Cavtat – my forever home

Do you believe it Fate? I certainly know it is true that Fate played a part in finding a forever home for Abby and me. We returned to Croatia in early October. We stayed in a tourist rental, and I gave myself a month to search for a permanent nest. Since I once again had a valid driver’s license, a rental car made the search so much easier. I beat the bushes hunting for a rental which would allow me to keep Abby. Many property owners only rent during high season which means the units are empty in the winter. Often renters are required to move out by late spring. Believing that it would be hard to live that kind of way; I was concerned I would be left to sleep at the local park. Not appealing, to say the least!

My end of my month was drawing closer and concerned my options had run out, but like other things in life, just when you are afraid something won’t work out…..I fell into the perfect forever home. Driving down the road I almost missed seeing a woman step into the street. It was Fate that Tanja were destined to run into each other. I stopped to chat, she inquired if I was still looking for a rental. She had a small studio available on the ground level and was I interested? My body began to tremble with joy as I said “Yes, I will move in the first of November!” I had not even seen the space but knew immediately it was going to be our forever home. The building is on the sea side, with a dramatic view of Mrkan Island and I now have named it the ‘podrum’ (cellar). Sitting here at my desk, I gaze out my window at our radiant blue Adriatic, I feel at peace again. I have my sea views!

Terrace View

Terrace view

Tanja and Sara, her charming daughter, live above my podrum and are perfect neighbors. Tanja, the owner of Lux Travel, is an expert tour guide and works diligently during high season. Once November arrives, like most workers here, she spends the month resting from working seven days a week nonstop. Tanja is a beautiful gracious woman raising her daughter with love and respect. Sara has become my treasure walking Abby between her studies and dance lessons. They both adore Abby and she is welcome into their home, no restrictions. They respect my privacy, as I do for them. I am beyond fortunate to have them in my life.

The Markoni family who graciously welcomed me into their lives as a friend immediately years ago are nearby. Mara, husband Tonci, son Antonio and daughter Niki and her husband Dubi are a family unit which is welcoming and loving. I enjoy our precious time together when I visit them in their beautiful penthouse apartment, my description since it is the top floor. Their open heart welcomed me with no hesitation and no expectations. Mara begins each visit with freshly brewed coffee and a plate of homemade goodies offered immediately. Tonci and Antonio put my previous desk together, grumbling and laughing at the lack of instructions. Niki is a beautiful soul; she shines golden and her husband Dubi, is a prankster who loves to make me laugh. Their new baby, Leona, a welcome addition to this family, adored and cherished completes a three generation family unit.

My beloved Milicevic family, four generations living together in their spacious family home, is a short easy stroll down the road. Their home was mostly destroyed during the 1991 war. All that remained of the 4-story structure was the first floor. This unique family rebuilt their lives and home together with no assistance. Danica, the matriarch of the family, has become my close and loving friend and I spend many hours with her listening to her early life stories. During the Christmas holidays I had the pleasure to photograph their Christmas display on the terrace. Every year her son, Grga, designs and creates his vision for his family, friends and neighbors to enjoy. My first sight of the smile and open arms of Danica makes my heart soar each time I visit. The home is filled with a great-grandchild sitting on the floor playing with the many new toys. The men are sitting at the dining table, wine and liqueurs and plates of homemade goodies made by Jela, as they swap stories and more laughter, and hugs and kisses greet my arrival. Danica and I sit together, along with her daughter from Korcula and more grandchildren. Plates arrive for me, Dalmatian prosciutto, goat cheese, warm bread fresh from the oven and sweets, enough food for an army. More wine for me as I sit closely to Danica in the newly remolded kitchen/parlor/dining area. Again, I am welcomed as a dear friend, hugs and kisses have made my visit more than just special. I know I am cherished and loved by my new families in my forever home, Cavtat.

Podrum apartment

My podrum apartment