In no place I have ever lived do so many people seem to be necessary to maintain one house. On any given day, in addition to my efforts, it is likely two or more of the following caretakers will be present: housekeeper, gardener, plumber, locksmith, bricklayer, tree-trimmer, cistern-cleaner, fumigator, carpenter or appliance-repairer. Do things really break more frequently in Mexico? Do locks jam more or garage openers go on the blink with greater regularity? Do more brick pathways need to be laid? More roof tiles slide down and go boom? More solar water heaters spring more leaks? Do pools develop cracks more easily and pipes pop open just for the fun of it? Do houses cry out to be added onto? In my sixteen years of living here, it certainly seems so. I especially remember the day described in THIS POEMas being one where the entire world seemed to be directed toward the care of my house. It was the monarch. We were its slaves.
I thought I’d posted these photos of yesterday’s pool party, but I guess I didn’t. So here are Chino and Diego supervising while the guys do all the hard work. I have the easiest job of all, taking photos:
When today dawned with driving rain, I was sure the building of steps for the pool would be delayed for a day, but bright and early the guys showed up, strung a tarp over the pool, and continued. When the rain let up, Chino came to inspect the work and execute the first stroll up and down the steps. I took the second trip. Here is proof of progress. Now on to perfecting the smoothness and curved edges of the concrete, some repair of the wall between the pool and hot tub and the tiling.
This is not quite what I have in mind, but it was the only one-story X shaped house I could find on Google images.
I would love to have the money to build another house on the land I own that adjoins my own lot. It would be one story high, so as not to impede my view. It would be in the shape of an “X” with a common area in the shape of a large donut in the middle. In the very center (the hole of the donut) would be an atrium with one or two large trees filled with hanging wire baskets stuffed with spagnum moss that would be the home of bromeliads and orchids. The ring part of the donut would contain a kitchen, dining room and living room/game room–all interconnected but with sliding glass doors out to the atrium. Each of the arms of the X would have a bedroom, living room, bathroom and study/art studio.
At the end of the lot nearest the street and adjoining my studio with a little stile-like bridge that extends over the wall between the upper and lower lot would be a larger art studio with saws, buffers, polishers and drills as well as more space for storage, group activities and classes. The art studio would be on the second level, with a commodious elevator capable of taking larger sculptures and people down to street level. Since that lot is much lower than my lot, the second story would be on the same level as my studio. The first level would be another living space that ties in with my main purpose for building this house.
I want to create a space where three or four of my friends or relatives could come to spend their old age. If there were four, the space under the studio would be a living space for a caretaker/nurse/housekeeper. If I got too feeble to live in my house, I’d move into one of the legs of the house below. Otherwise, I could visit my friends or relatives there. If it were necessary, a nurse or housekeeper/cook could occupy one of the legs of the “X.” It would just be nice to be able to all be together to face old age as well as to keep each other young and silly for as long as possible.
This is a bit grand, and two-story, but shows that an X-shaped house could work. It is missing the middle donut shared area and atrium. (image from Google images)