Monday, August 29, 2011

Flor de calabaza and a roof

It´s almost September, the time when rancho folks come into town with buckets of flor de calabaza for sale.  That´s the yellow zuchini flower that many Mexicans sautee and tuck into quesadillas.  The taco lady with hands of steel declined to buy the offered flor de calabaza this morning, but gave the boy selling them a couple of tacos.  After, he insisted she accept a bunch of the edible flowers anyway.

End of the summer also, in our case, means that my brother-in-law, a labor lawyer in León, just won a big case he´d been working on. What that means is that he came to visit his mom in San Miguel yesterday with an overloaded wallet. 

There is a chapter in my memoir, Flirting in Spanish, entitled The Lamina Roofed House.  It told how Carlos took me to his parents´ house for the first time.  Approaching his house, I could see that part of the roof was lamina - corrugated plastic.  There was another chapter that I decided not to include.  It detailed how some drunk soccer boys, sitting on a hill above my mother-in-law´s house began to throw bottles at the house while I sat outside nursing infant Carla one Sunday.  When they ran out of beer bottles, they threw rocks.  My five foot tall mother-in-law ran outside with a machete raised over her head.  The nonsensical attack was over as soon as it started, and the boys came to the house the next day to apologize, and promise to buy another piece of lamina, as they´d torn a hole in the roof.  That was nineteen years ago.  For 19 years - more actually - the family sweated under that roof during hot months and shivered in the cold.  Now, with big brother´s success, the family will get a proper poured-cement roof.  And the lamina roof that my chapter details will be a thing of the past.


  1. Love that story, and glad I read it. Thanks, Susan.

  2. I just finished reading "Flirting........." which I loved. It's a story that ended well but, left me curious...I have been wondering how your Ortega in laws are doing. It was good to read of the professional success of one of your brothers in law. & your mother in law is living - but, the others??????

    I looked at your photos on Facebook, & saw the name Ortega a couple of times but, I don't know how they're related, other than your daughters. would write a blog to catch up all of us readers of "Flirting........." who got to know & care about Carlos' family/friends & want more.

    gracias for your time, Lena James