Back in May, when I sold my Cape Cod house and took up temporary residence in a small room at my daughter’s house on the Connecticut shoreline, I wrote in my blog post that Paradise is an attitude, not a place.
In that little Connecticut bedroom—no larger than a Trappist monk’s cell—I found expansive emotional freedom from the pressures of home ownership, the calendar, and the clock.
I had not been to Vieques since Hurricane Maria, and I dreaded returning—and seeing firsthand what that wicked witch from the east did to my Caribbean dream house.
A black sand beach graces the Caribbean shore of Vieques.
Since I’ve been back, I’ve fallen in love all over again with Puerto Rico’s cyclone-defiled “Little Sister Island.”
I’ve been doing clean-up and directing workers in repairing storm damage. I’m happy, and lucky, to say Casa Cascadas is almost fully restored to her prior beauty.
Maria blew out two steel roller doors in the Great Room, like this one.
The two roller doors are repaired and the Great Room is back together.
My bedroom after Maria.
The room used by bed-and-breakfast guests is looking good again.
The remaining cosmetic work is in the hands of suppliers, like waiting for delivery of two bedroom window covers, for example, and two new wooden doors for one of the bathrooms.
I’m finally able to turn my attention to more than food, shelter, and clothing, and I am considering my next steps.
When I became a widower two years ago, I was inclined to downsize: sell my Cape Cod and Vieques houses and settle permanently in smaller quarters, which would become my forever home.
But where? Over the years I’ve called nearly a dozen locations home for a while: New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, California, Cape Cod.
I’m a citizen of the planet, I guess.
Little Sister Island has her own agenda, though. She wants me to linger with her for more than a while.
The little nymph is tempting me with:
- A sumptuous pool
- Scores of pristine snorkeling spots
- Forty, yes, forty beaches to get brown on
- A network of friends who live here year-round
- Convenient, quick, and customs-free travel for stateside visitors
My 52-foot pool overlooks the Bioluminescent Bay, Caribbean Sea, and St. Croix.
In fact, Little Sister Island is so proud of the way she has regained her poise after Maria’s body-slam that she is persuading me to re-open the Casa Cascadas bed-and-breakfast that I hosted since 2010.
How can I say no to such a pretty girl?
So until the next course change in my never-boring voyage, my official address will be:
Vieques, Puerto Rico, USA
If you enjoyed reading this, you might like my new novel, Billy of the Tulips, a sensitive boy’s grim engagement with innocence and iniquity, now available in both print and Kindle from Amazon.