I´ve debated for days writing about this experience, but, since I´m just starting to write again, I thought I´d catch you up to where I am today. I am literally dusting myself off and starting again. This can be, in some eyes, a grand and exciting journey. Moving, that is… It really is all in the perspective. But, however one views it, it was the learning experience of a lifetime and for that I will be forever grateful. Here are my words of wisdom, points you probably already knew, but worth repeating anyway. Never having been blessed with a lot of common sense, these will be written down mostly for my sake. Here they are : contracts are good, never spend your own money on a rental, and friends, furry and otherwise, will get you through it all.
I´m going to start off with a story from my past. I find it amusing, and slightly relevant. It shows how I get through the emergency on auto pilot, then fall apart later. This is a tad embarrassing, but those who have read me before are used to that, so, here goes.
I lived in an apartment, back in my college days, with two roommates. A couple who had just fallen in love and the woman´s son. Candlelight dinners, candlelit bedrooms, candlelit baths all enhanced by fragrances and flowers filled the apartment. I stayed in the back in my very large bedroom\living room area for two reasons. Their budding romance was sweet, if you like diabetes, and I had serious matters to attend to such as passing my Psych. 101 exam.
To no-one´s surprise, we had a fire. With all those candles, well, it was bound to happen. I smelled something, then Keith yelled out ´´fire,´´ then Karen ran around naked trying to figure out what to save while their bedroom was blazing. Meanwhile, I called the fire department, got their son out and across the street with neighbors, knocked on the apartment door downstairs to warn them and then had coffee with folks while the firemen did their thing.
Emergency was over, I felt good about my actions, and we all stood in what was left of our dining room. Smoked like sausage, curtains torn, wallpaper peeling and a saturated carpet. Typical scene, I´d imagine. The firemen congratulated me on my actions, gave a bit of advice to my roommates and then said this, ´´now, go collect your personals, you can´t stay here for the night.´´ I don´t know how much later it was, but I was back in the dining room with my roommates, all the firemen, the remaining paramedics, some friends who had shown up for support, a full crowd. But, they were all giggling, and at me. I had no clue what was going on and, frankly, was getting a bit indignant. Finally, Karen just grabbed my arm and raised my hand to my face. I had collected the box containing my Summer´s Eve douche and nothing else. I mean, they said personals. Yea, I fall apart later.
So what the heck does this have to do with today? Well, I´d been under the impression that my home here would be my home for life. We´d discussed it often, my landlord and I. I continued to pay rent and continued to make it my own, on my own dime (peso). Then, three weeks ago, the need for a contract became glaringly apparent. I was informed that my apartment was nice enough to use as a vacation rental now (I didn´t respond, I swear) and that, since I had paid up until November, I was welcome to stay. However, I wouldn´t have stairs for an unknown period of time since they would also be constructing downstairs. It was suggested I bucket supplies up from Room Service. I wish I was making that up.
First concern, my dogs. I had three at this point. Not many places accept a woman with three dogs. But, it seemed my luck had changed. A man immediately contacted me about an apartment with an enclosed field next door that was also owned by him. Perfect! Yea, not so fast. My Nity, the larger dog above, got confused in all the confusion and, when he, my new landlord, bent over to fix my internet, Nity bit him in the butt, hard. Now, they have a young son, so I understand their concerns. Watching my new landlady hide behind her door wasn´t good for anyone either. Plus, thanks to Dr. Ivan, she (Nity, not my landlady) has a new home, but I do miss her much. She was my first pup from here on the island. A little rough around the edges, but always meant well. If you´re the new owner and you are reading this, she loves to share coffee in the mornings.
Second concern, how to make it a home without spending permanent monies. Here´s where the Titanic image of arranging chairs comes into play. Let me share a few of the details of my former home. You can see what I moved into up top of this piece and what it became below. For photographic reasons I left out the air conditioner, sealed roof, new fans, new faucets, paint, mold removal, newly cemented deck etc.
I liked it, it was my home. But, I´m not there anymore so it´s time to look ahead. Play some music, hold on to good thoughts, in spite of everything, and move on. So, here is where I will take the opportunity to share my new home and ´´garden.´´ Well, just the garden although the inside is cute and I have water pressure. Not just gravity, actual pressure, sigh. But, since the lesson has been learned, nothing will be added that cannot go with me. However, let me say this, I am just so thankful that dogs could care less about their surroundings as long as they are free, loved, cuddled and fed. So, without further adieu, here it is. I call it trailer trash chic, although I use the word ´´chic´´ with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I do want to point out, I´m absolutely not complaining. I have two of my dogs and for that I´m grateful. And, I´ll point out (with false bravado at this point) I take on challenges with passion. And, let me tell you, this is going to take a lot of passion.
I´ll start by mentioning that I discovered the first day that the main tree has berries that drop on your head, and birds who like to eat the berries but drop something else entirely. Aside from that, it´s a good sized space, has four coconut palms, one scorpion (that I know of) and, I do believe, it will become ours, to a point. The landlords were nice enough to build a doggy door so that my furry babies can access at will. So, practicalities are complete and I´m certainly happy about that. What to do aesthetically, however, is what wakes me up in the mornings. I´ll be certain to share the end results if you´re interested. Thinking Christmas lights, murals on removable boards and walkable tiles people toss out. It´s a start.
So this voyage is just about over. I´ve rearranged the furniture, played the music, it´s time to get into the boat already. Salud!