Wednesday, January 31, 2007

When riding in a pickup bed is a privilege

Even though our casa is small I find I can stay busy caring for it. After our tub had to be removed and the plumbing in the courtyard repaired workers were sent to replant the landscaping. We then discovered that one of the front doors needed leveling. I mentioned it to Brian Partridge and this morning he sent someone to fix that too. It might help that I live directly across from the Loreto Bay offices; I'm able to summon up help easily.

Roch came by yesterday and added support to our bed frames so that we're not sliding toward the middle anymore. And Gustavo, the new furniture guy in town brought by a chaise lounge for the terrace. It's the rustic Mexican tanned pigskin and cedar strips style so popular here; not my first choice, but there's not much available in Loreto. I predict Gustavo will continue to do a brisk business here. He tells me he wants to bring ATM machines to his location which is off the highway. That would put him in direct competition with the only other owners of a single ATM machine in town--the banco. God knows, we could use another location to draw money from, but can he really wrangle away a little control from the bank?

I seem to be falling into a comfortable pattern. I get Allie up to her usual French toast accompanied by the usual coaxing to get her spirits up about school. School, for her is only three hours (due to our special arrangement) so I hold my ground with her. The rest of the day she is free to run with her friends, like Carly. Essentially, what she's getting is three hours of Spanish lessons daily followed by hours of free time. All she has to do is wear a school uniform and hair ribbons in exchange. When I inquire how her day went I get a pout and a reply in the negative, but occasionally she slips up and shares a little of the fun she's had. Last night she jumped on the sofa to recite a little Spanish song she learned. She was so darned cute in her ponytails singing in perfect Spanish. I tried to remain low-key lest I appear to have glimpsed behind her stance of misery and force her to pick it up again for my sake.

We are eating well, thanks, in part, to the existence of Dali's, a tiny supplier of food from the U.S. There we can get good and clean quality beef, chicken, lamb, as well as things like pasta, seasonings, condiments, and other hard to find food items. I repeat often how much for granted we take our abundance and selection back home. Here you really have to seek and search for the things it takes to make American-style meals. The owners of Dali, a young couple from outside the area, are another example of a breed of entrepreneurs who have determined Loreto to be ripe for the picking. In contrast to the slow, home-spun attitude of the locals there is a growing buzz of ambitiousness as more outsiders try their hand at making-it.

Sarah and I seem to be the only people using the once-majestic, former John McEnroe mega-court tennis center. Most courts are dusty and cracked, and our balls soon turn black, but we are thrilled at the opportunity to play under the sun, surrounded by palms and eucalyptus trees with gorgeous views of the the Sierras. Our kids run free on the grounds while we play. Yesterday, hers brought their two newly adopted street puppies. Today, her little son brought his friend, Santiago, and their bicycles--can't do that at the private clubs back home. For a few days we had Rene's red truck while he drove the SUV to Cabo. Besides having satellite radio with Disney Channel Allison was thrilled for the permission to do something we'd never do (in part due to the fear of arrest) back home: She rode in the back of the pickup bed. Gasp! Of course only on the Boulevard, only at Homecoming Parade slow speed. I could have repeated the route ten times for the joy it gave me watching her and her dog soaking up the sunshine.

No comments: