The Ponce Chronicles 2024 — Part 11

I said I would not be doing major repair work on this trip. But that was then. The contractors who did some of the heavy work did a shoddy job, and there was no one else to finish the work, and it needed to be done. So a lot of things have been getting fixed, spaced out over time. By me, Allysen, and our friends.

The paneling in this bedroom used to be falling off the wall. It’s not anymore.

The deck! We got the deck painted, after some badly needed repairs! Mark helped me with this formidable job.

The koi ponds are getting filled in. It’s not something we wanted to do, because they are beautiful. But they were also a hazard to anyone here with small children. And they were breeding mosquitos. I tried to drain them on a previous trip, but failed. So we’re filling them in with rocks from the back forty, and hope in time to make the space a sunken garden. Allysen and Misty have been carrying buckets of rocks from the back forty, to fill in the ex-ponds.

The car! I backed the rental car over some rocks too high for its low-slung profile, and tore loose a panel underneath that covers the oil pan and other things. I was in the pits, because we’d declined the insurance coverage in favor of other coverage options, but it seemed unlikely they would cover this, at least not without enormous hassle. I was dreading the time lost, and the cost. Then a miracle occurred. The guy who came to fix the dryer told us about a body shop down near the port, where he was sure they would take care of us. I was skeptical, but we went anyway. The nicest mechanic in Ponce brought it in right away, jacked it up and crawled under it, and fixed it for us on the spot. No charge. Just a totally unexpected act of kindness from a complete stranger. And a big weight off my shoulders.

Another day found Mark up on the roof with me and some tubes of silicone, looking to plug leaks around various skylights. There was a lot of MacGyver’ing involved, especially around the creaky wooden structure of one big skylight. Did we succeed? Only a big rainstorm will tell us for sure!

Yesterday I painted the bridge over the ex-ponds.

Then I got on a rickety step ladder with a drill and a bunch of screws, and I set about to make these ancient sliding doors not feel as if they will fall down at the first gust of wind. Mostly screwing them in place, as the cost of proper replacement is prohibitive, and anyway, no one seems to want the job of doing it. Well, I have done it.

I concluded by resting on my laurels and waiting for Allysen to return from Home Depot, before going out for a hard-earned dinner of ceviche at Sabor y Rumba.


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