May 1993


In which a new wing is added to the adobe and cookies are baked...

There have been some additions going on at my house - the first step had been making adobe bricks. The earth for them came from the back yard and in about 3 weeks, one man, Hipolito, made about 1,500 bricks. I helped one day, but didn't last but a few hours before my soft pink hands blistered from the shovel. Well, I sort of got the hang of it. Hipolito explained to me that as you pat and smooth the mud into the brick frame you have to think like you are touching your woman: feel it, caress it, be affectionate. I can see he's an artist.

From the adobe bricks, Hipo has made a covered patio - just two large adobe pillars with a tile roof coming off the front of the house - we'll pave the ground with bricks. But already the house is twice as cool with this mass of shade, and I have somewhere to hang my hammock, play my geetar when it rains and sit and write letters. Onto the edge of this will go a kitchen - which has evolved from the idea of a complete room to just a couple of walls with a sink and a counter for the stove-top. It has been opened up and simplified in the name of preserving an incredible view and not closing it off from the living area that will be the patio. There really is no point in having a closed kitchen here, the season's don't call for it - we'll see what havoc rain and wine play on cooking. And food will be stored in the house.

I've devised a way to bake on my stove top - with an arrangement of clay plates and a big clay bowl. I can get pretty good results. It is still in its experimental stage as I test temperature and the distance to separate the plates so the bottom of what is cooking doesn't burn. But so far I've made a lump of banana bread, poppy bran muffins (lumps) and oat meal and raisin cookies.

Turns out Mexico isn't such a savage country after all - you can get steel guitar strings here. I've already snapped my high E and G strings. There is an old blind man who plays on the plaza while his daughter goes around and collects change in a cup. He plays sweet minor tune romantic Mexican songs from the old days. I like to imagine myself learning from him. As I get better, I may find the courage to approach him and ask him to teach me - I suppose with a few dollars he'd be thrilled - and so would I.

Oh, all the possibilities of life - the trick is having the guts to do them.


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