I’ve Never Been So Happy to See Grass
The Finishing Touches
The house in León, Nicaragua is done. For real, this time. YEA! The project was already a month over the promised four month deadline. They got a free week because we were building during the rainy season. We are just anxious and excited to be nearing the end of this phase of our project.
We are eagerly awaiting the last of our furniture and cabinetry. Carpenters have been working for the last few weeks trying to complete our projects. For now we are storing some of our goods inside the house until we can secure them properly in locked cabinets.
December is a tough time to get anything done. The Christmas holiday season starts on the eve of December 7th, and officially begins December 8th. Nicaraguans get into the spirit like few cultures I’m familiar with. Kids are out school, universities are in the middle of two month break, and many people are of work by December 21 until after the New Year. A month’s worth of fireworks and festivals roll well into 2018. They sure do take advantage of their holidays, whenever they may fall.
From construction to legal matters to applying for residency to finding someone to a closet, I’ve been advised to just wait until after the new year because “not much will happen until then.” Well, I guess I’ll just wait then, ugh.
I Finally Have My Yard
On a cheerier note — the front and back patios were cleaned up so that we could start doing some landscaping. The grass went in. I have never been so happy to see grass. Downtown León is a concrete jungle with small patches of grass in the parks. My dog loves the grass too. For the last six months I’ve been staring at piles of construction materials, garbage, and left over hardened concrete that was mixed directly on the ground from my kitchen window.
Since the grass went in, I have been watering it like clockwork twice a day, once at 6:00 and again at 18:00. It still looks a little patchy and will need to be tamped once it takes hold to level it out. Nevertheless, the sod has lighten and freshened the yard just like I had envisioned. The air smells fresher and cleaner.
I would have liked to have kept some more of the mature trees that were growing freely and out of control. Unfortunately, the heat and years of neglect had taken their toll on mother nature’s aging children.
The front patio was littered with plantain palms, a sweet lime tree, another fruit tree (I don’t know what it is called) for making juice, and a bitter orange tree, used for making a lemonade-ish type refreshment. The landscaper managed to save a few of these, regrettably, others trees had to come down. They were just too far gone, one had tarantulas living in it. Sooner or later, they would fall on their own, perhaps damaging the house.
I learned something interesting about plantain palms. They only bear fruit once. Huh? Then how is possible to have so many plantains? Well…prior to bearing fruit, they seed “babies” that grow very near their “mommies” trunk. In order to allow the new trees to thrive, the older trees need to be removed. Seems like a lot of extra work, for me anyway. I kept a few of them for now for the wonderful shade they provide.
Our New Trees
We planted a lime, a mango, and a mandarin tree to replace the older trees that had to be taken down. I am so excited. They are young and will take a bit of time to bear fruit, but still, I can’t wait. I grew up with all kinds of fruit trees in the yard as child, but living in a condo for the last twenty years I didn’t have any foliage to take care of except for a few house plants.
Breakfast consisting of freshly picked fruit and afternoon snacks will never be the same, plus it will save me several trips to the market. I can’t wait to taste my first sweet mango and succulent mandarins picked from my own back yard. I’ll also have a near endless supply of fresh limes to make the locally produced, sub-par, but awfully cheap beer more palatable.
The grass, flowers, and fruit trees turned this construction project not into a house, but a home.
Viva León, Jodido!