Sunday, March 20, 2011

First night, second time around

Monday was my first sleepover in our house since before the renovations started back in late October. During the day, the workers finished relaying the tile floor in the sala, installed lights and shower fittings, and a very impressive cleaning crew spent a full day stripping away layers of ancient grime and recent construction debris and dust - which got them about halfway through the job.

A few deliveries came: a bed, a fridge and stove. Found a wooden table and a charmingly weathered metal rocking chair at an open-air furniture place suggested by Paul.

After the workers left and I had the place to myself, I spent a lot of time wandering from room to room. Seeing how the angles and placement of lights and door frames and other elements lined up so precisely. Trying out the different lights: the salvaged Art Deco pendant, the stone cylinders in the kitchen, the torch sconces in the studio. Noticing how the wall colour (called pavo - "turkey") changed as the sun went down and the artificial lighting took over.

It's essentially the same house but it felt completely different. The neighborhood sounds seemed comforting, not strange or alarming like they did the first night we stayed in the long-vacant house back in the fall. Earlier, Ricardo, a neighbor who has lived across the street for 40 years, waved me over to chat about all the activity around the house, and our plans, and his story. The woman who operates the Lavanderia Don Quixote came to pick up lunch at the cocina economica while I was having mine at one of  the tables and wished me "buen provecha" (bon appetit).

It feels a lot like home.


  1. Hi Debbie,

    Mary (who virtually never posts anything anywhere) told me how touched she was by this new post — how much it evokes home and neighborhood for her. I thought you would enjoy knowing.

    As for me, I'm wondering whether the color 'pavo' derives from light meat or dark? Or perhaps it is feathery bronze, prior to butchering? Congrats on arriving!


  2. Thanks Eric and Mary.
    I think pavo the color is definitely light meat. Off-white in daylight, more yellowish in artificial light. Someone must have had a good laugh naming the colour, since pavo the meat is so ubiquitous here.

  3. Gosh, you made me homesick and I'm still here! The changing light and colors are one of my favorite things about living in Merida.

  4. A bed, fridge, and stove! All one needs to have a relaxing time in Merida.
    On my street, the nights are mostly quiet. Every morning about 6 or 7, an unhappy dog is placed outside, or so it seems, but becomes quiet in 10 or 15 minutes. Maybe he is allowed back in, or he adjusts to being outside.
    No matter- I can get up, have coffee, enjoy the morning, and have a siesta later.

    Congratulations. Glad it is feeling like home.

  5. I feel I'm in Merida just reading posts, and Deb's lead.

  6. Thanks Paul, Barb, John, Alan, Doug,
    I am also feeling a bit homesick for Merida already. I keep thinking maybe I could just make a quick trip back right now and no one here would notice I'm missing in Victoria. John, I love the early morning sounds (being a morning person helps)of birds and vendors and the 6 a.m. hymns from the residence for recovering alcoholics down the block.

  7. Very nice Debbie

    Kathy and I are enjoying following your story


  8. Thanks Ron and Kathy,
    Glad you like it, and I hope you're all doing well. Looking forward to seeing you again in Merida one of these days soon.

  9. Hello Debbie,
    I have been enjoying your blog. I live in Victoria too ( Cold and wet again today!!) But we are moving to Merida in November....I feel like I am allready there.

  10. Hi Wendy,
    I am envious! So nice to connect with another Victoria-Merida person. Would love to hear more about your plans and your experience.