I’m writing this from home, where I’m holding down the fort while Allysen, Jayce, and Allysen’s brother Andrew and our niece Lauren take on the challenge of working on the house, known as Casarboles. In case you’ve been sleeping in a cave, Hurricane Fiona recently tore through Ponce and the rest of Puerto Rico, leaving shambles in its wake, especially in the least prosperous and most vulnerable areas. There’s city water on the hill, finally, but no power as of the arrival of our company on the hill—except from a small generator, plus another small one Allysen picked up at Costco on her way from San Juan airport. Update: The power to the hill was finally restored, on the evening of day three, Monday. There was much dancing and celebrating, by all accounts.
President Biden recently flew into Ponce* to visit the disaster, instead of following the customary official route of visiting San Juan, which (because it sits on the northern coast and is sheltered by the mountains) typically suffers the mildest effects of these superstorms. I think the folks of southern Puerto Rico appreciated the gesture, especially since it stood in stark contrast to a previous executive’s tossing of paper towel rolls to people who were reeling from Hurricane Maria.
This trip by Allysen and company was actually planned before the hurricane, to fix a bunch of things that needed fixing. Now there’s more to fix. Mostly, from this storm, it’s damage to skylights and windows and doors, and a bent driveway gate that had something land on it. Plus, a general ravaging.
Am I sorry I’m not there? Well, I can’t say I’m envious of what they’re facing. I’m not physically in shape to be able to do much work anyway, and I’m tentatively glad to have some time to myself here, to try to focus less on my health and more on getting some of my own work done. But we’ll see.
I’ve been unable to extract any selfies from the crew, or pictures showing much of the state of the house, but here’s a very nice sunrise, photographed by Allysen the morning after their arrival.
*Side note of complete irrelevance: years ago, when my private pilot’s license was still current, I rented a beat-up little Cessna and did a little sightseeing out of Ponce’s Mercedita Airport, from the very same runway that Air Force One landed on two weeks ago.