Friday, March 13, 2009

Digging up from the past

I was looking at files on my computer and came across something I'd written almost 3 years ago to the day (March 18, 2006). I probably wrote this blurb to post on a message board (since I was not into blogging then, didn't even know what a blog was 3 years ago). In reading through what I'd written, I found some things are still the same, and some things have changed. I've put a strike-through on those things that no longer apply, and added words that tell how it is at this moment. Take a peek...
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Living on Isla reminds me of growing up in the late 50’s. Life seemed simple then (and probably was, since I was just a kid with no responsibilities). Here’s what I recollect of that era, and how Isla reminds me of those childhood memories…

Every day on Isla is summer. I loved summer as a child – bare feet, bathing suits, running through the hose, sweet flower blossoms, birds and bees and butterflies, picnics, playing outdoors, digging in the dirt, getting caught in the rain, puddles, sitting on the curb doing absolutely nothing, riding my bike and going nowhere in particular.

On Isla, my favourite shoe is a cheap flip-flop flip-flop Croc. My ever-expanding garden is alive with flowers, birds, bees, and butterflies…and iguanas and little lizards. The iguanas have names, and they live in their own holes in the top of the unfinished garden concrete block wall, where they hang out all day soaking up the sun. In the garden, plants are flourishing, and some are in various stages of attempted reproduction. Seeds have been planted, and each day we Miguel eagerly looks for signs of new growth. Sometimes the dog has decided that fresh soil is a good place to sleep and has totally disrupted the growth cycle of the seedlings. Or sometimes he decides that he is going to help, and pulls the cuttings out of the pots and chews them up. And then sometimes, a seed pops up where you don’t remember planting one – like the morning glory! Every morning we make a bet how many flowers will be there to greet the day (up to an average of 15 new blooms each morning now!) – the loser has to make the coffee.

There is a dog living at my house. He came uninvited after Hurricane Emily and decided that my house is where he was going to live, despite efforts to discourage him from moving in. When we locked the front gate on him so he would go back to wherever he came from, he simply squeezed in under the gate and settled on the patio, and I think he was laughing at us. Loco was here to stay, he had made up his mind about that! Now he is the block clown – a goofy dog who delights in racing around the neighbourhood street in front of the house playing with any selective dogs or cats that will participate. I am reminded of the days when I was a kid and dogs were allowed to be free. A free dog develops a social network with other dogs – they play together and defend each other when strangers threaten one of the gang. Loco’s routine is to run down the street looking for his buddies every morning, greeting them like they are long lost friends stay close to home unless it’s just to go down to the corner where he checks the rocks for an iguana. He marks his territory and also marks where he’s been just in case another dog is looking for him. If he’s feeling hot after a romp with a buddy, he heads down to the lagoon for a dip (but He HATES his bath at home!). And despite the fact that he is well-fed at home, he is still interested in sampling the (?) tasty garbage that other animals have infiltrated during the night (although he no longer brings those treats back home).

I don’t have a bicycle yet, but I do have a golf cart – one with a personality. Limey has staying power – he is ancient for a golf cart, and has regular scheduled and unscheduled trips to the mechanic every few weeks. Somehow Larry Roberto (my mechanic) always gets him back on his feet again, at very little varying cost. Loco (the dog – so named because he truly is crazy) loves riding on Limey; he has now figured out that the jingle of the keys me picking up my purse usually means that someone is heading out on Limey, and he smacks open the screen door and races to be first on the cart. Sometimes Limey starts right away, other times he has to be coaxed – Loco never loses patience waiting for that engine to ‘roar’ to life – and it’s always sort of a surprise so you have to be holding on in case Limey is going to take off on this particular try.

My favourite thing to do on Limey is just drive around the island – no particular destination, no reason, and Loco loves it too. Sometimes he just sits quietly on the floor facing forward enjoying the view, other times he puts his feet on the front hood, with ears flapping in the breeze and nose taking in all the good (I assume) smells. It’s a carefree, lazy way to spend an hour or so, and makes me feel like a kid again.

I love observing the kids on Isla - they play the way I used to play – with very little structure but lots of neighbourhood friends. They are free to be outside without an adult hovering over them all the time. They can just sit on a curb and daydream, or pick up a stick and poke it in a puddle, or walk around the block doing nothing in particular.

The magic of Isla is destined to change. Progress is change…and much of the progress is desired by the people of the island. In many ways it will make their lives ‘better’, by someone’s definition of ‘better’. I’m sure I will not like some of the change, but for now I’m enjoying the feeling of being a kid back in the 50’s again. And I’ve figured out that, for me, THAT is much of the charm of Isla!
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P.S. One of the non-charms about Isla is that WE STILL DON'T HAVE ANY WATER!!!

9 comments:

K.W. Michigan said...

I am so jealous!

Jamqueen said...

Sorry about the water situation--hope you get it back soon! Great piece--I'm sure you wrote it for a message board--great that you saved it!

Life's a Beach! said...

Sue, I've always loved your stories! And what I like about Isla is that it reminds me of my life growing up in a small town. The freedom, all the town characters, etc....

I cannot believe the island is still having the water issue. That is serious! I hope they get it solved because it's not like Isla has its own fresh water source. I can't imagine what it's like for tourists to go to the beach and then not be able to get that saltwater off of them! Itchy itchy! Or for you not to be able to get the everyday stuff done and flush the toilet without going to great lengths! Sounds like Survivor Island!

IslaZina said...

Buy a lot of baby wipes next time you are in Cancun and you'll be ready for the next time and for hurricane season!
Yes, it is a lot live living in our childhoods all over again. And in that time, if there was a problem, we could always crap in the bushes! Too bad it's so overcrowded here...

Vee said...

What a creative blog post, Sue. You do a great job documenting your experiences on the island. I loved this!

Bennie said...

Sue - What a great post. I love the way you let us look back at what it was like 3 years ago and see the current day at the same time. How creative.

Leslie said...

Sue, just this morning I was explaining to Lanny that your dialogs about living on the Ilsa sounded exactly like the world in which we grew up (50's & early 60s)as kids - when life was less stressful, kids could be kids, people were more friendly and open and there was a sense of honesty and trust in the neighborhood. I, too, am jealous!

Jackie said...

Excellant story. I really enjoyed it. I like that you left what no longer applied with the cross outs.

Sue said...

Thanks everyone. It's been a busy 3 days since family arrived (went to Cancun on Friday night and Saturday afternoon to meet and greet and accompany to the ferry). The water today is back to normal, lots of pressure to fill the tanks on their own, without the pump. The laundry is getting done, the floors are clean, the dishes are washed, and the family is showered. Just Loco is left to be bathed, and I hope he doesn't catch wind of the plan - as posted, he HATES his bath!

Appreciate your comments, as always - glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks!