Category Archives: Island Life

A Not-So-Small Family

There are so many people I want to say “goodbye for now” to before we move, and on Friday night, I had the chance to do that with a very special group of friends.

Not my friends from grade school, or college, or work (who are also special, of course).  The people I was with on Friday night have known me, literally, since the day I was born – they’re the friends my Mom and Dad grew up with.  But they’ve been such an influential part of my life – guiding me, shaping me, and rooting for me (even now, when I’m 40 years old!) – that I think of them as my friends first, and the fact that they came into my life by being friends with my parents is just coincidental.  Some of my first memories include not just my parents, but these guys and gals.

My parents were young when they got married and had me, and there were always people – these people – in the house, hanging out, watching a fight or a baseball game, or playing poker.  One of the staples of my parents’ get-togethers was my dad cooking a full-blown, Waffle House-style breakfast as things were winding down.  Very often, the smell of sausage and bacon would wake me up, so Mom and Dad would let me eat with everyone, and then put me back to bed.

My family, or at least the ones that I’ve been in contact with throughout my life, is small, and I’ve always envied people who have large families.  But I realized on Friday night that my family is pretty big, even if they’re not blood relatives.  These are as much my “aunts and uncles” as those who I share direct DNA with.

So, thank you, Leggs & Lisa, Ronnie & Libby, Manson & Sandy, Crazy Richard, Butch & Brenda, Wiley & Laura, Head & Wanda, and all the other friends of the “Eddie & Betty” show, for helping Mom and Dad out and for helping me get to where I am today.

7 Years Later

When Bill and I first visited the Virgin Islands in 2007, if someone had told us that less than 7 years later we would be moving there, I would have given them a list of reasons a football field long, complete with graphs and charts, as to why that was ridiculous.  It’s too expensive; our families would freak; we have big, important careers; we’re going to build our dream house; and on and on…

But here we are – about to make the biggest, and possibly craziest, move of our lives.  Despite our worries, our families didn’t disown us (seriously Mom, Dad, & Riley – thank you for not booting me out of the family), our friends still talk to us, and everyone we’ve told – from close friends to the produce guy at the local grocery store – has been amazingly supportive.

When I look back over the last few years at the seemingly devastating things that happened to us, I see now that these were just obstacles being moved out of the way.  Selling our house at the near-bottom of the housing bust.  (We did manage to do a little better than break even, so we’re lucky there, but we still feel we should have held out for more).  The crappy situation around my job loss in 2012.  The really shitty situation around Bill’s job loss last year (which makes my situation look like a day at the park).  Being financially able to build our dream house and having the market chew up our plans and spit them in our face.

But now we don’t have a house to keep us attached.  Bill doesn’t have his 18+ year career to tear himself away from.  And I’m no longer married to my job.  Sure, I like my job, but it’s just not the same as my 15-year career in automation.

So we’re selling the cars and some of the non-essential, non-sentimental stuff we’ve accumulated over the past 18 years. We’re packing up the things we’d want to come back to, if we come back.  And we recently bought a Jeep to take with us.  Now it’s time for us and the kitties (yes, all four!) to board a plane and step out on the other side as “temporary residents” of the British Virgin Islands – Tortola, Josiah’s Bay neighbourhood.

We would love to have company on our rock (seriously, otherwise we might kill each other), so drop me a line if you want to visit.