Slip Sliding Into Summer 2021

Hola, readers!

Here’s a grab bag as we head into summer. The lazy days are here again.

Well, at least Kato is taking advantage of it. I’m busier than ever and keeping my eyes open for items to share with you.

First, renovation continues to progress on the house across the street. This week another load of bricks, two actually, appeared and lo and behold, a second story is going up. I haven’t yet had a chance to look around from inside the house again so a view from the outside will have to do. I’ll keep working on that.

Second, covid restrictions are being relaxed again here. Public areas are allowed more capacity. The state orchestra has started concerts in the beautiful Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara. Good old rock ‘n roll is coming back too as soon as the Fall. Wonderful!

Here in Chapala, the train station is holding shows out on the lawn. Seems like Sunday is the day, so I’ll be headed up there today.

We’ll see if the show will go on today, however, because, TA-DA!, it’s raining. Has been for two days now. Wonderful! Yeah! ‘Cause the lake has fallen below 50% capacity. It’s lost almost 25% over the last three years.

This week while I was taking my daily walk on the malecon, I noticed that workers were out mowing the beach. Yes, you read that right! One of the newly-exposed strips of beach starting growing tall grass and so the mowing crew has been chopping away.

Thank goodness the rain has started. The section of the lake facing the breakwater is very low. Just a few short inches until it becomes beach.

And last, another reason to celebrate, we’re enjoying mango season here in Mexico. Turns out mango trees are huge! There’s no picking mangos off the tree without a long pole picker.

And so it goes. Life is good here in Mexico regardless of what you might read in the sensational media. But quiet please, let’s keep that our little secret!

A Mexican Renovation, Part 1

For a couple of weeks now, one of the row houses across the street from my apartment has been a hive of activity. About a half-dozen young men are working and truckloads of dirt and bricks and rebar and steel beams and cement bricks have been delivered and disappeared into the house.

The young men are very friendly and we say hola and acknowledge one another whenever I venture out. I started looking inside with interest and they would smile and wave. So the other day I asked one of them if I could take a tour and take some photos. In Spanish, of course!

He was very happy to take me in and gave me the grand tour.

Inside the front door is the living room, or sala.

It’s a fairly small room and a holding spot for tools and implements required for renovation.

Next, and the main focus of activity on that day, is the kitchen, or cocina. The living room is the only part of the house that currently has a ceiling and the men were busily putting a new ceiling in place.

This is quite a process. Having built some new walls of brick and rebar, steel beams are put in place and then cement bricks (large bricks to be sure) are laid between the beams to build the ceiling.

Once complete, the men explained that wet cement would be poured on top to seal the structure. And, a second story will be added.

Other work was busy in the kitchen as well. One young man was busy demolishing, carefully, and old wall.

Behind the kitchen is the dining room, on the left, and either a closet or utility room on the right.

I’m guessing it will be several more weeks of work for these men and I look forward to seeing how the renovation progresses. I’ll keep my eye out for more opportunities to record it.