooster and the chicken in the street. I tried to approach to take a picture and of course they skittered away from me, perhaps knowing that I harbored ill -will towards them. I thought, "Oh, good, they will run away and someone else will catch them and eat them!" But again, no such luck. The next morning, there they were in back in the neighbor's yard, in a cage, right under our bedroom window.

We thought for sure that they must be disturbing their owners as well, but there was never any sign of that. Maybe they had already learned to tune the poultry out. I never did learn to do that, and as of the time we left to return to Tucson, the rooster and it's lonesome chicken were still strutting about the neighbor's yard.

Mr. Lizard

All of us have seen a very large lizard on the back garden wall. By very large, I mean somewhere around 18-20 inches long, snout to tail. A big fellow. I googled lizards and learned that he is a desert iguana.

I always thought iguanas were the big green lizards with the crest along the head and spine -- like the one Dan once gave me as a birthday present while we were courting. I know, I know...some men give their girlfriends candy, jewelry, and so on, but I fell hard for the man who gave me an iguana.What can I say?

Mr. Lizard on the back wall
Anyway, our current iguana is sort of sandy brown with large powerful front limbs and claws. Our shed at the back of the garden has some square  hollow metal tubes that support the roof. They are just large enough for Mr. Lizard to enter at one end, walk to the other end and sit there, head protruding, completely protected, eying the activity in our back yard. Once in the tube, he can't turn around, all he can do is to back out amidst loud scrabbling and scratching sounds. He must live in the yard of the neighbor behind us, who has an old Mesquite tree in the corner just behind our shed. The area is overgrown, and Mr. Lizard probably feels secure there from flying hawks and turkey vultures. (There would be some good eating on this fellow!)

Mr. Lizard peeks from his hidey hole
When approached, he tips his head to one side, looking at the person or cat with one eye as if to say "I see you. How dare you come so close to the GREAT me!" He definitely has an arrogant air about him. He knows he is a grand creature and he has his pride!

Spring Break for Mexicans

The Thursday before Easter Dan and I, Lynn and her friend Pat loaded ourselves and a picnic lunch in Lynn's truck and headed to Feliz Estancia to spend a peaceful day at the hot springs. Silly us. Who knew that 2/3 the population of Mexico goes on break during Semana Santa - the week leading up to Easter - and that most of them would be at the hot springs? We started to have an inkling as we arrived and there was a line of cars waiting to enter the property and someone directing traffic.

Mexico on spring break at Feliz Estancia
Eeek! When we got inside, there were tents and chairs and campers everywhere. There were vendors selling soft-drinks, all sorts of snacks and even balloons and floaty-toys. I have never seen the place like this. Generally it is fairly quiet and peaceful. There would be no elegant trogons on this day.

We headed for the far end of the property to the new pool. Ahhh, peace....there were only a few children playing in it. Oh, the lovely warm water....so soothing, so delightful....for about 15 minutes until all of the new arrivals descended and very quickly, this area looked like all the other areas. Jam-packed with revelry and rough-neck water sports.

We withdrew to eat lunch. As we were eating, the balloon vendor started to speak to us in perfect English. He seemed sad and out of place amidst so much merry making. He told us that he had lived in the States for 39 years, and that he thought Mexico would be a great place to live if a person had money.

More crowds at Feliz Estancia
We don't know for sure and didn't ask, but suspect that he was deported back to Mexico as an illegal. I felt really bad for him...reduced to selling balloons, although once again, I had to admire the Mexican spirit of entrepreneurship and self-reliance. He was doing what he could to support himself in an area with few jobs. Somehow, it must be possible for our great nation to make room for someone like this man with such a strong work ethic, who contributed to our society for so many years. And, I have to admit, I felt a bit guilty, because I am among those who have enough money to live well in Mexico.


  1. Good Morning June! Thank you for that stroll through your life in Banamichi. Those are the small things but are the things that make life what it is, if we pay attention. I am guilty of not paying good attention lately to the small things. Somehow all this focus on work and making money takes pleasure out of life for me. Yes I enjoy doing the writing, the creating, the marketing but there is definitely a price to be paid when it comes to noticing the small splashy things. I hope all is well with a complete return to health for you post your hip fix.

  2. Hi June:

    We love your blog and would like to add it to our list of blogs on Mexonline.com. Please email me at mexonlineinfo@yahoo.com if interested.

    Ana Bravo