After our recent cruise, my family and I spent a week in Puerto Rico visiting relatives. Well, actually, rumor has it that if you’re Puerto Rican you’re probably related to everyone on the island so I’m always careful not to say I’m Puerto Rican so I don’t have to visit everyone. (laughing)
Our first stop was my uncle’s house. He lives in Comerio and moved here with his wife about a year ago. From city boy to country boy he is adjusting quite well living on 2 acres. His wife on the other hand is more like me — she does not like bugs so the adjustment for her has been a bit harder.
My uncle’s house is typical for the island with tiled floors inside and outside. The coquis (small frogs that live on the island) can be heard (very loudly) at night. Even during the day you might hear one or two croaking for a mate. Roosters crow all day long too — except if it rains. This was a new revelation to me.
Young trees and herbs are planted in old tires to protect them from lizards that try to munch on them.
All of the houses I saw in this neighborhood had acreage. One house looked like it was embedded on the side of the hill. Too scary for me.
Across the street are different colored houses. I enjoy driving past all the vivid colored houses. It gives me an upbeat feeling.
After unpacking and visiting for awhile, my uncle drove us around the old “hood” — places where he, my mother and the rest of their siblings grew up.
When my uncle was a little boy, he would cross a bridge that was manned by an “old” man. Everyone had to pay a nickel in order to cross the bridge although he said it was much smaller than it is now. I’m not sure if he remembers correctly though as Wikipedia says the bridge has been there since 1908 and my uncle is not that old.
According to my uncle, on the other side of the hill (pictures above) is a cave that you can walk through and get to this side of the hill. I’ll have to check that out the next time I’m in Puerto Rico. It sounds quite adventurous.
The creek below is where my mother and sisters used to do the laundry while pounding the clothes on these rocks.
A lot of families live in large houses like the one below. Living with extended family in Puerto Rico is a common occurrence.
One of the saddest stories I heard from different relatives on the island is about the fighting that goes on for one’s inheritance. The inheritance law stipulates that when the father dies 50% of the property goes to the mother (if living) and 50% goes to the children that are alive. Throughout the island you can see many homes like the one below that are abandoned. Many families squabble over their portion and would rather let the houses deteriorate than “give in.” This one is in a prime location — right across from the river.
One thing I learned while I was in Puerto Rico was that my father (who left us when I was 5 years old) has land and a house here although he lives in Massachusetts. This means that I am entitled to part of that property when he passes away. The property is in the middle mountainous portion of Puerto Rico near where my uncle lives. I will be following up on this soon as my father is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s and the property will have to be distributed shortly after he dies.
It was a long day riding through the curvas (mountain curves). There are so many of them and people don’t drive slowly even when the road only allows for one car at a time. Quite scary. I’m glad I didn’t have to drive the whole time we were here.
Time to sleep and listen to the coquis of Puerto Rico.