The past year has been, well, not as planned. Between Irma and Maria, plans to attend an Irish wedding and my back issues, Our beloved Casa Anolis has only seen us once and that was back in February. Post Maria we were as involved as much as we could be from a distance, but it was our friends on both coasts had to do the dealing-with. And in recognition of that, we very much have to thank our friends Bill and George for looking out after Casa Anolis and Babe. We were very glad that they could look in on things and use whatever we had there for their survival. Fortunately we suffered no more damage than a good post-Maria bumper crop of mildew. Our complex’s position on the hillside protected us from the worst of the winds although we held our breath, fearing that a mudslide might bury the back yard. But none ever came and so we escaped intact. In fact, other than a few downed palms and and tree limbs, Monte Sol was unscathed. Our first impulse was to catch the next available flight down, but with trees and power poles down and road wash-outs, movement about the island was severely hampered. That, plus scarce living resources made us reconsider. In the end we decided not to add to the problem of two more non-essentials using the precious resources and postponed our upcoming fall trip. Little did we know that as we kept checking back that it would not be until February before we could get down.
Over a two week period we spent time on our side of the island and with our friends on the western side. We spent a lot of time just driving around, looking at the changes in our familiar world. Yes, trees uprooted and steel power poles ripped out of the earth tell a story, but nothing conveys the massive power of the two storms like the mudslide picture that Dean took. The slide literally took back yards away and carved out the earth under the houses’s slabs. Yes, that very big dip in the hill, wider than those four houses is what fell away. On a closer to home example of the recovery effort, I think that the most telling personal example of how the island’s population fared post-Maria is that a friend staying with our friends in the west finally got power to his house this past March. He could not live in or repair his house for over six months. Think about that. Watching your home deteriorate for six months with your hands tied.
To the future:
We are looking past the Irish wedding later this month (2 weeks of a different type of green) and our current plans are to do a staggered stay in February/March. Dean is planning on working from there -I.T. support can be done anywhere that there is a reliable internet connection- to test out the viability of our permanent move. The good thing is that the partners of the law firm that he works for are fully on board. And if that all goes well, this coming year could see us in Casa Anolis on a more permanent basis.