Monday, October 13, 2008

A 'funeral' in paradise

Written by Tori Baur

I had a funeral last week. Sad to say that Ginger, my 8 year old Mac laptop with the cool clamshell design, died. A few weeks ago, she exhibited some classic symptoms of failure - strange messages and crashes the likes of which I have never before seen on her screen - and then she died. I zapped her pram and control/alt/shift/option/started her, and repeatedly held her start button down, all of which felt like giving CPR to a DNR patient, but to no avail. I took her to the computer store where a gorgeous young man who looks like Orlando Bloom with the soul of Johnny Depp, told me she was as dead as dead can be and there was not much hope of reviving her unless I was willing to send her far away and pay more money than she was worth. I don't think Orlando Depp liked Ginger much as he sneered at how old she was and how old and slow she most certainly was. Well I told the pretty young lad that I was a little old and slow, but I wasn't ready for the scrap heap just yet.

So I mourned for about three whole minutes and then ran my fingers across the sleek new Macbook. (Thank you, John. We bought it with his Jeopardy money.) I named her Tallulah. While Tallulah doesn't have the quaint clamshell look that I so loved in Ginger, she is pretty damned sleek. And I got the clamshell carrying case in memory of Ginger; may she rest in peace.

I sound like an advertisement for a Macintosh, but that is part of the reason I haven't written a blog entry in while.

The other reason is I have been busy living in paradise. I have been teaching 4th, 5th, and 6th grade at The Manor School which is a trip in itself and an English teacher's nightmare. Suffice it to say the Cruzan dialect is not given to using standard English. More about that later...

The other reason I have been so busy is I have discovered snorkeling. I try to go every day. It is my reason for living. Weather permitting, almost every day after school I rush home, then hit the beach. I don my mask, snorkel and flippers, float atop the reefs and watch the underwater world ebb and flow and swim on by. And when I say I float on top of the water, I do mean float. It is amazing how buoyant one is in the Caribbean waters. I think it has something to do with the high salt content in the water, and it feels so amazing, almost Christ-like to be able to stay securely on top of the water, never sinking, just floating. And the things I have seen while in this state of bliss!

Green Sea Turtles feasting, giant five-six feet long (not including the tail) spotted Eagle-Rays, jellyfish, huge alien-looking color changing squid, Angelfish, lobster, big-eyed Balloon fish, coral - soft coral, brain coral, hard coral - and a plethora of fish and plants of all different colors, shapes and sizes. What really blows me away is how close to the shore all this underwater life is! Literally just a few feet off the sand there may be three hundred fish, perhaps seventeen different varieties darting in and out of rocks in just a few feet of water. In some places, you can just stand ankle deep and little blue and yellow fish dart between your ankles. Giant brain coral grows just a few yards out, and empty conch shells litter the beach. And the water is so warm and clear. And the beaches are so beautiful and empty. And I feel so lucky to be here doing what I am doing and seeing what I am seeing everyday, and feeling like I feel everyday.

It is a damn good life.

Sure, it is a lot of work. I get up early now. The mosquitos are beyond a nuisance. The power goes out occasionally due to inclement, worrisome tropical storm weather. We have to lock our gate, and the roosters never shut-up. (They constantly crow their merry morning song, which sounds a lot like the opening theme music of the 'Odd Couple.' We always hum the second part of the Odd Couple song after the cock crows it's predictable, opening melody. Try it next time you hear a rooster 'cock-a-doodle-doo'.) So yeah. Some things about living on a tropical island are a pain in the ass. But it is worth it to enter the blue, blue water almost every day and float above and look below at the life under the sea.

So if you don't hear from me for a while, you know where I am.



Robin said...

love your description of snorkeling. It was like being there. Thanks.

Jennifer said...

Ooh! I think you saw a cuttlefish...that would be the alien looking, color changing squid. How cool!

Pat Kight said...

Conch shells on the beaches ... sounds like great Giftmas presents for the folks back home!