When we touched down on the bumpy tarmac at the Vieques airport in early October, it had been almost exactly one year since we’d first found our house and ten months since our closing.
Our stay the previous October had been gloriously dry and sunny but this year it was humid and overcast.
Not ideal, but we coped. In fact, we made it to the beach every day…
except one, which was a total wash-out.
In between, we spent hours wandering the aisles of the inventory-challenged hardware stores of the island.
Each was disappointing in its own way, but there were a few pleasant surprises. In a tiny store tucked away on a back street in a section of the island called Florida (emphasis on the “a”), we found a charming, inexpensive set of blue-and-white dishes, including dinner and salad plates, bowls, cups and saucers, all for $30.In another, we stumbled across a tablecloth in a vibrant tropical stripe.
These items were welcome additions to our new kitchen, which in its finished state was a thing of beauty. We took a slew of pictures and split-screen them next to “before” shots, for maximum impact, then emailed them to all our friends.
Yes, reader, we had become kitchen bores.
David had been busy upgrading the bathroom as well. Gone was the freaky brick platform elevating the toilet.
A bright new vanity stood where the chipped pedestal sink had once tottered, and a new medicine cabinet and handsome light fixtures hung above.
The room’s original floor to ceiling tile job—each tile adorned with a dainty flower—would have to remain until we’d enjoyed a few seasons of rental income. In the meantime we spiffed up the trim and ceiling with our trusty gloss white paint, and buffed the marbelized tile floor.
In the great room and bedroom, we arranged and re-arranged the furniture until our backs ached. I had always been a firm believer in the theory that living spaces, given enough time, will tell you where their furnishings should be placed.
But these rooms weren’t talking. After several tries, we gave up.
Later that day, Jane stopped by and put the rooms in perfect order in ten minutes flat.
With minor adjustments, they’ve stayed that way ever since.