Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Random bits

Just a few random observations of how things are going.

Made a rookie mistake a week ago. Set out for the rental agent’s office armed with nothing but an address. Had I learned NOTHING in the first week here??? I should have had the address, the nearest cross street, a couple of landmarks, a description of the building and the phone number so I could have the agent step out on the street and wave at us.

We found it, but it took two passes down the short street, and since it was on the ocean front, we only had to look at one side of the street so that helped. We finally resorted to getting out of the car and walking into any place that looked likely. That worked.


Tori and I left the house Wednesday without the map, very certain I’d have no trouble finding what I was after. Like the book says, pride goeth before a fall. Just needed to pick up a couple of things at the store and make copies of Tori’s resume. I’d been to this particular grocery store a couple of times, although I’d always approached from the opposite direction. How hard could this be?

After driving past what I thought should have been the turn at the gas station at La Riene, ,I began working my way back. Or thought that’s what I was doing. There are a couple of roads I feel sure about, so I just kept working south and west and I knew I’d come to Sunny Isle.

And kept driving. And driving. Look, this is a small island, I couldn’t go TOO far, could I? No, I was sure now. It’d be right down this road. I drove a little longer, and sure enough, there in front of me was ....

The gas station at La Riene. I had managed to drive in a fairly large circle, one that included most of the central part of the island, and never did figure out whether the shopping center I was after was inside that circle or not.

So we didn’t get the stuff for Millie to make chocolate rum cookies, or make copies of Tori’s resume. But we sure did find a roadside fish stand and for $20 headed home with a big damn red snapper, at least four pounds head and all.

Sometimes the journey turns out to be better than what you thought was the destination.


Because we couldn’t find the store, we didn’t get the things Millie needed to make her rum balls. But we scoured the pantry and came up with the ingredients for her to make the pineapple rum upside down cake. She had pulled a cookbook off the shelf and was bound and determined to cook something. I was bound and determined to let her.

Let me tell you, the pineapple rum upside down cake – with fresh pineapple, mind you, not canned, and bits of mango and just the right amount of rum (the local brand, Cruzan, made here on St. Croix and a LOT cheaper here than in Oregon) to offset the sweetness – magnificent! And the perfect topper to the grilled snapper we’d had for dinner. I could get used to this.

Tori has been posting teaching applications at all the schools we can find, and has a good feeling about the openings at The Good Hope School. It’s a beautiful campus with several openings she’d be perfect for. The woman in personnel was very encouraging.

Did I mention it’s a beautiful campus? I did? Well, let me say it again. It’s beautiful. Bright yellow buildings on a lawn strewn with trees and bushes. It has a theater (with fly space!) that is apparently one of the best on the island. For those who know us, this is obviously a big draw. We met at the theater, all our kids act, and the three youngest (Kate, Millie and Max) were all on stage in utero. The school’s mission statement emphasizes that academics aren’t the only thing in life and that they need to be augmented with “arts and athletics” – and lists them in that order. How often do schools get that right?

And it sits with its back to the most beautiful stretch of beach I’ve ever set foot on. Seriously, I don’t know how they get kids to concentrate with that outside the classroom windows. It’s just beautiful.

We’ve got our fingers crossed for this one.


When discussing the future, we often cross out fingers and say, “Cmooooon Chance!” Chance is the young adult novel I wrote that is under consideration at a pretty big publisher. (The book biz moves exceedingly slowly, so we’ve been saying “C’moooon Chance” for quite a while now.)

Yesterday while driving I changed it – discussing Tori’s job prospects I crossed my fingers and said, “C’mooon Good Hope!” for the school she wants to work at.

She smiled ruefully and said, “Isn’t it kind of funny that we’re pinning our future on Hope and Chance?”

John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur


Pat Kight said...

What better to pin your future on? Beats the hell out of, say, Doom and Gloom, which seem to be the guiding spirits back on the mainland these days.

We're having a hot summer; I was going to say "you're missing ..." but then I realized you probably aren't missing it at all. (-:

DirectorWho said...

Nah, you are NOT missing a thing. I wish I could 'follow my dream' as well, but oh, well, my wife and family are not quite as willing to leave tried and true, safe and same behind as y'all were.

Kep enjoying those sunsets, pineapple rum cakes and the freedom of the islands.

Oh, and as long as you are going on 'chance and hope', allow me to add my wishes for best of luck with the job situation.

Robert Cockroach Blair said...

Hope, chane,an eye on the compass, and your heart soaring amongst the clouds....what a glorious adventure. Although you are missed, I celebrate your sense of adventure.
May the Gods spit on others.....yarrrrr

Mimi Foxmorton said...

I highly approve of the red snapper.......