It’s hard to believe that we’re already at our three-month anniversary on St. Croix. It seems like just a few days ago that I met Tori, Janet and Max at the airport on July 1, having arrved with the girls just the day before. At the same time, it feels like we’ve been here far longer, that we’re home.
People have told us, “The first anniversary that matters is four months. By then you’ll know whether you’re likely to stay.” Others have advised us not to ship our personal belongings until we’ve been here at least six months because “what if you hate it and move back right away? You’ll just have to pay to ship it back.”
Well, that ain’t happening. We’re here. We’re home. We’re staying.
Tori loves her job teaching fourth, fifth and sixth graders at the Manor School. I’ve been in her classroom and she’s great at it, and the kids love her. I’m enjoying working for the VI Source, an online-only newspaper. I’ve covered some interesting news already, and I’m starting a really interesting series. All this while waiting for word (any day now, I’m told) that a publisher has finally purchased my novel. (Any word yet, Scott?)
Millie still wants to “go home,” but she’s – not coming around, that’s the wrong phrase. But she’s making friends – in fact today she’s going home after school for a couple of hours with a classmate. In fact, she got elected junior class vice president. That’s not quite as big a deal as it sounds, she’s one of only eight juniors, but still. And she’s attended a sweet sixteen party, and there are far too many boys hanging around her for my comfort.
Max is making friends at school, Kate worked two weeks as a temp, Alex is looking for work and as businesses gear up for the start of tourist season her chances are looking good. In the meantime, she’s already been called on twice to be a substitute teacher at Manor. We need to get Janet out more, it’s hard for her with her health, but she’s adapting.
Even our cat, Roger, is much happier here than the beach house, where the ever-present crash of the surf against the cliff drove him to distraction.
Tori and the girls go snorkeling almost every day after school, and they’ve had some terrific adventures that I’ll let her tell you about. I even got the situation with the bank resolved, and someday they might even let me have some of my money back. Banking here is like banking was 30 years ago in the states – they close at 3 p.m., they hold your check forever, stuff like that. (Any word on the book yet, Scott?)
But all in all, we’re making a life here. We recognize how lucky we are to have sold our home in Oregon to make this move – in fact, if we hadn’t sold when we did we might have lost it in this economy. We have landed on our feet.
And our feet are in the warm waters of the Caribbean. You can’t beat that.