So one of the prevalent themes in this blog is (or will be) how my aunt never really throws anything away, which brings me to this post… A couple of days ago, while having lunch my aunt thought it would be nice to have some wine with our meal, so the maid (it’s pretty common in Mexico to have a maid to help around in the house) asks whether she should open a certain bottle… this usually means some ancient bottle unearthed from the depths of the basement, so I tell her to show me which bottle she means because we had an incident a while back with wine gone bad that was not exactly pleasant…
Here comes the Wine!… In the dustiest bottle EVER! And judging from the dust pattern the bottle had been stored in a vertical position as opposed to laying down the way it should be. That was the first warning sign… Next I look at the label, which read ” Vintage of 1937″ 1937!!!!!! The bottle was over 70-year-old, so I tell my aunt, and she insists that it can’t be from 37, “It probably says 87” she says, and of course I can’t really prove otherwise because she has very poor eyesight, so I tell her to take my word for it. “Well I’m sure it’s good anyway, wine doesn’t spoil”….
So i pour a glass of this surely unspoilt 70+ year old wine, which I’m assuming used to be white wine, because it was somewhere between orange and amber. How did it smell? I can’t say it was unpleasant really, but definitely not how any wine is supposed to smell, a little like rubbing alcohol, but kinda sickly sweet. However my aunt decided that it had a wonderful scent…. but decided against drinking it after I said that I for one wouldn’t risk drinking a whole glass.
I’m trying my best not to let it happen, and I’m pretty sure you can’t die from drinking old wine, but one of these days my aunt and uncle will die poisoned by something in that house (and frankly I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already).
There is no uneaten wedding cake rotting in a party room, there are no stopped clocks pointing to a time when the house was alive, but as its name sake my Satis is also, in a way, suspended in time.
It was built around the 30’s or 40’s for a newly wed couple, but was put up for sale shortly after the couple moved in because of the bride’s death.
My great-grandfather purchased it and moved from Texas with his family which consisted of his wife and four children, although children might not be the best term to call them as my grandfather was by that time in his thirties and the rest of his siblings were also pretty much grown up. Whatever their ages at that time, the family lived pretty much happily at Satis, under its tall roofs, stained glass windows and beautiful architecture.
So how did i come to compare this beautiful house and its beautiful family to the ruined mansion and it’s crazy mistress in Dickens’ novel? Well there’s the tragic stories of my aunt and uncle which I’ll get into in other posts, but the house alone can speak for itself.
Satis is impeccable, there are no cobwebs hanging from the chandeliers, no thick layers of dust covering its surfaces, but the house is dead, perpetually gloomy encased in shadows cast by the huge buildings that surround it. There are no plants anywhere inside, just a few artificial roses scattered around vases, and these are ooooold color faded, yellowing roses, you could almost say they look wilted.
No family pictures… a couple of family portraits and even those are gloomy, the newest picture in the house is one of my mother, the fact that she’s been dead for 14 years does not help to liven things up. Nothing changes inside the house, there are at least two tv sets that have round screens (they don’t work of course), there’s a basement full of travel chests, that’s right not trunks, chests, full of coats, travel clothes and my great-grandmother’s special underwear.
This might seem pretty tame so far, I mean we all have grandparents or relatives with creepy houses full of knick knacks, or basements and attics full of old things that you never got around to clearing out, however…
I never met my great grandmother, I mean I guess I did as a baby, but I have absolutely no recollection of her in life, and i don’t remember going to her funeral or anything like it, so it’s safe to say she died while i was ver very young, approximately twenty or so years ago, that’s a pretty long time am i right? Well… my aunt took over her room sometime after she died, which is understandable seeing as it is bigger and better lit than her own, also she became the owner of the house which makes moving to the master bedroom pretty standard .
The thing is, most of her stuff (my aunt’s that is) is still in her own bedroom, why? Because all of my great grandmother’s things are still exactly where she left them! All her dresses, clothes, fur coats, underwear (and I’ll tell you about her underwear), shoes, makeup, jewelery,handbags, everything, Everything!!!
Almost exactly where she left it… and my aunt sleeps there surrounded by everything her mother left behind. Does she wear or use anything? mostly no, just the jewelery, and i think she had a couple of dresses tailored to fit her, but other than that, it’s pretty much as if my great grandmother still lives there.
So that’s it for now, now you know a little bit about what makes Satis what it is to me, and to finally end this post i give you a few pictures of the house, the quality is awful because i lost my camera and had to take them with my crappy phone.
You can’t see it in the picture, but each window has the portrait of an important Conquistador, and their eyes follow you as you walk up or down the stairs.
Upstairs Hallway, it’s actually like a horse shoe this being the middle part, my room is behind me, the bathroom i use is the door you kinda get to see at the other side, going to the bathroom in the middle of the night? Yeah, i avoid it as much as i can.
First post… it’s a little intimidating, but here we go…
Let me start by saying that this blog really has nothing to do with Dickens’ novel Great Expectations, except that whenever I thought of my aunt or her house, thoughts of Miss Havisham and Satis House inevitably popped up into my mind, that being said I apologize to anyone who comes here looking for things actually related to the novel (Sorry guys!).
Noooooow, as to the purpose of this blog… I left home a couple of months ago, moved to the big city with a head full of dreams of freedom and independence, i thought that upon arriving i would be showered with job opportunities, that a i would instantly make a decent living and be able to afford a place of my own.
You can tell where this is going can’t you?…
Needless to say none of it happened the way i planned, my aunt had always told me that i could come live with her, but i always had my reservations, because, as you will see in later posts, she’s (and i say this with both love and respect) kind of weird. And also i was holding some sort of grudge against her for her wanting me to replace my mother (Confused? I promise i will write about his in a nother post).
I finally caved, swallowed my pride and asked her if it was ok for me to stay with her for a while…. And so here i am, i have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised as to what my life here has been like and I’m incredibly grateful to them (i forgot to mention, my uncle lives here too) for taking me in.
However, they are sooo weird, and the things they do and how they live are so incredibly surreal for me sometimes, that I could not keep this experience all to my self, so i give to you (drumroll please…) my life in Satis House!