Monday, June 28, 2004

Just sittin' on the pizer..

There are lots of names for the fronts and backs of houses..porches, stoops, sunroom, deck. Each one conjures up images for me. I remember by Grandma's porch with the swing...stoops were for playing jacks on summer days..sunrooms..enclosed porches for reading and having dinner...decks...suburban bar-be-que. I had never used the word pizer unti this summer..now it seems to be an every day word for me. We invite folks over to sit on the pizer for gin and tonic...we sit on the pizer to watch storms or unsets..and big dogs sleep under pizers.

Yesterday we spent part of the afternoon on the pizer of the community store. It is a large wooden structure in town...not quite your super Wal-Mart. They carry most necessities that you would need. If you forgot your money, it doesn't matter, they have a large file on the counter with everyone's name on it and you just charge it. On the porch, there are benches to just sit and visit with other folks who shop of just ride bikes over to chat and tell stories. The bulletin board on the porch gives the local news..hospital reports, sign up sheet for the fourth of July parade, wedding invitations. It does give new meaning to the phrase, come sit a spell and spin a story or two.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Shoes...Optional

I have a pair of red flip flops...well, OK, actually I have two pair of flip flops. One pair I bought with my son in Santa Barbara...he said I just had to have them..stylin', you know. They cost me fifty dollars...fifty dollars for a pair of flip flops. I got blisters and stuffed the stylin' pair into the back of the closet. A few weeks later the Marathon station was advertising free flip flops with a fill up. Two years later I am still wearing them, blister free. They are a little worn, chunks of cheap rubber have dissolved or broken off and when I raise my foot, you can read MARATHON, but I love them.

Here they are my only shoes, and they are optional. The other night we were invited to dinner. It was great, I love wearing dresses..ironed and pressed..ah yes, shoes, optional, so I went barefoot. We followed up the dinner with storytelling at the local Deep Water Theatre, again shoes optional, just be careful not to cut your foot on randomly tossed clam shells on the narrow paths and roadways. By the way, watches and clocks are also....optional.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Showers of Sun Spots

Living on an island in the Atlantic tends to change one's habits. Some just seem to be matter-of-fact...and one of those would be outdoor showering. It makes sense..really...the weather is hot and humid and after an indoor shower, nothing dries for hours (towels, mirrors, floor tiles.) So, of course, the most practical solution is to shower outside. All of the houses on the island have outdoor showers right outside the back door...well, almost all of them. Out the back door you go with a towel or robe or, well, none of the above..open up the latch and there under trees and sky and stars is your shower. The shower is a wooden structure complete with shelves for all the shampoos and rinses..

There is something quite freeing to showering outside...to hollering to friends and neighbors walking by...or sitting in someone else's back yard waiting for them to finish their shower. Some folks have double headed showers...for saving water...

When the water is turned off, you unlatch the door and reach for the towel, run a comb through your hair and the day is ready to begin..and alas, no tile to scrub!!

Friday, June 25, 2004

Beauty and the Beach

Hot summer days brngs color to the beach on Ocracoke Island. The tourists all gather at the stretch of sand and water that is staffed by lifeguards who blow whistles and determine if the water is safe for swimming for the day...free of currents and high waves. The beach is colorful with umbrellas in every hue...bathing suits in every style...and the smell of suntan lotion and sand-filled bologna sandwiches. It is traditional with sand castles and volleyball and paperback novels (also filled with sand.)

However, down the beach a few miles, accessible from the road by an obscured pathway is another beach. This one is used by the locals...there usually aren't any sand castles or bologna sandwiches, nor have I seen any paperback novels...the beach is simply vacant except for the occasional pair of shorts or sundress, as this beach is swimwear optional. Of course, while frolicking in the surf, one's eyes are often on the lookout for a strayed beach walker from the conventional beach. Thongs are also allowed as was the case today as we met the local island attorney. I daresay, he decided to forego the suit and tie...a nice memory for me to remember when I see him at the bank next week. By the way, he had a great tan!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Journey

Wtihin the last few years I have taken many journeys...some were geographical..trips around the US, backpacking in the British Aisles, visiting my children in all ports. Some have been emotional...living here and there, life changes...some purely meaphorical..into the life and times of Emily Dickinson, Abigail Adams..time past, time present.

But this summer seems to be a journey of all the above...packing and leaving my house at white picket gardens..traveling by rail, arriving on a small island, Ocracoke, to spend the summer with my friend, Philip. Immersing oneself into a new life style is challenging and exciting and little by little becomes the norm. So, friends, the next few weeks will be stories of the journey. Pour a tall glass of iced tea (with lemon or fresh mint), open wide the windows and let's just chat.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Midnight Express

So, at this twilight time as everyone has dinner, listens to the news, chats wihh their families, I am closing up the House at White Picket Gardens...fresh sheets on the beds, cupboards and closets empty, boxes shipped. For tonight I take the Midnight Express (or so I call it) from Waterloo, Indiana to Washington, D.C. and there transferring to Norfolk, Virginia. The summer plans? To spend the summer with my wonderful friend, Philip on Ocracoke Island. It will definitely be a adventure, for as he says, "Toto, we aren't in Kansas anymore." I can't even begin to anticipate all the events of the summer...so let's just let it unfold. The journey is a combination of Dr. Zhivago and the Polar Express..my lunch is packed, my ride is waiting at the door...time to log out, pack up the lap top as the last item in my carry on. Adventure awaits.