Yup, that mostly-metal monolith in Saint Croix– the sprawling factory that contributed millions annually to the VI government and stood as a kind of 2001 Space Odyssey-like beacon for many people seeking a professional vocation– is closing up shop. And with it goes Chris’s jobby job.
I am not going to dwell on the reasons why or the implications for the island, since I am neither a shareholder, fortune teller, nor spokesperson, but many fear this is a kind of doomsday for STX. With over 2,000 people (includes contractors) on a 50,000-people-island now laid off, it is tough to argue with what appears to be the logical conclusion of increased crime and depressed economics. Still, many folks are hopeful that the island will pull through with the same stoic spirit shown during the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo. I desperately hope that the latter prevails.
Regardless, my family will sadly not be here to take part in the island’s renaissance, because of that whole needing a job to feed the kids thing. So, it amounts to an adventure cut off at the knees. The upshot??? Chris gets to keep the green jumpsuit. And oh do I have plans for that thing. Think the gnome in “Amelie,” only as a jumpsuit…that is industrial green.
So you might be asking yourself what one thinks after moving from Texas to the Caribbean and then finding themselves needing to move again in a mere 6 months?
The exact recipe of one’s musings is: half parts dumb shit. Other half lucky stiff.
Dumb Shit Interior Monologue:
We just unpacked that last box and the second car ISN’T EVEN HERE YET. In fact it will never be here. What if there are no jobs to be found elsewhere? What if the jobs to be found are somewhere really crappy and industralized? Woe is me, woe is me, pity party. Better shed a salty tear into the salty ocean while I still have it. Ok, moving on.
Lucky Stiff Interior Monologue:
I’m such a lucky biotch. Chris was home every. single. night. We ate dinner together as a family every. single. night. Even if he has to go back to the musician’s (consultant’s) life on the road, at least there was this half a year of sweet normalcy wrapped within an amazing adventure.
After all, how many people get paid to move and and live in the Caribbean for half a year? How many toddlers have a vernacular consisting of the regular use of: gungalo, hermit crab, iguana, bush cat, moko jumbie, sea grape, high tide, and a sundry other free, wild, and incredible words? Not many. I am positive that my kids will remember the transition from the primal fear of roaring waves and gritty sand, to the ecstasy of jumping madly into the waves like a long lost best friend they just saw not more than two days ago (but it seemed like an eternity.)
We were warned many times by well-intended veterans to check our idealism at the door when we moved here, and I am so grateful we didn’t heed that advice. Of course, we had the benefit of living what amounts to an extended vacation, so there wasn’t much time for the silver to tarnish. Yes, electricity and milk are nearly triple the price of mainland, but such is the price of living on a rock in the middle of the bluest blue sea your mortal eyes will ever behold. We cut back and didn’t spend money on useless crap. Voila, a life was made.
To make an analogy, you know in the film adaptation of “Contact” where Jodie (arguably) dies and is standing on her beach version of heaven? Yeah that. Every day.
So where will the next adventure lead? Not to the unemployment line, ideally.
Maybe to the apple crisp smelling-mountains…
Maybe to the fireplace-cold…
Possibly to a sunset over a desert that sprawls red and forever…
After all, there is such a lot of world to see.
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I do know that after a nearly 10-year period in the same town, this precious adventure has been a soothing balm to my wanderlusting soul, and I hope we will always maintain an ongoing relationship with the island, even if must be just the occasional summer vacation. And even if the next step puts us right back where we started in the ole Lonestar State (grumble grumble.)