Monday, July 25, 2016

Oh, No, Don’t Let The Rain Come Down

Oh, No, Don’t Let The Rain Come Down
            The lyrics, “Ah, ha, oh, no, don’t let the rain come down, my roof’s got a hole in it and I might drown!” woke me as once more waters pounded my roof and the lake of run-off lapped against the west side of my casita. Early 60’s, voice of Ronnie Hilton crooned into my ear, silly lyrics to a slightly calypso beat.

            Every night, every single night, sometimes sooner, sometimes later, count on it—the rain falls freely.

“So, you who have lived here your whole life, how long will this rainy season last?” “From June into September. Sometimes October.” I smile, weakly.

            Don’t get me wrong; Etzatlan is nothing like Seattle where unrelenting gray skies and drizzle prevail nine months of the year, where summer never arrives before July 17, where seasonal depression is a way of life.

            Yes, it has rained every night, so far, since early June. Mornings are delightfully cool. Clouds burn off around 11:00 and sunshine rules the afternoon, hotly, until evening storm clouds roll down off the mountains to drop another night’s precipitation. Except for the leaking roof, my life is idyllic.

            “They” told me: Lani, Ariel, Josue, Erika, Leo, and They all told me the warmest months are April and May. Rain falls June through September. I must be hard-headed. It didn’t make sense. Now I’m a believer. Now I’m living it.

            I’m patient. I’m not climbing up to patch my roof in the rain.  I don’t expect that of someone else. I pushed furniture out of the way and threw down towels and placed a bucket under what seems to be the prominent waterfall.

            And I’m angry. I’m not angry at the rain. Or the delays in repair. Or even that my roof has a hole in it. I’m angry at Joe.

            In the beginning I didn’t recognize my anger. It built up slowly, in bits and pieces as I moved in and learned the breath and bones of my new home.

            I moved into a filthy house. “It will be cleaned,” Joe had told me. A small irritation. I bought it with all possessions but then walked into a house that had been stripped. No matter. I have my own junk. I threw away what little remained. Toilet leaked. Faucets didn’t work. The shower dribbled. Cupboards crumbled and were unusable.

            I recognized a masked blessing. I could build exactly what worked best for me, fix cupboards exactly to my exacting specifications. Exactly! (Not outright anger, yet, slightly miffied.)

            The pressure tank hadn’t worked in years. No matter. I’m used to gravity flow. Parts for the rotisserie in the outdoor kitchen had gone walkabout. Shrug. Water heater on its last gasp—I all but worship my spanking new solar water heater.

 Spray tank for bug spray is broken. Etzatlan has good hardware stores. The gun for silicon sealant is rusted into immobility. Tools? A joke. I laughed and thumbed my nose.

            The trail of broken promises is long. No matter. I love my place. My pleasure has been to renew, refurbish, to recreate it in my own image. Not for a moment have I regretted my purchase. Do you hear the shadow of “however”?

            I’m used to full disclosure in real estate deals. I’m used to honesty and integrity. I’m not completely naïve. And, yes, I’ve bought snake oil from snake oil salesmen and clunkers from used-car salesmen. But not everybody waters down the snake oil.

            Joe, all I wanted was honesty. Sell me the house filthy dirty and completely empty. Tell me nothing works. Tell me you hadn’t bothered to fix anything in years, Joe, knowing you were going to move.

Most of all, Joe, tell me the roof has a hole in it so I can fix it before the monsoons. Judging by the previously puzzling stains on the wall and floor, the leak is at least two years old. I’m angry. My anger hurts only me. I’ll get over it. But most of all I lost respect for someone I had liked.  

            My crooked little house with the crooked little door with the crooked little latch will one day be fixed. My crooked little roof will have a crooked little patch. Who knows, I might even have a crooked little cat and a crooked little mouse to keep me company.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

July 14, 2016

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