Whaddyadoallday? Real Life on a Desert Island Rotating Header Image

July, 2021:


Last week and this week and potentially the week after that….what I am/will be doing all day is packing.

About two weeks ago we received an inquiry by phone on behalf of someone who saw the house earlier this year. They made a verbal offer. That would not normally cause a frenzy of activity because if a foreigner buys property here, they have to apply for and be approved for an Alien Land Holding License. That process can take months. However, this buyer is Anguillian. That means we are just a couple of Anguillians transferring property to another Anguillian.  According to the Purchase/Sale Agreement the closing has to occur no later than August 6th.

The buyer arrived on island on July 1st. And at 11:30A on July 2nd we signed the Sale/Purchase agreement. We are only waiting on the bank approval. As soon as that comes through for her, we would prefer to close as quickly as possible. We are very ready to get back to the States and see friends and family that we haven’t seen in forever. Plus the longer we delay the greater the risk of an adverse event such as (1) a tropical storm or (B) another COVID outbreak/lockdown.

Meanwhile, we have been making the rounds every day salvaging boxes from various retail establishments. There is no convenient container store-type source of packing boxes. So we have little ones and big ones and flimsy ones and sturdier ones. And we have to keep track of every box that we pack with a number and contents for both Anguilla (yes apparently we need to ‘clear’ our belonging to leave the island) and US Customs. We will have to get special clearance and pay three different duties and excise taxes (State and Federal) on the wine and liquor we import into the US. (though there will be no duty on the California wines because they were made in the US – duh – nobody goes abroad and then brings back domestic wines!) The cars need to be sold. The business needs to be shut down. And on and on and on.

So, as has always been the case in our twenty years on this island, we are doing everything you would be doing to pack up and move all of your earthly possessions after accumulating more and more and more over those two decades….the packing, the sorting, the tossing, the donating….and then some. Always the “and then some” part added to the process here.

And then yesterday we threw in some cleaning and ended up hosting a bit of a party. The buyer emailed in the morning to ask if she could bring a couple of family members and friends by to show them the property. Since the house looked a bit like 5 or 6 bombs had gone off, I spent a couple of hours tidying it up and tossed some (French ‘dutiable” ) wine in the fridge. Mid-afternoon she alerted us to the fact that a few folks might have turned into a bit of a parade as everyone wanted to see it…..and she, like all Anguillians, has a lot of cousins.

What might have seemed like an imposition turned into a blessing. She clearly loves the property with that teary-eyed joy at the thought of owning this house and this view…..just like we always did in those early days of wonderment when we would whisper to each other, “Can you believe we live here?” (I still walk around and think, “I love this house” almost every single day. ) Her friends and family spread out all over the house and the veranda and the deck. And laughed and talked like hasn’t happened here in a long time. They were all lovely and enthusiastic and thrilled for her and thanked us for building the house and for creating the home and for passing it on to her.

So that now as I write this my heart is both melancholy and cheerful at the same time. There is always sadness in leaving something but the one thing that can offset that is knowing that the next person will love it as much as you.