Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas wants and wishes -- Lo que Dios quiere

"See you tomorrow! Nos vemos mañana!" I say to the painter.

His response is standard for La Peñita, the Mexican reminder that it is man who proposes and God who disposes: "Si Dios quiere." He tips his Comex-emblazoned cap. Comex makes the best paint, and we've bought a lot of it. It is, however, Javier's wardrobe that has been supplemented: hats, t-shirts. Shoot. The rate we're going, Comex will be buying his daughter's wedding dress.

"Dios better quiere," I think. The two week paint job we contracted for stretched for seven weeks. Not really Javier's fault. "Señor Jim...." Javier starts to explain, and shrugs his shoulders.

"I know, I know." And I shrug my shoulders, too. Señor Jim is who we bought the house from, a man not known for going top of the line, unless we're talking "top of the water line," which he buried ONE INCH below the entrance to the drive way. Driving over it with a one-ton van and breaking it was our first clue that all was not as it appeared to be with our dream house.

And so when Javier's workers started scraping off black fuzzy lama from the rainy season and old paint from who knows when, interesting things came to light. Like a natural rock wall facing the sidewalk. It was sheet rock, for heaven's sake, covering this feature! But uncovering it required reforming and painting a defining border around it, and buying a special treatment for the rock -- which sort of evened out the various tones -- like liquid foundation makeup works on some faces.

Larry also had some inspirations -- like outlining the windows in red and painting the brick mortar white, painting the cupola blue and the little thingy on top of it deep purple to match the gate across the driveway. It's been time-consuming, but the effect is a lot more detailed and elegant.

And all along each side of the house, scraping would uncover not just flaws but holes. Those italics are for emphasis. "Holes" is not a Spanish word. It is pure English and means gaping big vacant places, which required major repair work. We can only imagine that through the years further explorations were made to find more hidden cash caches like the $40,000 one former owner uncovered. (For those of you new to the blog, one of the former inhabitants of our house was a drug lord, who -- Javier tells me -- did not actually own the house, but rented it from TV producer Sandy Frank's administrator. And yes he was shot in the street outside, and evidently did have a habit of keeping large amounts of cash hidden around the house. You can go back and read more at House with a History.)

Back to the saga of the paint. I think Dios DOES quiere. Quiere may mean "wants," but it also means "loves." I think God loves this house as much as we do, even if what God wants can seem a little hazy to us at times. Call it God's will, good karma, hard work, or better spiritual cooties, my friend Patricia believes we're redeeming Casa San Juan from its sordid past. Whatever. Loving something,tending to it -- paying attention -- always makes a difference.

So we put up the tree, set out a nativity scene, lots and lots of candles, and we're having ten guests to share Christmas dinner. I'm hauling out crystal, china, silver and tablecloths that have been in storage for years. Heck, we're gonna USE this stuff!!!! Let's have a Christmas that matters, and wish everyone the same!

Our Christmas wish for you is that you feel tenderly loved and cared for like the child of the Creator you are. Let that tender love fill your vacant places and make smooth your past ravages. May you be embellished and adorned, perfumed and puttered over, and may the twinkly lights of inspiration crown your balustrade and warm the center of your being. The gift of Christmas is perpetual: Dios nos quiere, cada uno. Dios loves us -- each and every one!

1 comment:

susie said...

Thanks for the Christmas blog...we had a small and quiet Christmas day, no kids, few presents and lots of warm thoughts! Hope to see you guys in 2008..