Esperando has been dedicating every spare moment to the remodel of Casa Abeja (when not at the beach). You may recall this is the old French style house we purchased that is adjacent to the guesthouse. Through the town doctor, who is well versed in Santa Rosalia’s history, we discovered that our house was built in 1886 and was the only house on Mesa Francia (French Mesa) that was occupied by Mexicans instead of Frenchmen. The occupant was the government official who represented Mexico’s interests at the Boleo mine during the years of 1886 through 1953 when the French ran the original mine. We do not know if a Mexican official lived there that whole time but that was our house’s original purpose.
Esperando has taken the house apart board by board and replaced them on the outside to maintain the French style, and on the inside where the original lumber could not be used he has replaced it with drywall. As Esperando and the Lads have gone through room by room they usually find some coins in the walls. We have about a cup’s worth of old coins, most with no value, although there is an old silver peso, and another smaller silver coin from 1937. He also redid the plumbing and electrical to modern code. The corrugated metal sheeting on the porch roof has been replaced. We now have new cabinets and tile in the bathroom and the kitchen. Carpintero was so proud of his cabinetry he brought the owner of one of the better grocery stores in town over and he was so impressed that he declared it the best ‘rustic’ kitchen in town and wants one just like it. All the doors and windows have been replaced and the exterior is painted a darker turquoise.
Interestingly a fellow coworker whose wife is from Santa Rosalia told us that when her sister was first married many years ago she had lived in our house. The house had fallen into such disrepair that when she saw it the last time several years ago she cried because she had such fond memories of it. I keep asking Esperando when it will be ready for us to move into and the answer is always the same—two more months.