These days I have little time to write about living on my island, because of all the living I am doing.
"Life on the island" has become just "life". Throwing our garbage in a dumpster has quickly become a daily routine, and taking anything longer than an 4 minute shower seems excessive. When I went back to the states for a wedding it seemed completely weird that I could not take my beer along in the car, and going into a Target felt overwhelming.
I go to the beach and can recognize the hotel towels, and can point out a tourist just by their sunburn marks. I no longer get upset when the power goes off, but find myself in disbelief when it hasn't.
A spider is no longer a big surprise until it is larger than my flipflop, and a lizard is no longer an oddity, but more like a squirrel back in Illinois, something that is there, that you hope you don't run over, as not to have to explain death to the child.
I've been to the villa in the Virgin Gorda again, with new friends, new friends to keep for life. Children are everywhere, and Scarlett has blossomed from a two year old baby to an incredible 4 year old little girl.
I've been back to Illinois and it no longer felt like home. My family has gone from a shattered mess to a chosen mosaic, with visitors from Long Island, Illinois, and cruise ships, to my sweet parents that work tirelessly to make certain that we are cared for, from a far, by shipping everything we need, and right here, through hours of travel.
Scarlett had a "jellyfish birthday party" and as I looked around at all the 50 some people that came to celebrate her life, I was grateful for the loving arms that wrap around us here, two way street kind of love. These people love us well. We came for the beaches and stay for the people.
Jason and I had our first three day weekend away from Scarlett at the beautiful Caneel Bay on St. John, the best hotel I have ever stayed in, we laughed and drank, and ate fabulous food, without running after a child, managing a spill, or interrogating a chef about his usage of peanuts.
I have been to Nashville twice, once for a ridiculous Stef Shenanigans trip, and once for a bachelorette party for my sister Janice, both incredible drunken adventures. We've hired an amazing teacher for Scarlett two days a week, she teaches her letters, numbers, and how to be with someone other than me or my momma for any length of time, and I love her, she is a serious gift. I am so grateful to get a little piece of "me" back from motherhood.
The people do come and go on this rock, there is a constant flow of new friends and sadness of watching the ones go off on new adventures. It feels good to constantly have newness, and I am slowly getting people to visit all over the world.
One thing I have learned over these 38 years is I CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH FRIENDS, they are the backbone of my life.
Stef comes again in November, there is nothing quite like a friend that knows your whole history, the whole story, and still will be seen standing by you, I count those days. We leave for California at the end of October, first to get a "new brother" at my sister's wedding, then to travel the coast to San Francisco.
Why not? I haven't been up that coast since my fourth birthday when all I wanted was to see my brother, and he wasn't even there, he was in Kansas City with his grandparents, he was always hard to surprise.
I'll be thinking a lot about him when I drive up that coast, thinking of him surfing all those beaches, whoring around, and skate boarding everywhere, last time, all I thought about was McDonalds, and when my parents would spring for my happy meal. That was back before it was cheaper to eat there than to buy real food.
I try hard to think about what it might have been like if we hadn't moved here, but that life is so long gone, I miss my people there, but I know the people who want to be with me or that I want to be with find a way, miles is a mere piece of red tape, easily cut with will.
This is the life I wanted.