Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain

In Saint Croix, however, the rainclouds appear to stay mainly above my house. It’s supposedly the “dry season” here on island, but we get dumped on at least twice a day. This might be due to my mad Rain Dancing abilities, or simply the area in which we live. But regardless, we are lucky.

Yes, water is a precious commodity here on island.  Which sounds so strange:  we are surrounded by water yet it is so strictly conserved by the inhabitants.  Regardless, my family gets our entire water supply from the rain that is captured in the cistern  pipes (UV filtered, that’s a big score) atop our house .  It is then heated by the solar panels on our roof.  So far we have yet to run out, but it is a looming threat.  If you run dry you have to resort to ordering your water, and then a truck delivers it for all the neighbors to see and scoff at you and your shitty conservation skills.

I’m a rain lover by my Floridian pedigree, especially love a good night shower.  But my love has taken on a new shape since my move to STX.  Now when I hear the pitter-patter of little raindrops, I think “Ahhh, I can take a shower for 5 minutes instead of 3 today!” and “Heck yah, that’s like two loads of laundry!”

Chris is a natural at this water conservation business.  He has actually mastered the art of the “Caribbean Shower.”  In other words he turns the shower on so he’s fully saturated, then turns it off.  Soaps up, then turns it back on.  Then out he goes.  I have not brought myself to the point of the Caribbean Shower yet, but I do move as quickly as possible.  Gone are the days of languorous soaks in a huge garden tub.  A friend of mine back home told me she took a 30 minute shower and I could no longer wrap my mind around it. In fact, I’m actually buying a container to capture the next deluge so that I can fill up the kids’ baby pool without guilt.  Times, they are a’changin’.

Before I moved here I thought that the whole cistern bit and having to be so miserly about your water would be a huge pain in the ass.  It sort of is, but the other side of the coin is that I feel much more connected to this precious resource.  It is no longer just something that I assume will always flow from the faucet the minute I need to wash a dish.  And it doesn’t come from “somewhere”.  It comes from the sky, when the sky feels gracious enough.

Yes, it is sad that it took me 32 years to really feel connected to the resource that does the minor job of sustaining all life and life processes, but I’m trying to make up for it.  Now when it rains, I strip the kids down and we all run outside.

Cutest butt ever

They love it, and I chase them around with soap so I can count it as their shower for the day (ok, more like every other day.)  Win-win.

– MM

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The White Lights Lead to Red Lights Which Lead to an Exit

As you will come to see, I tend to be pretty randomly generated, particularly when it comes to titles.  My inclination is to make them as relevant as possible to the subject matter, but then I will always think of something that sounds nicer or catchier, and will thus inevitably sit torn as to which to pick…until I just decide on something altogether different and most likely altogether random.  This very quality is probably what makes me notoriously rotten at multiple choice tests, but I digress.

If this post’s title sounds familiar that’s because it is.  You hear this phrase on airplanes in regard to the exit strategy, yet the poetic rambling of it sounds like the tinkle of silver bells, which, coincidentally, happened to be one of the forerunners for the title of this post.

Now that we have come full circle, I want to talk about our first Christmas on island.  It was, in one word, sizzling.

Yes, it was pretty damn hot.  Probably 83-ish or so.  But it was also quite a hit.  At least, amongst our little family of 4.  This was the first year that the kids really “got it” in terms of there being something exciting and new not only inside the pretty paper (a treasure all on its own) that was wrapped around the box (already the perfect gift), but there was also something inside the box itself.  What sweet dimensions of glory!

The most impressive gift to the boys was probably the pimp ride Power Wheels waiting for them in the driveway, delivered from Santa’s sweet sleigh with a radio pumping calypso Caribbean beats, wooing them to its chromed-wheeled wonder.  Holden literally squeaked when he first saw it, which of course, set my heart beating wildly on course.

The idea was that Holden would drive Casey all around the long and isolated streets that line our house, while Chris and I followed behind, sipping a drink and marveling at how quickly they’d grown up and gotten their own set of wheels.  And, for once, a plan we hatched involving our children panned out exactly as we’d intended.

Casey did not throw himself from the vehicle in terror.  Holden did not drive into a palm tree.  In short, a Christmas miracle.

caddy

In fact, so far the only issue of circumstance was when Holden suddenly lost complete interest in the fact that he was driving in favor of an enthusiastic salutation to the moon.  Yes, he spied that large fingernail-shaped orb, threw his hands up like someone at a Def Leppard concert circa 1985, and screamed “HI MOOOOOOOON!”  But I really wouldn’t call that an error at all, in fact, I’d say that moment where he abandoned his ride in favor of his mysticism would amount to a large check in the cosmic scorecard of parenthood.  And besides, he had a parent on either side of him, to take over the steering while he attended to greater matters.

In the few months we have lived on this rock I myself have started to take notice of any pimp rides such as Mercedes, BMWs, etc that I see parked or driving past me as I fart by in my silver Nissan beater.  Have I grown more materialistic, pray tell, having moved to a slower, supposedly-less materialistic way of life?  No, actually.  It is that there are so so so few of these fancy cars (whereas in Austin they were cutting you off every 5 minutes on the road) that they stand out like a puffed-out, ridiculous, peacock amidst the banged-up (the subject of potholes will be a post all to themselves), dinged-in (parking lots aren’t exactly spacious), salt-worn jalopies that is the signature fleet of Saint Croix.  And we aren’t talking about just the impoverished here…no one gives a shit what you drive, we are too busy staring at the sea, or the moon, or possibly pondering how the fuck milk can cost $7 a half gallon.

Otherwise, we spent our vacation playing with our new toys:

Holden was a good sport about doing this "baby" puzzle with Casey

Chris's Favorite Gift: Pendant I got Him Courtesy of Sun Lyon Studio: https://www.facebook.com/sunlyonstudio

My Favorite Gift: Beautiful Boxes with Spa Certificates!

And at the Beach (shocker):

Getting Toppled by Casey at Cane Bay

Holden Misfit with Yogurt and organic (ok i'm lying) Cheeseits.

Holden Misfit with Yogurt and organic (ok i'm lying) Cheeseits.

Chris toppled by Casey

Chris toppled by Casey

Love,

Misfit Mom