There’s a goat leg in the front yard,
a tiny frog who lives in my shower,
a bong on the front desk,
and some guest’s underwear soaking in the sink
This blog is going to be about la finca caribe, three acres, and a cluster of cabins in the hills of Vieques, a small island east of Puerto Rico; about me and my family finding it, loving it, and holding onto it, despite the odds and fact that we had no idea what we were doing. Somehow, at the same time, we were making one of the biggest and best decisions of our lives. Maybe ultimately, it’ll be about how much you can learn from a place. It’ll be an interesting challenge to write personally, honestly about something that’s also a business. Careful what you blog… (it isn’t my fault one of our dear guests kept wanting to do her hand washing in the main house kitchen sink…)
I like to think and write about the choices we make, and the choices that make us; the dreams that drive them all. I’m interested in the signposts we choose to read, and the flashing orange warning lights we pretend not to see.
It’s about listening, even in the din of tropical depressions, to a spirit place inside, and out; and figuring out how to stay standing, with luck, even grounded, when everyone tells you not to bother. It’s about being okay when goat legs and horse skulls arrive on your front yard, and learning to sleep alone through thunderstorms that rattle the roots of your teeth. It’s about learning how to at least appear gracious and forgiving, when it’s the last thing you feel, and, about the silly futility of asking “por que?”
I’m writing because our guests ask. They often ask the why, and the how behind it all. But I never know how serious they are, or how much they really want to hear. Sometimes I wonder if they’re really asking for the steps; the instructions: The DIY How-To Ditch the Work World Ten Step. They want to know if it’s safe, or how hard it is? Do you have to be a weirdo? I see it in their eyes. But I’m usually busy hanging the laundry, or duct taping a fix to some emergency, so I can dodge the question. And now that I’ve started all of one whole page, I can point them to the blog.
I don’t really know the full “why,” behind the finca. But I like thinking about it. I don’t know what made me have the guts, or foresight, or just missing marbles, to fall in love with a piece of property and this little island. Not just a passing fancy mind you, but acting on it, and making a commitment. And Puerto Rico, a foreigner no less. If that’s not scandalous enough, I was forty, old enough to know better, already married, with children…But Vieques was too tempting; a rugged, sun-drenched, non-conformist. Add a Spanish accent and palm fronds tossing like open arms…well, better not get me started. Or, maybe you already have.