Here are ten things I learned this February, at my home in San Pancho, in no order of importance:
1. Beto Palomera is a prince. He gives honest quotes on masonry jobs, completes work as scheduled with no cost overruns, and has an artist’s eye. My new wall and walkways look fabulous, thanks to his design ideas.
2. Fish tacos can be improved. Thanks to Baja Takueria, the newest and, in my opinion, best taqueria in town, many of the other street stands have ramped up in order to compete.
3. Downpours during high season might be bad for tourism and cause locals to complain, but they green up the jungle and do wonders for my garden.
4. I really don’t mind taking cold-water Navy showers.
5. My favorite dinner partner in Mexico is son Michael. His banter with waiters makes them and me chuckle. Plus, God bless him, he always picks up the tab.
6. The hour-and-a-half, early morning hill walk with my buddies never gets old. The exercise is good, the conversation even better.
7. I sweat the small stuff, no matter how many times I remind myself not to. I spend too much time worrying about upkeep of my property and too little time savoring its many charms.
8. It pays to traverse neighboring towns and browse in their small shops. This trip I scored funky, colorful sandals, made from oilcloth, ten bucks a pair.
9. Cooking dinner for friends does not have to be an all day, labor-intensive extravaganza. If I make the main course and they bring the side dishes, everyone is happy.
10. I am not ready to walk away from Quinta Elena. The pride of place I feel after having designed and built it is too strong, the memories held within its walls too poignant.