When it rains… it pours

We try to jump the car first thing in the morning… which took some super finagling to get Blakes car close enough to mine to jump… because naturally I had it parked in the most inconvenient way…anyways- we hook up our new jumper cables (wedding present from our knight in shining armor-Janet). Although, much to my dismay, the car didn’t start… I take a look under the hood as if I am going to see something screaming st me “THIS IS THE ISSUE!”… unfortunately there was not.

My family makes it back to their respective homes safely, although very tired. When my parents and brothers got off their plane in Albany, NY they were greeted by Channel 13 news!! My mom happened to be on here phone with me and we all got interviewed about the tropical wedding with uninvited guest maria!
See link for the news coverage!
http://wnyt.com/news/hurricane-maria-st-croix-davidson-family-glens-falls-wedding-paradise/4615129/?cat=10114

It aired on Tuesday evening on the 5:30 and 6:00 news… pretty cool! A different type of wedding video to add to our wedding scrapbook ūüėČ

I returned to work on this day as well. We have a generator at work allowing us running water and power…including AC…what a treat! The scramble will continue over the next few weeks/months locating patients, making sure they are okay and rebuilding our caseload. We got this though ??

 

We get home and lifesaver Janet arrives to help with the car situation. Naturally, when she tries to jump it- IT WORKS!! Turns out it’s the battery after all!!

Now… what do you think are the odds that we get a battery for my car following the devastating aftermath of hurricane Maria?

Are they on the manifest?! Part 2

Yes. I used the same title again. This was a phrase I literally uttered for nearly 24 hours. We truly, did not know, until the end if the family was, indeed, on the flight manifest.

SO, as mentioned,¬†Blake and I get up early to go speak to family members about getting their luggage together and being ready¬†to be at the airport in the *hopes* of getting on the charter plane. It was all up in the air for a few hours if everyone will get on or not. We got to the airport around 1030am… just to be safe!

While waiting for the plane… we hear a friendly “Blake and Erin??”
And it’s Father Lois! We spent 6 months of pre-marital classes with him. He became our good friend and it was planned for him to marry us September 21. He was still out of time with the thrown together wedding occurred so I nervously tell him that we has been married before the storm, he states that of course he understands and assumed we had made other arrangements but will marry us in the eyes of the church when everything settles on the island. Father Lois was able to meet the family and wished Nanny and Poppy a happy 60th anniversary. Fate made him meet my family after all and I am so grateful¬†for that.

While the family is waiting for the plane- I head over to the office to check to see if the generator works and to make sure everything looks okay. After some playing around I was able to get the generator up and running… but being a little uneasy about being at the office alone and slightly fearful of looters… I saved the rest of office prep for tomorrow, when I knew I’d have other people around. The office is fine and we plan to be back up and running in no time.(yay!!)

Aunt Jo, uncle Ed, David and heather were able to get on a flight c130 due to david and uncle Ed being retired military and then, finally, around 430 the rest of family members were securely on plane to Atlanta.

Meanwhile, once I felt secure that the family was on there way,¬†I go back to the condo to clean out their fridge and freezer and Blake continues to help orchestrate everything at the airport. He somehow became in charge and an important piece of making everything happen…(look how cute he looks there!)

I get home and an unloading my car listening to governor Mapps daily address… when my car dies.(are you kidding me?!)

I finally broke down. Body-shaking, tears-falling-full flown cry.
Now that my family is safe and heading home, I take a second to really look at what has happened this past week.
I feel so terrible that this wasn’t the fun beach vacation that we had planned for everyone, that our week off was anything but relaxing, that our families were spending so much extra money to get off the island than had anticipated.

 

It’s finally sinking in what we just went through and I’m not liking how it’s feeling.

I am a hurricane Survivor

Did my morning hike up to the cell service spot(on the talking rock) this morning… only to find there was no cell service. I sat patiently (okay not so patiently) for 10 minutes turning my phone on and off before disappointedly making the hike back down..
Blake and I listened to radio by attaching headphones to our phone to create an antenna hoping and praying for an ounce of good news. Heard this quote this morning.¬†“Today’s a good day and tomorrow will be a better day”… I hope this is true!
¬† ¬†¬†I finally gave in and did “laundry” today with 3 buckets: one bucket for wash cycle and two buckets for rinse cycle. I was able to get three loads done, but didn’t even make a dent in the storm towels and the clothes of the 5 people living in Chez Blerin. Blake set up the clothes lines that everyone made fun of me for putting on our wedding registry..who’s laughing now?
Promptly at 12, well a bit earlier if I’m being honest, we set out to the families condo for our 4 hours of freedom.
Today’s goal? Medication for Poppy and cash from the ATM.
We drive about 13 miles to the ATM and while standing in line the beautiful singing of cell phone texts alerts begins. I am realize I happen to be next to a pharmacy and race over to see if they will fill Poppy’s medication
I wait in the long “drop off” line before making it to the front and presenting the pharmacist with a cell phone list of medications¬†that poppy¬†takes.
Knee jerk reaction the answer was “no” no refill without pill bottles or scripts. After explaining that the list came directly from the pharmacy (thanks to my cousin who called and the list)
They agree to fill the medications for a week to hold Poppy over.
Four hours later, medication filled and cash revived. Another successful use of our 4 hours of freedom.
Upon returning to the families condo, we are presented with another win- cell phone service is back at their condo… unfortunately, it is not back at my house secondary to someone stealing the generator to the ATT Cell tower…seriously?
I made another climb up to the rock at 6pm for final texts and questions before dark. I am tired of worrying about cutting myself on the barbed wire and find some wire cutters to cut it… succeed and the path becomes a little more safe (small win?).
Encouragement continues from my boss to stay in island ready to return to work, while Blake’s boss urges Blake to get off island to be able to work… continued “should I stay or should I go” dilemma for the newlyweds..
Today’s Realization: I am a hurricane victim and survivor.

The Price to live in Paradise

Okay! It’s been a hot minute since I posted. Here goes.

The price to live in paradise: It can be quite hefty.

I have been on island one year and one month. In that brief time, I have had several good friends leave the island and many factors have played a part:

  • Job Satisfaction
  • Family
  • Convenience
  • Money (both in jobs and cost of living)
  • Or maybe simply it was always a short term thing

Let’s talk about the first one real quick, as I see it a lot. Why is it so hard for professionals to find happiness in their jobs down here? The equation seems so easy. Well, when one of the main variables are missing, job satisfaction is not achieved. Imagine if several are missing? Sounds miserable.

Some people have the ability to move to paradise and not have to work as hard as they once used to. That is awesome and definitely a goal of mine. Many of us don’t have that option right now and are forced to get super creative to find job satisfaction while maintaining a particular lifestyle in this paradise.

Not everyone has the patience, time, or resources to “get creative” while pursuing job satisfaction and unfortunately this leads to a very large turn over on the island.¬†

Second is family. Both maintaining the family you have and the thoughts to expand your family. Being away from aging parents and close siblings can be so hard. It is something I struggle with often. If you read my family post, you know family is extremely important to me. Likewise, expanding your family down here can be super exciting, but very scary too.

Money. Ah, the root of all evil. Paradise can be expensive. Nothing else needed here.

Some people move down here knowing its temporary. It could be for the season, for a year, or simply for a week. However long, goodbye is inevitable.

It’s hard saying goodbye, and unfortunately, it is another price you pay to live in paradise. There are constant goodbyes.

We just said goodbye to yet another great couple of people. They are some of the very first people I met when I moved to this island and happened to be my next door neighbors.

I am a firm believer that if you are not happy with something in your life then fix change it. I am happy my friends are moving on to, hopefully, bigger and better things, but they will be sorely missed.

I am sure that the longer I am on island the harder my goodbyes will be.

For me, I will continue to work on being creative to maintain happiness¬† and continue to “pay” the prices of paradise¬†to prevent myself from having to be the one who says goodbye. I will continue to say goodbye to people that I¬†have created many memories with and I will continue to make to new friends.

 

 

 

 

DIY Valentine’s Dinner

I learned a lesson this weekend: It is OKAY when plans fall through or change. (Don’t get TOO¬†excited…this is a lesson I¬†will continue to learn over and over again…but I am trying!)

Blake and I had had a few discussions about where we were going to celebrate Valentine’s day. After a few failed attempts at dinner reservations, Blake decides he does not want to go out to dinner.

After all, we had just spent a week away in Old San Juan, how many times do we need to go out¬†to dinner in one week? My knee jerk reaction was… “buuuut its Valentine’s Day, that’s what you do on Valentine’s day!”

I immediately thought¬†he was saying Valentine’s Day isn’t important to him and assumed he was brushing it off: WRONG!

We had probably one of the best dinners we have had, to date, on this little island.

Blake and I are blessed to have an adorable patio with a killer view, making for one great atmosphere for a Valentine’s Day dinner.image

Together, we chose a menu that included some of both of our favorites. Blake chose steak and I chose mushroom risotto. We threw some locally grown green beans in for a healthy side. We had just purchased imagesome at the Argrifest earlier that day.

We had so much fun decorating the patio and cooking the dinner, I didn’t miss going out one bit. Anyone that knows me, knows, that I love getting dressed up. This is one the main reasons I like going out to dinner. Any imageexcuse to wear a dress! Luckily, Blake knows me and we even got dressed up for this special dinner.

Sometimes staying home can be just as, if not even more, special than going out to dinner. We were on our own time, no one bothering us, and no rush to go home and free up the table at the restaurant.

imageValentine’s day is about doing something special¬†with someone you love..and that is exactly what we did.

“The real world”

I think I need to start with my life post college and pre St. Croix to paint the picture that ultimately brought me to where I am.

I am not one of those people that will say “college was the best days of my life”. I remember being in college thinking “this can’t be as good as it’s going to get.” Don’t get me wrong, I had fun, made some great friends and have some great memories, but I could not wait to be an “adult” and to be in the “real world”.

My first taste of the “real world” is a memory that¬†I don’t think I will ever forget…

Sitting in class just days before being our doctoral hooding, the financial aid office shows up with big fat envelopes for every student. The envelope contained the grand total amount of student loans we had accrued over the last 6 years and the reminder that we had a short 6 month grace period before we had to start paying back this unfathomable amount of money.

image

My grand total was about $200,000.00. Yes, there is the proper amount of decimals and commas in there. (I will be going into much greater details about my loans…stayed tuned)

I didn’t know how I was going to pay this off.. But I knew where I was going to start.

Travel Physical Therapy.

I have so much to say about traveling PT, it warrants its own post.