The Ponce Chronicles, 2020 edition, Part 1

Not again! Ik thought. No, wait—that’s the opening line of one of my books. That should be: “Not again!” I yelled, turning on the hot water for a tired-after-travel shower, and finding only cold water. Hadn’t we fixed the hot water last time, fixed it to last? Maybe not.

We are back in tropical Puerto Rico, to work on Allysen’s mom’s house. And despite my not-very-tough-guy screech at the cold shower, it is still quite beautiful here on the hill. We arrived in the middle of the night on New Year’s Day, and slept in. Most of our luggage wouldn’t arrive for another day and half, due to a last-minute flight change. And with just Allysen and me here, it was very quiet. Here’s a snapshot view.

And another, looking out over the city at twilight:

In the first two days, we have started making a list of all the things that need fixing and upgrading for renting to vacationers and weekend guests. (Why has no one complained about the lack of hot water? It is a mystery.) But never mind that. Here are some more interesting, er, points of interest:

  • Yesterday, we had two very small earthquakes, rock and sway! (In years of living in Puerto Rico, Allysen had never felt an earthquake.) Apparently there have been a lot of them around here lately, as a couple of tectonic plates nearby sidle past each other. To Californians, I’m sure it’s nothing. To us, it was rather disconcerting.
  • That sudden, deafening banging sound in the house was not a late firework, but the washing machine on spin cycle. (Call Sears repair. Sigh.)
  • There are still plenty of dogs on the hill, as they periodically erupt into loud group conversational howls. Fun.
  • Also, we have our traditional couple of stray cats wandering through the property. This year it’s two young tigers. I have decided to call one of them Burning Bright. Not sure about the other.
  • I periodically hear a train horn in the distance, which is odd, because there are no trains on the island. Must be from the shipping port, perhaps switchers moving cargo around.
  • We had local, artisanal pizza one night, and local craft beer the next night. Here’s Allysen learning to take a selfie with me, and Allysen taking a spousie, said spouse with a local IPA.

Oh—the hot water? I took some things apart, and discovered that our hot water heater (a really small 120 volt tank) had been professionally installed to a 220 volt line. Okay, things officially feel normal here now.

Tonight? Cold showers and rum punch!

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