We’re settling in nicely around here. Little by little, this house is becoming home.
Making home this time around has me thinking…
…about what it is to make a home and what it isn’t.
…about the ways my own homemaking has changed through the years
…and about the influence our time abroad has had on my priorities as they pertain to home life.
But before I get ahead of myself (that’s Wednesday’s conversation), I thought you might enjoy the nickel — or rather — peso tour of our new digs…
There she is! La casa del corazón. Built of concrete (like most everything here), under construction (both inside and out) and quaintly quirky (two bedroom, four bath!?), we’re growing quite fond of our little project palace, albeit patchworked.
Hunter and I have always lived in what many might describe as “fixer-uppers.” We like imperfect dwellings. There’s something about the making do, the dreaming, the sweat hours and the never-ending list of
things to do lessons to learn that satisfies the soul, keeps us young and oddly connected to one another.
This particular house is no exception. Having been vacant for years and never actually completed to begin with, the palapa-style porches were rotting, the plumbing had grown stubborn with age and the heart-shaped pool converted to a cheap hotel for middle-aged mosquitoes.
All we saw was potential.
Fortunately, so did the owner (who is also Hunter’s boss). He’s been wanting to fix it up anyway and us being here was as good a reason as any to get started.
So, the porches have been extended, their roofs are being replaced and the suckers who’d been squatting in the pool have been cleansed (chlorinated) of their iniquities.
I predict many-a cookout, craft and conversation on that porch. A little table, a cup of tea and my laptop? A good book, a fresh coconut and a Yucatan hammock? Is there anything that isn’t made better on a breezy, shaded porch?
Off the porch, our yard is (quite literally) ripe with potential…
Turns out our coconut trees are full of ripe and delicious fruit, you just have to know what you’re doing. Taos took care of that by befriending the construction crew during one of their afternoon siestas.
We also have at least a half a dozen other types of fruit trees including lime, tamarind and some other yet-to-be-identified species that the fruit bats frequent and adore.
We have fruit bats!!! I am fascinated by these intuitive, maternal mammals. Their numbers are so great, in fact (and their nightly offerings so impressive), that we had to hang tarps above our cars to save the paint jobs (see photo above).
The entire yard is surrounded by an eight-foot wall…
I chose to show you this corner as it is the soon-to-be site of our chicken coop! The first obstacle to keeping chickens here is quite obvious — the extended family of zarigüeyas (possums) living in that tree. Good thing Hunter lives up to his name. (I don’t ask questions, I usually just make dinner or something until he returns with a got-er-done, gratified grin on his face.)
As for the goings-on inside the house…
The fruit baskets have been hung,
a seasons “table” begun
and inventory taken of my few fabrics and notions…
Have I mentioned how happy I am to be making again?
The girls are keeping busy with their newfound love — she happens to be my favorite dog ever, too…
Her name? I’ll let Estella (our proud new speller) tell you…
Beyond our fortress walls is a whole other world, and one you’ll be sure to see in the coming weeks. For now, here’s a sneak preview, as it directly relates to this week’s unique blend of insanity (we had no idea)…
That’s right — there’s a full-on, Mexi-style carnival right outside our gate. With plastic housewares to meet your every “need,” Gangnam Style on repeat at deafening decibels until 4 am and limited entry to our house depending on who’s manning the booths. Oh, and opportunistic neighbors who thought to patch their trampoline, plaster it with incredible hulk posters and charge 15 pesos a pop for five minutes of unregulated bliss.
I love Mexico — a little tiny bit less when I’ve not slept well in a week, I’ll confess — but this is home, they were here first and we’re settling in nicely.
I have followed your blog for a long time. What a fascinating, adventuresome and challenging life! Your children will profit so much for their richness of cultural “stretch”. Most of all….I enjoy your writing…..it truly sings
Thank you, Sandi, that is truly a complement. “Cultural stretch” – love it.