Martha Stewart once said that “the more you adapt, the more interesting you are.” While quoting Martha Stewart seems strangely uncomfortable for reasons I care not to ponder, I still like the saying. It makes me feel sort of interesting as I recognize that life isn’t always paradise in paradise, and your only real choice if you want to be happy is to embrace change. The other week, our electricity, water and internet all went out over a span of three days for a variety of reasons. During this trying time, we learned that our backup generator doesn’t work, but our cistern does and that having a sense of humor and being spontaneous helps you feel better.
While technology might not be so reliable, nature seems to be working as expected…at least as far as Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory is concerned. The roosters who begin to crow at 4:00 am inevitably end up on the family dinner table (coq au vin is a popular dish around here). But, we have a new squatter on Chemin de Bornave that just might last long enough to procreate. He doesn’t start to crow until just before 6:00 am and even picked up a third sister wife the other day. We are spreading the word that this coq is here to stay in case anyone gets any ideas about taking him down.
Bob is staying very busy mowing, trimming, planting, raking and doing all of the other things that are required to keep an acre of jungle in check. And, he’s getting so tan that he could give George Hamilton a run for his money. But, no worries, he also takes time out for pleasure by scuba diving with Cor (owner of Les Baillantes Tortues dive shop) and going fishing with our neighbor, Bruno. They sometimes bring home King fish or mackerel…or, like last night, nothing at all.
Brynn is now taking a luxury air conditioned coach to and from school. She catches a ride to the bus stop with a friend in the morning and we walk down and pick her up on her return. The other day the school bus driver cruised right past our little stop in Ferry because, according to Brynn, he was “jamming out and singing to Creole music and forgot to stop.” No problem…he realized the mistake quickly and came rolling back honking, waving and smiling a few minutes later to deposit the kids.
Rex and I have been taking walks around the village. We dodge the neighborhood dogs, avoid the goats, detour around the potholes and simply take in the beauty. The old appliances scattered about, outdoor cooking areas, abandoned structures and tin roofed homes have charm and character. They remind me of places in Africa where I lived or worked in my younger days. As I reminisce about the past during our promenades, Rex, whose brain can’t be larger than a walnut, is perplexed watching the crabs scurry in and out of their holes in the local soccer field they have taken over. I talked to a couple of crab catchers the other day who told me that crab soup is quite the delicacy and is prepared every Easter.
Work on the house is proceeding nicely. Our new upstairs window is in place and just needs the finishing touches, the concrete walls in the center of the upstairs loft have been removed, a beautiful handmade sliding door for Brynn’s room was constructed by one of our artisans, and a gravel driveway was spread by Bob. We signed a contract for the new pool and are working on getting a new bathroom installed upstairs. We also had an air conditioner put in Brynn’s room. No matter that the main electricity cable to the house was cut during the installation because soon her room will be cool and crisp at night…just in time for the heat to arrive in Guadeloupe.
Sliding door installed to the entrance of Brynn’s bathroom for a little privacy.