When we arrived at the house Elena seemed very happy to see us, and bustled us into the kitchen to eat a good caldo de res. We really needed its good, warming, invigorating effect. We felt very cared for - a good bowl of soup can do that for you!
We went to Purisima to ask about the permit to remove the tree, and - surprise! it was ready! We went, too, to SAPAP, the water company, to arrange to get the water source for Victoria’s house moved, because it is right in the way of the new gate. We found it, and made arrangements. They told us there that the two-man crew would arrive at ten the next day.
We also went to the place wehere they asked for Chon’s ID to re-enroll to receive the government assistance, procampo , for his two fields. We even stopped by the pharmacy to ask if I can get my two prescriptions here. I will need one in a couple of weeks. In an hour or so, we accomplished all that!
In the evening we went to Jalpa to liquidate the bill at the building supply place. The manager accepts dollars there, at a favorable rate.
When we woke up the next morning, Sabino had already cut the limbs of the tree that is in the way of the new gate. We took the large branches to the back, and passed them across the rock fence to Chon, who stacked them for Dona Elena’s use. She has a fogon in her kitchen, a hornilla, where she cooks with wood. It is something like a tiny fireplace with a grill above the coals, especially for cooking.
Chavela arrived early on Tuesday to give Elena a day off. In short order, she had cleaned both bathrooms, and started on the kitchen. There were a lot of mouse droppings there, although everyone has been saying there are no mice in the kitchen anymore.
The men arrived to change the water, right at ten o’clock, as scheduled! That might have been the very fist time a professional appointment happened as scheduled! Chon, Pepe and Gordo had to move a lot of the gravel (bigger rocks than gravel, really), so that the water guys could move the water. (I forget what that is called, if I ever knew - it’s the place the water gets to the house from the main. Here it’s called a “toma”.) The rest of the pile of gravel will be used when they make the concrete roof for the new construction. Chon said he was out of shape for shoveling gravel, but I noticed that he shoveled more than the other two during his turns.
In the evening Isabel and I made a plan to attempt to manage mornings. We decided to fix breakfast, as a trial run. We decided to get up at 7:15 and fix breakfast for ourselves, the people who live here. We decided to cook scrambled eggs, because someone gave Elena a dozen eggs from their chickens.
Here’s what happened: we decided that the dozen eggs would be enough for the 6 of us who are here right now, and in the morning little Ana Cristina cut up (she’s only 5!) onions, tomatoes and green chiles. We cooked them a little bit, then added the eggs, and four of us ate (Chon was upstairs, practicing). Then I found out that Brisa was still here, not having gone to school because her “nose hurt a lot”. Then Chayo, the mother, showed up. Isabel and I planned to give breakfast to Chon’s mother, but Elena came back from her house and did that. Then she heated up “sopa”, what some people call “Spanish rice” for Brisa, who complained that there wasn’t any lemon. Then the kitchen felt too crowded for me, and I moved out to the portal to write this. (Chon hasn’t eaten breakfast yet, but there are probably enough eggs left). Like my Swedish Grandpa A used to say with a twinkle in his eye “Too many cooks in the kitchen!”
The result of the breakfast experiment? I’d give it about a C-. There is not much order here, and one never knows exactly how many people might be here at eating time, although today, at least, everything is sparkling clean because of Chavela’s work yesterday. We are going to keep trying. I need to go back to my self-appointed sweeping job, because Elena has been doing it, and it’s really not good for her asthma.
Today we need to go back to San Pancho, for several reasons:
1. We are going to visit the doctor, to see what he found out about the availability of the two medicines that I need. We will also ask him his opinion about the big lump that remains on Chons’s mother’s cheek after her fall on the 31st.
2. We will check to see the availability and prices of flights to Los Mochis (to retrieve the legalized Foxy).
We did those things. The doctor sold us two remdies for the hematoma on Dona Coco’s face. Since then we have returned to the doctor/pharmacist, and so far he hasn’t been able to locate either of the things I need. After calling four laboratories, he said, he found Synthroid in 100 mg and 125 mg. I take 112 mg. I also take a hormone replacement, and he says that only injections are available. Soon we’ll take a trip to a Sam’s Club we saw in Leon as we approached the end of our bus trip from Nogales.
The plane tickets from Leon to Los Mochis cost about $240 apiece! We will go back on the bus!
The construction continues - the project this week is to replace the big gate in my earlier photo; the change I said was making people mad. But now that the old gate is gone, and the new, wide pasada is visible, people are starting to get it. Lots of folks don’t seem to have the imagination to picture how it will be, but now it is clear. The sister-in-law’s family is still mad, but I figure that will last a long, long time.
We received a call from Chon’s nephew in Florida, demanding that we tear down the new construction. We didn’t.
It’s been one of those weeks when nearly everything you plan gets done - we really have been chopping wood and carrying water. That is to say we burned the dry weeds and grass in the lot next door, we removed the brush that was there, we took the PT Cruiser to nearby Jalpa to get the hood painted, and many other small, necessary things.
The breakfast plan went into its second day, and it worked a little better. We waited until everybody else (all the extra people who seem to show up) had eaten, then we made pancakes. The kids were dubious that pancakes made from a recipe would be as good as pancakes from a mix, but they quickly changed their minds. So that was satisfying.
I wanted this entry to be informative, and a good reminder for me later when I want to remember How Things Happened. It ended up being a bit gossipy. Sorry (to all of my faithful readers) (haha).