PUERTO RICO SE LEVANTA!
Today Joe and I are out searching for parts and wifi. We are doing well. I want to say a BIG HUGE THANK YOU to so many friends and family members, and friends of friends, who have sent us things – much needed and welcomed things, from a chain sharpener to tools and supplies to snacks and food – as well as so generously donating money. We’re so so thankful and really blown away. Joe has a good shop setup now and is able to sharpen chains using the sharpener (a gift), hooked up to the inverter (also a gift), running from the car battery. It’s a crazy setup and it works.
The kids are enjoying the routine of back in school. They go Monday through Thursday, which gives us time on Friday to get together with friends. The days kind of run together without a continual check at the news or the calendar. I don’t mind it. It’s nice to wake up and just do what needs to be done for the day.
There’s no power or water service in our little Barrio, but some other areas are getting services back. Even in some parts of Rincon, there is water service back on. We make a trip two or three times weekly to the spring to fill up all our water containers. If it rains, we collect as much as we can. We have a good water filter (also a gift) so we can filter as much as we need for drinking water and use the rest for washing dishes, clothes, and ourselves. And, of course, for flushing toilets. I’ve gotta say, I never thought about how many times a day a family of 6 flushes the toilet… It’s a LOT. On a related note, I’m pretty sure that I’ve traded some fat cells for muscle cells on my upper arms.
On a typical day, we all wake up around the same time, usually around 7, from the combined energy of the sunshine and the music of the roosters, dogs, and chainsaws starting up for the day. There’s a mechanical music rhythm: chainsaws in the morning, generators in the night. But the coquis drown out the generators, and the roosters drown out the chainsaws.
I make a pot of coffee in a percolator on our gas stove. (I am SO thankful to have a stove that runs on propane!) Then I check our filtered water supply and usually start running some more through the filter, while the coffee percs. The kids shuffle in and eat breakfast, usually granola bars or trail mix and bananas or pineapple. It’s so hot and humid right now that fresh produce doesn’t keep for long without refrigeration. We try to pick up what we need for each day or two, no more.
Usually by the time the coffee is done, somebody is at the door looking for Joe. He chats or sharpens a chain or starts taking apart a generator while I run through my morning cleaning routine. Because it’s hot and humid, and because we have doors and windows open as much as possible, it’s easy to create a breeding ground for mosquitoes etc. So I guess we could say that a benefit of Maria is that I’ve become a much better housekeeper than I ever was before!
I spend the day getting water, getting food, cleaning, handwashing clothes – it’s a real Little House on the Prairie experience – reading, writing (I’m able to charge my laptop with that inverter, which is SO great), shuffling kids around (lots of playdates), and talking with folks who stop in.
We have a good rhythm. We’re learning a lot. We’re thankful for all we have.
I read a prayer the other day that has stuck with me. It seems, to me, that Maria has been a force of change, of clarity, of cleansing, of considering and rethinking our time and our choices, and of appreciating all that we have, together.
So this is my prayer for all of you:
“May God cause you to change your life in the way you know you should.”