Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bubbles From My Fish Bowl

Bubbles From My Fish Bowl
            I’m the fish, pacing my casita. I feel like I live in an aquarium.  Bubbles rise from my mind. Occasionally I gasp for oxygen.

            Three weeks, every day but Sunday, blessed reprieve of Sunday, workmen swarm my yard. The projects creep forward.  Abel and his nephew, also Abel, called Pelon, which nickname translates “bald” along with Josue show up at eight in the morning and work until four or five in the afternoon. Pelon, a teen, has beautiful dark hair. I wonder if he acquired his name when a baby, born without a hair on his head. Sometimes it works that way.

Together they have built my handsome new brick wall. They have poured three sections of concrete patio. Now, they are tearing out a wobbly dangerous brick pathway along the other side of my house in preparation for laying a new walk and finishing the final section of patio.

My casita has wrap-around windows, high, wide and handsomely arched windows. My widest sections of windowless wall measure slightly more than two feet. First thing I did when I moved in was tear down the curtains and remove the rods. I love the openness. Whether indoors or outside, I live in my garden.

I’m a private person. Sometimes days go by without human contact, just me and the birds and iguanas. I like the silence, which is not silent, but filled with critter voices, wind moving rustling leaves and growth, when one learns to listen.

Suddenly, six days of the week my life is on display. I watch the workmen and the workmen watch me. Mostly we ignore one another. But we are aware.

The men arrive. We exchange “Buenos Dios” and “Como esta?s”. The CD player is plugged in at top volume and the fun begins. Clanging and banging and hammering, rip and tear, then put together anew, all to rousing Mexican dance music. 

I like the music. I’m learning to distinguish individual words more easily. And my accent is improving. However, six days a week, morning till night, same songs, over and over, seems a bit much. Sunday I’m back in my muted world.

My friend Jane wrote me to let me know Dick fell and broke his hip. He had been living at the Manor.  His son Ed came from Washington and helped get him moved into the Care Center for now. My heart hurts for my friend.

If there were a scale to measure independence, Dick’s score would be off the chart, much higher than mine. I struggle to imagine how difficult it is, and will continue to be, for my friend to live in a smaller fishbowl, perhaps forever, nevermore to have freedom over his most personal needs.

Three weeks of mess and noise and workers and lack of privacy. Suddenly it doesn’t seem such a long time.

I’m going to mix up a batch of bread, a personal therapy that always raises my spirits, a necessity since for two days my propane tank will be disconnected and I’ll live on sandwiches. Such a puny inconvenience. Once my bread is baked, I’ll slather a few hot slices with butter and share them with Josue, Abel and Pelon.

Next week Leo will help me plant my trees and bushes against my new wall. We’ll fill my new pots with flowering lushness and place pots around my new patio areas. My world will be restored to quiet. I’ll miss the music.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

July 28, 2016


  1. What a treat it is to find that you have updated your blog! Thank you for sharing your life.

  2. Thank you! I am so happy you are enjoying my writing.