High Desert Life

by Miles Hutchins

Another typical day in the life of former Central Oregonians.

Bobbi off to Guadalajara with two friends from church, Miles back from the bank after giving a transfusion to the checking account, which undoubtedly will be taking debit card hits as I write. Hmm, not unlike back north of the border.

Recently had a Bend High grad and his wife visit us for an introduction to Chapala. Barrett and Barbara Rainey live in the Phoenix area. Not Phoenix, Oregon, but the better known one in Arizona.

Barrett and I were classmates and grads in 1954. Do the math. Yes, we are a couple of old fellas. In addition to matriculating at good old Bend High, which then was the downtown building that is now the school district admin headquarters, we were little angels together at the First Presbyterian Church, now known as the Old Stone Church. Well, angels may be overdoing it a bit, so I’d best cool that description because I know he will call me on it.

Showing them around our new home in Mexico was an eye opener for us, as well as for them. It is a learning experience for them, and a re-learning for us. Makes us want to see even more of this country and meet more of the very hospitable people who live here.

Speaking of which, we just got back from Manzanillo, in our neighboring state of Colima, home of an active volcano, and a very active port town. We stayed at a condominium with a gigantic swimming pool and spent some time lolling on the beach watching huge breakers come very close to our pale toes. Had a great visit with former Chapala neighbors/friends who now live in Manzanillo.

Our attempt to raise blue corn, maize de azul, ended when strong winds kept blowing over the eight-to-nine foot stalks. Darn! I had visions of fresh corn grown in the garden like dear old Dad did in Bend.

I remember one summer when I brought home from Eugene, a fraternity brother for a weekend. When we served corn on the cob, Pierre, yes, from France, turned up his nose and opined that that was pig feed. But I digress.

We also planted carrots and are now enjoying them fresh from the garden. The bananas continue to mature, taking their own sweet time.

Will keep you posted on hoped-for progress. We will probably switch our dirty thumb projects to flowers, shrubs and trees. Good fruits and veggies are so available here, even year round.

We are eagerly awaiting the rainy season here. Early June should greet our first rains.

In fact, the so-called rain birds have begun their steady song, for short periods of time, to be sure, but nonetheless unmistakably alerting us to what is soon to come. I call them so-called because they are not birds at all, rather caterpillar-like creatures.

The rain is much-needed because of fires in the hills and growing lack of water in the wells. The rainy season here is roughly June through mid-September.

The circle of the seasons, like the circle of life, goes on.

— Miles Hutchins is a retired former Redmond resident who grew up in Central Oregon and now lives in Mexico. Contact him at milesredmond@gmail.com .