Two years

Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast.

from the Fall of Rome, W.H. Auden

changes resizedConstruction began this morning on the main house where a new kitchen will be installed. Actually, this morning marked the start of the current kitchen’s demolition.  And before that began, the workmen moved a hutch into the casita.  That meant a rearrangement of certain items, such as the long table and the bottled water’s garrafon and stand.  The landlords are also installing a water filtration system, which means the end of purchasing bottled water.

A few days ago was my two-year anniversary of living in Mexico with one-and-a-half of those years spent living in this space.  This morning’s rearrangement marked the first change in furniture or its arrangement since I moved in.  The anniversary comes just as I may have the opportunity to move back north, which comes at what appears to be, for me, the onset of a dark period for American history.

After a day of thinking about work, about Chicago, about the security of an income, about moving my things yet again to a place they’d been once before, about how I really wanted the work to be in the Pacific Northwest for many reasons, about a work week that ran Sunday to Thursday, about apartment hunting again, and then looking at the photo I’d taken of the hutch, I withdrew my name from consideration.

Tea Totaller

I am totally out of tea except for what is sometimes considered “tea for westerners” – lapsang souchong.  No more Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast or PG Tips.  The pre-packaged teas that I’ve seen for sale locally (McCormick’s and some Mexican brands) just don’t have the flavor and freshness of middle-of-the-road Twining’s and the like — or even Tetley or Lipton’s.  So tea has been added to my NoB shopping list.

For years I’ve tried to determine my fascination with lapsang souchong and today I realized that it’s the pine pitch aroma:  I remember my father working on his boat with the scent of pine pitch in the air.  The souchong leaves – the least flavorful leaves from the branch – are smoked over pine wood.

Yesterdays (Kern/Harbach, 1933)


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