Saturday, February 20, 2010

Your comments really make my day! Recuerdos! Recuerdos!

I'm sitting here reveling in my memories of my time at my Morongo Valley home,
in particular the one when my girlfriend found the round stone "mano" which must
have been used to grind up the mesquite pods from the nearby tree, a photo of which
is in my last post.

I never would have remembered this, but not for a comment from one of my readers.
Reveling, really. You know I had some real good times there all alone at the end of the
dirt road, and there were lonely times as well being about 100 miles from my long time
stomping grounds- the OC or Orange County. I can't help it, I'm being flooded with
memories right now, let me talk about a couple here on the backporch. Hey, do me a favor,
pour us a cup of joe and come on out here!

Here are two of my favorite memories, both regarding the swamp cooler. For those of you,
perhaps in Europe or on the east coast, a swamp cooler is an evaporative cooler- mine
had water trickling down over aspen pads which enclosed a big round wheel or drum,
which rotated blowing air over the pads. Man, on real dry days it'd freeze you.

One time in the summer it was about 110 degrees F outside, and all of a sudden, my swamp
cooler quit blowing cool air! I had to go out, troubleshoot the system, and attempt a repair.
Turned out, it was an easy fix, the pickup line in the water reservoir had clogged up, but being
no expert, it took me the better part of an hour to get it fixed as I had to study it first, etc.

Another time, on a very hot day, I smelled this horrible odor in the front part of my house, and I
couldn't figure out what it was. Unfortunately for me, I never finished unpacking when I moved in,
and there were a lot of boxes lining the living room wall  near the swamp cooler. I starting digging
through all the boxes, one at a time, looking for a dead packrat or something. As I finished at the box
sitting there below the swamp cooler, as I stood up, I saw a snake head staring at me from within
the cooler vents! I almost jumped straight up through the ceiling! Evidently, he crawled in smelling water
and tried to crawl through after drinking his fill, and then got decapitated by the spinning fan drum.

About an hour later, I was back in the cooling business. I had to remove the carcass and then sterilize
the cooler's insides with bleach water, in about 100 degree F weather! I'll never forget that snake looking
at me, whew!

Below is a photo of an aged cactus that I bought from a Yucca Valley nursery and brought to its'
new home. I call him "Senor Nopal". My girlfriend and I were so inspired by the successfull
transplanting that we went to Joshua Tree and bought several spineless nopales and planted
them out beyond the greenhouse, and then to our dismay, discovered that the jackrabbits,
cotton-tails, and other various and sorted creatures gnawed them down to the ground! Senor
Nopal never suffered that fate, he had some very impressive spikes as you can see above.

Another memory I have was the time I ordered a cord of firewood to be delivered while I was
out working.They told me to put the check under my doormat. I asked if the delivery man would
stack the firewood for me, sure, no problem. Man, when I got home I discovered a huge pile of wood
which looked like it was thrown off the back of a truck. I was mad as a wet hen, and what a backache!
After picking up and stacking a whole cord of firewood, this rube learned his lesson!

Anyway that's about it here on the backporch, look forward to our next visit and remember,
vaya con dios, my friends and as usual, your comments are welcomed here.


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