Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Living in the Land of Mañana

"I wonder what clock sales are like around here," my sister mused this morning, in a wry tone of voice. That made me laugh and laugh, and if you lived here you would understand why.

Last Friday, I left you with a blog post, It's Tile Time, in which I said I'd be back Monday with the before and after pictures of the transformation of our old carpeted floors to new tile ones. Ha!

This whole tile job has been an object lesson in "poco tiempo" for us frenetically hard-wired former Easterners.

Here we are on Tuesday, five days into the project: The house is in chaos, with the furniture from the living room and study crammed into other rooms. The computers are on the kitchen counters, limiting the usual kitchen action. There's no place to sit but outside, because the sofa is now in an off-limits room. To take a shower, we have to avoid walking on the floors-that-will-someday-be-tiled by going outside through the patio to get to the big bathroom.

We are learning that it is useless to start any sentence with the words "how long..." or "when will..." or "where were you all morning when you said yesterday you would start work today first thing..."

We are learning to relax and smile, and to shake off our expectations. We are learning to appreciate the slower pace without grinding our teeth. Here is a quote that might sum it all up:

Charles F. Lummis's The Land of Poco Tiempo is the story of New Mexico as Lummis found it when he moved to the territory in 1888 to recover his health. As Lummis translates the Spanish title, “poco tiempo” means “pretty soon” and the phrase expresses the lack of haste in the lives of the area's inhabitants. Lummis, who had suffered a stroke because of his high-pressure job in Los Angeles, appreciated this attitude.

We are learning to appreciate the attitude, and I hope you will to, because I'm not sure when we'll be taking any "after" photos of this project...

(All images from Wikimedia Commons)


Anonymous said...

This is funny! I don't have any patience when it comes to my house being torn up and in a mess. I would be running around like a crazed chicken with it's head cut off. I admire you for your attitude. This will definitely be a learning experience for you! Good luck.

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

I forget sometimes that life is has a high fevered pitch.....when we have lived other places and then come home to NM it is just a jolt and vice versa. Manana indeed. The Olde Bagg

JC said...

Remodels always take longer than you would think. Every time ...

becky said...

Clair, I think I could live well in the Land of Poco Tiempo (I'll have to read that book when I have a little extra tiempo- ha ha!) Our lives in this day & age are often lived at such a frenetic pace, where our lives & jobs are focused on getting things done fast, and often focus around productivity... I long for that slower pace.
I'm glad you are relaxing & smiling about it! Have some coffee, sit outside, work in your cactus garden... & enjoy!

Sandy ~~~ said...

Ah yes...we were warned of this "attitude" when we started the adventure of building our own home in New Mexico....way, way off the beaten path.

It only took 5-6 months though but we were ON the contractor (from 1600 miles away) constantly and he soon learned we weren't idiots up here in WA state. Our tile guy was one of the wonderful subs and brought his RV and camped out and worked for almost a week.

Hope yours is beautiful, when it's done!

charlotte g said...

With the mountains around and the great smells of greasewood, pinon and pine in the are, there's an absolute need every so often to pause for minute, breathe deeply an let your eyes rest far away.

The picture looks like the highway into Ruidosa with White Mountain behind. Am I right?

clairz said...

@Judy: More tomorrow about what else is going on here during the tile circus.

@Linda, I'm trying to adjust.

@JC: You would think we would remember about remodeling from our time in the House on High Street (which story is indexed at the top of the page).

@Becky: We got pretty relaxed watching the tile guys while we drank some beer and contemplated the cacti!

@Sandy: Once you move here, you'll simmer down!

@Charlotte: You are right on about the header photo.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Yes! So true, and isn't it grand?! This is just how I live each day, after moving her over 17 years ago and finally getting into the groove of Manana. I love it now and can't imagine the rush rush hubbub of the East Coast anymore.

I have to laugh about your tile because it reminds me of the first few houses we looked at to rent when we moved to New Mexico. They were made in beautiful old adobe with many nichos and bancos and even bunk beds created from adobe. But best of all? They had hard packed dirt floors!

Who needs tile when you have soft dirt floors to walk on? hehe!


charlotte g said...

Oh, Claire. NOW I am homesick. Except it is different now, with so many more people. Funny. I was torn for a long while 20 years ago between my mountains and my family.
Stupid me. I can visit every so often with my beloved mountains, and thanks to you catch familiar sites. Tonight I took my youngest granddaughter to Brownies, and got to meet the guest speaker, a Nigerian woman in full formal dress talking to them. Love is a constant, too. I chose right. But thank you for the view.

Quiet Paths said...

I understand how those house projects go! Everything has its own time regardless... best of tile laying!