Monday, March 16, 2009

Remote - well, it can be Remote!

I have found that living on an island, in spite of the presence of a population of approximately 15,000 people, it still gets lonely.  We live, as I have stated before, on the far southeast end of the island and outside one farm back in the mountains, we have the only habitable house here.  So there are benefits and drawbacks. 

First, the benefits:  we are away from populated areas thus avoiding barking dogs, crowing roosters, constant foot traffic or boat traffic, street lighting, thieves, complaining neighbors, noise pollution, electrical power outages, water main problems and, yes, salesmen/bible thumpers! 

The drawbacks: we are away from populated areas which can provide the assistance in a crisis, we have roaming cattle and horses periodically wandering into our yard eating the landscape, if there is an emergency it is up to us to get help via our boat in any kind of weather, sudden brush fires would be a catastrophe as it is only the two of us here and we have limited access to water, finally, we don’t get many visitors! As a matter of fact, as I type, I can see smoke from a fire just north of me quite a ways.  My friend called me on the phone to alert me to a fire but I don’t believe we will have to worry about this particular one.  However, we will keep on the alert.  So, living where we do definitely has drawbacks. 

Now the last drawback, the “we don’t get many visitors” can be a plus or a minus, depending upon how one feels on any given day.  Personally, I enjoy having people drop by and visit but being so far away from the mainstream, this seldom happens.  Thus, I give dinner parties, invite people for luncheon or drinks or just to come and have a chat.  If people happen to drop by unannounced which, believe me is very, very seldom, I have enough time to scramble around, change out of grubby clothes, straighten the house and greet the people with a beverage as I can spy their boat approaching from quite a distance.

Now, as any woman will tell you, no matter how much you love your husband, being with him 24/7 has its drawbacks.  Men don’t like to talk about the same thing women do!  I lend my ear to my husband when he goes on about construction, motors, mechanical workings of a particular tool, his photography, his opinions and enjoy learning things I may not have assimilated before.  However, it is another thing altogether for him to show any interest in my recipe discoveries, my crocheting, my card making, my sewing or my excitement regarding the re-organization of my upstairs craft room.  I mean, my husband is not big on every day conversation and we can go all day with hardly a dozen words passing between us.  I need and want to talk to a woman, especially a woman who has my interests.  

Also, living in an undereducated country, talking to locals is not inspiring.  I mean when you have people that believe drinking ice water will make you fat, that the world is only 2,500 years old, heaven is almost full, who can hardly add 2 + 2 or grasp the meaning of a particular concept, and women should bear as many children as possible to keep a man, I mean, really!  I have nothing in common with them.  We have foreigners living here but we usually see each other once a week in town on shopping day.  Lately, with the boats not running a “regular” schedule, shopping day changes from week to week.  Some people go the day the boat comes in, while others wait until the day after.  Lately, also, my husband has been in hurry to get me through my shopping, banking and paying bills so that we can go home quickly.  Therefore, my usual Friday shopping day where I could sit and chat with various people and socialize, has ceased to exist.  So, I can only see these people (if they go to the same restaurant I do) on Saturday afternoon/evening.

Now, I can go and visit friends and I do, or did, quite often.  However, when I’m the one that has to get in the boat each and every time to instigate the visit, I then begin to wonder why people can’t take the same time and effort to visit me!  After all, we live the same distance apart.  I understand that getting in a boat and going a distance is difficult, but if I can find a way, surely they can!  I also understand that people have priorities in their lives and maybe they don’t feel the need to visit as I do because they have people living close to them and access is easy.  So, why get in a boat and go the distance to come to my house?  If I lived in Sandy Bay for instance, I could periodically walk to other people’s homes and sit down to pleasantly pass the time of day.  But, of course, I don’t, so I must live with one of the “downsides” of my remote home.

Just recently, however, we went to a restaurant on the other side of the island (Bo’s Island House) where we met up with some sailors who were in port.  We had a wonderful conversation during lunch and it was so exhilarating to talk about things other than problems of the island and to chat with people who were well-travelled, informed and could relay fresh ideas.  And then another wonderful surprise.  We were at Manati this past Saturday for dinner and I met one of the sailing couples that had returned to the island.  It just so happened that his wife and I had the same interests and even like job experiences!  We spent a wonderful few hours chatting about our hobbies, our jobs, our family.  She even said the same thing I have stated in this blog – it is nice being with your husband but occasionally it is refreshing, stimulating and pleasant to visit with a woman! 

So, these two visits, I guess, will have to tide me over for a while.  Thankfully I will be leaving soon to live a life-long dream; I am going to visit Europe.  My son and I are meeting in May in Germany and spending 21 days traveling.  At least, when I return, I will have something new to talk about – but will there be anyone around to listen?


1 comment:

  1. That is a great advantage that you can see 'em coming! I wish I had that. If I should ever take the time to try to change clothes, the person at the gate would be long gone.

    Maybe you'll get some more visitors now. Have a great trip to Europe and don't forget, you can blog from there, too. ;-)

    We will be listening.