The blog has taken a back seat to life, for the past several days. It’s just been one thing after another here – totally unnecessary silliness like our car battery dying of old age; plus one of us accidentally left an interior light on which hastened its demise and left us carless for a day or two while we tried recharging it and a bunch of other things that didn’t work till we broke down and just bought a new battery for it — (stress? what stress?), complicated electrical problems with power surges in the house which are frying our appliances (bienvenidos a Mexico), some required maintenance on our pool – things that have just made life, on top of what is going on with my mother, just that much more complicated.
The process of dealing with some of these inconveniences is quite something, though. When the battery died, our choices were to have the car towed to a service station or back to the dealer in Guadalajara, an hour away, or try to find a mechanic here in town and typical of us, we don’t have some normal car for Mexico. One part of our old U.S. life — a problematic affection for distinguished, aging and finicky German cars — we just haven’t quite shaken. So of course instead of a Ford or something sensible we have an Audi, where everything is sealed, hard to find, electronic, delicate, and German. And harder to work on for most Mexican mechanics, especially village mechanics rather than those in the city. (Of course the Audi is a total blast to drive, and the perfect size for our narrow cobblestone streets, but that is the topic of another post…)
In view of all that, we weren’t sure exactly what the best course of action might be. Rosa and Ricardo – our builder who was here chipping away at the awful calcium and lime deposits around the pool tile, after hearing our laments about being without wheels for god knows how long while the car got taken care of at the dealership, both said “we have just the guy for you – let us call him and he’ll come right to the house.” So the mechanic Eduardo arrives shortly thereafter, with three younger guys trailing him as assistants. One of the kids takes a photo of the top of the battery – showing all the codes, labels, and such, of the dead battery – with his cell phone. They all say “we are going to Guadalajara with this picture and we’ll find the right battery and bring it back to you tonight. Don’t worry about a thing, Señora!” I give them the money to purchase the new battery and off they go. I am wondering whether I’ll ever see them again but sure enough, at about 9 p.m. the gate bell rings and it’s the four of them, with a new battery, a big charging machine on wheels, a bunch of tools, and some work lights. By 9:30 I hear the reassuring sound of my car springing back to life. Whew! One domestic problem solved. The amount they charged us for all this running around was so little that I gave them a nice propina (tip).
On top of the return of automotive functionality, the further good news is that our hummingbirds are back in force, crowding around the two feeders hanging by our terraza. We sit out there and watch them zoom around with great enjoyment every year when they return. Even in the winter there are a couple of hearties that stick around but the spring always brings the whole crew back – dozens of them. I am having to refill the feeders twice a day! They say that hummingbirds live several years, and return unerringly to the same spot every spring if they are happy there; and we believe it, because there are certain ones whose behaviors we recognize each year. There is one nasty one who perches on the edge of the feeder and is beyond aggressive in making sure no one but him can get to the nectar. There are two that swoop and dive bomb into the fountain to take their baths – just those two, none of the others seem to do it.
It IS gorgeous here, all the flowers in bloom, and it’s warmed up – the sun being now higher in the sky — so that our solar panels are now heating the pool, and we had a crew of guys come and really clean off the mosaic tiles inside it and repair some of the cracked tiles – just routine stuff – but it is much more inviting now and the water is WARM! So it’s good to go for the summer. There are friends and relatives who might like to come down for a little visit and a break – and to see my mother, or so they suggest. It is very painful, but I have to tell them honestly, there is nothing left to see. It is better for all of us to remember her as she was.