Thursday, April 25, 2013

Down Friom the Hill and Up to the Sky

Yesterday I headed over to Fajardo to see a doctor about my elbow, or leebow as we like to call it in our family. The dogs had no idea why they were getting a walk at 5 a.m. in the dark but they liked it!

On the way home on the ferry, I was riding in the wheelhouse (because I'm claustrophobic and had gotten permission a few weeks ago when I ran into the captain). I was having a great chat with the second captain, a sailor, married to a sailor - they race a lot in Texas and she used to make deliveries - when he said, 'There a fire on Culebra.' At first glance, I saw that it was most likely in the cemetery area and wasn't too concerned. That's when I saw the other fire that looked like it was in a place I really did not want to see it, close to the house I was house sitting, plus near the homes of other friends. And that's right where it was.

But here is how Culebra works. As I'm pacing the wheelhouse taking calls from people, one of the calls was from a friend saying she was on her way to the house to get the dogs. When she got here, another friend was here on the same mission. One friend took the dogs to a safe place, checking first on other friends. The other friend went and fought fire on another hillside, next to another home where the owners were in the states.

Dogs taken care of, I wet the grounds around the house with the hoses and tried to keep in touch with what was happening on the other hillside where the homes were in more danger. The bomberos were up there with a truck and people were all working together. I finally met up with a neighbor here which felt better for both of us. When fire was starting up a back road (on the other side from the house side) I thought it might be time to move the car, just in case.

Your foot is in this strange world. One, I do NOT want to be encircled by fire. Two, I do not want to leave when I could still do something. But Nature took care of my decision... Sitting down the hill a ways and watching the smoke, it looked like it was going to be alright. And it was. The flames died out. Hot spots remained but the wind, high for days, had also died down. I went and got the dogs and we walked around, smelling the camp fire odors and looking at smoky wisps and glowing embers, below and above us on the neighboring hill (where all was also well, with the hard work of a lot of people).

Another day in Paradox.

Today, I fly to the states, an early Mother's Day/birthday gift from my son and brother. From Florida, my bro and I will drive to the mountains and meet up with my son, coming in from California. I'm only telling you this so that when you see photos of densely tree covered mountains you won't wonder where I've been hiding them on Culebra.

Life is good!

So long, Culebra at sunrise! Don't be on fire when I get back. Oops.

I'm not sure what is fun about pounding into waves on a go-fast little boat. But it was fun to watch.
I got to the doctor's and after filling out all the words, there was plenty of time for a walkabout. I forgot how much I liked this little strip of Fajardo from another time in the neighborhood.

Beautiful ginger

I know I've posted this before but I'm still singing, why shouldn't you?

There are a lot of banyan trees around the hospital. The roots always capture me.

Saving the stone

I never saw bags like this before...

This is not my doctor. But as I waited for him I got an idea of what he might be like. We got along just fine. Word on the elbow? Play with rubber bands and if that doesn't work, I'll be fast asleep and not watch what he does next.

I decided to walk part of the way back to the ferry, since I had the time. You can't tell how sparkly these tiles are on this decrepit wall, but they are. I'm assuming the electric pole there was another 'art' expression.

This is a wonderful old bar. I don't know if it is ever open but at least I have this murals before they are gone.

I love the flamboyant over head (along with everything else)

Get lucky!

At first I only saw this wonderfully unusual rock wall. But there it was, the Lamb.

These steel walls hide whatever was and is behind the lovely stone wall

I've seen a lot of stone walls but none like this. Ever.

Is it just me or is there a Chinese factor in this architecture?

I swear I think that brown-ness is coffee. It is the Burger King parking lot, after all.
 Once on the ferry, the ferry that, by the way, is one of two our elected officials are letting go back to Texas to leave us swinging in the wind again, I was intrigued by the wheel house. There are two stations: this one looks aft because, the capt. told me, there are often cranes on there when this boat is working in the oil fields of the Gulf, which it was originally designed to do. The ferry must hold steady for hours in all weathers while the cranes do their work. Yes, I can see why the reluctance to leave here...

Station forward

If it had to be the last ride on this ferry, I'm glad I got to be where I was.

Only two vehicles and 21 passengers in late April at 1 o'clock. About right.

We went on the backside of Palamino. I commented on never realizing we were doing that and never doing it on another ferry (this is not the island of Palamino, but part of the rocky uninhabited chain that goes up the east side of our own larger chain of islands). He told me a charter captain complained they were washing out the sands of one of the tiny islets on the other side (which I seriously wonder about, but need to research more), so they obligingly started going on the backside. It was fun to see it from a water perspective; usually I only see them so closely from the air)
And then he saw the smoke. And then I saw the smoke he meant first but I didn't see. And then I was driving up to the hillside, saying, go slow go slow an accident is not going to help. I went slow. Thank you, Teresa and Francie, for being here for the dogs!

The first three were with hose in one hand and phone camera in the other. Any shakiness was involuntary.

And then the flames were gone. What seemed like hours...were hours.

 I hadn't seen the cat and figured cats can handle this, but I was worried. After I retrieved the dogs, I got back to the house to find the cat was supremely upset.

 Have a take to the skies Thursday! Do something by trial and testing.

p.s. I don't really have time to edit this so all errors? Be nice. Nice is good.


  1. Call Kenna and Chris if you and Johnny are stopping near us

    1. You know we would if we were, dearhearts, but he goes a LOT farther west...I need a pure Florida trip! Love and miss you both mucho (come back to Culebra and see me!).

  2. Another WOW post. Have a great trip! I still want the flower photo when you have time. No hurry no pressure. :)

  3. Shawke, could you send me an email, please? I seem to have lost yours. It might be after I get back from my trip but it's on the list!

  4. Awesome post; I felt like I was *right there*. You know that cat was probably sitting on the edge of the fire enjoying the extra heat!

    Enjoy your travel gift!