Mi Casa en Mexico

The Evolution of a Casa:   2002 to 2010

My House in Mexico 
 by Naomi Black

     I have a home in Puerto Penasco a few minutes drive from the beach. And living here, I have come to know a life in Mexico. Not a life in a beach house or an ocean-front condo, but a life in the neighborhood.  Early in the morning, we are awakened by a neighbor’s donkey, the roosters and the barking of the dog.  As the day progresses, there is the unique music that announces each delivery truck in succession – the water truck, the gas truck, the fruit trucks and the ice cream truck. Later, sitting in the hammock in the afternoon, I doze off listening to the sounds of the neighborhood. The mechanics are taking a break and I hear the faintest of their conversation with an occasional loud round of laughter. Perhaps, tonight they will be grilling fish in their yard and will have their friends join them.
     Later in the early evening, I will hear the whistle of the train. I will watch through the rungs of my wooden fence as the train passes at the end of the street. I know if I walked down there, I would see the train rumbling past with the sun setting behind it and a dozen travelers camping out along the train cars. And because I am a gypsy at heart, I will be jealous for just a moment of their view: Traveling at the speed of a train through an unknown town, and briefly catching a glimpse of the ocean at sunset. Then the train is just a distant sound as I turn to contemplate our dinner.
     Once in awhile I think on how I arrived here.  In December of 2002 on a sunny morning, I found myself walking along the “dirt mall” in Puerto Penasco with my husband. Little did I realize that one tiny sentence that I would utter that day would change my life in such a dramatic way!  My husband is always up for meeting new people and having a grand conversation and on this particular morning, he had met a store owner who spoke English and was setting up a new computer. As is pretty normal for me, I got a little bored and wandered into the next store. Soon my husband caught up with me and as we continued on down the street, he related his visit.  Then he said, “That guy knows about a little house for sale in town for $15,000.  He asked if we knew anyone who may be interested in buying it.”
     That is when I said, “Let’s go look at it.” Thinking back, I am not really sure why I wanted to see this little house. For almost 20 years we had been coming to this beach.  First we camped in a tent at the edge of the waves. And later with 3 kids, we bought an old trailer to store at the beach.  When we outgrew that, we stayed in a hotel or a condo for three or four day visits to Rocky Point – maybe twice a year.  That was fine.  Perhaps that day I was thinking that if we had our own little casita we would visit more often.
     So, we drove up a dirt road and stopped in front of a tiny, one bedroom, run-down house painted bright turquoise. Spray-painted in black across the front were the words, “SE VENDE”. There was barely a roof, not quite what you would call a kitchen and stark concrete floors.  This was certainly not a beach house; in fact, it was right in the middle of a typical neighborhood. And each time a car drove past, a cloud of dust settled in the living room through the roof rafters.
     Before we stopped to think, on December 30th, 2002 we had put $500 down in an escrow account and headed back to Arizona. On our next visit in January, I had to laugh when I noticed that someone had spray painted a wide black line through the “SE VENDE”– this was the SOLD sign!  Our family had a house in Mexico! For the next four years, every visit included some work on the house along with lots of beach time!  Everyone in the family got involved and even our friends joined us for long weekends doing drywall, tiling, planting or painting.
     And then in 2007, we found ourselves coming to live in the house full-time. Through the unbelievable hot days of August we worked on an addition to make the little house our home. And, now I have a second story on my house!  When I stand on the balcony and look towards the west, I can see above the roof-lines and beyond the palm trees a blue haze on the horizon.  And, I believe this is the ocean. For months, I have thought about checking this out using a pair of binoculars to be sure.  But I don’t.  
       So here I sit in my “just-maybe-an-ocean-view” house. In a noisy, Mexican neighborhood on the wrong side of the train tracks, waiting for the train at sunset to give my gypsy soul an afternoon daydream. And I am content. At my front door is a plaque which reads in Spanish: "Only for today I will take care of this house and be Happy!"  ~  ¡Verdad!

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