Baja With Mike
Please use your browser's print button to print this page . . .
[ Return to Contents Page ] [ Return to Baja With Mike ]

Baja California Information Pages

Stories by Mike Humfreville

Family Storms    ( Posted December 9, 2003 )

The rain had been building as the hurricane closed on them, the thatched fronds of a roof of an adobe home that allowed a few drops of rain to pass, but mostly just rustled, struck with the heavy drops, at first pelting dust upward, later directing mud toward the sides and down the walls of the home, where it collected in small puddles and flooded tiny burrows in the earth.

Inside the hut a family collected. The gray sky turned black. Lightning flashed and immediately thunder boomed. The darkening desert was lit for an instant by the flash.

A burro brayed and hens fussed under the hood of a 1954 Ford Fairlane that had been salvaged to act as the cover for a coop. Taking advantage of the unhurried time together and to keep her children's minds away from the threat of irritated gods, a senora carefully places a few small bones of a decomposed Cirio limb into an old adobe oven, arranging dried desert plants beneath.

She strikes a wooden match with two colors on its head on the edge of a cast iron pan that has been in her family for longer than she can remember, the only pan. The fire begins and soon throws flickering shadows across the dense grays and onto the rich brown clay and straw walls, a warm golden light, somehow staying the problems of the rain.

She mixes water and flour and lard and pats the paste into flat cakes that she cooks over the flame, in her pan. Her husband and children spread a spoonful of frijoles on the cakes as they come off the stove and enjoy them until there is no more paste and the fire has dwindled to a few embers. She allows her pan to cool and wipes it clean and returns it to its resting place on the adobe. Her family sits on the single bed in the single room home and is glad for the disruption of the storm.

They are accustomed to the desert ways and are always happy to have a moment to sit together, often enabled by a remote threat, to share the time where there is nothing to distract them or require their attention, except each other.

Copyright 2003-2006 Mike Humfreville

Baja California Information Pages - Contents Page: