Sorry for the long delay in getting back to my blog, but I’ve been kinda busy! The three weeks spent visiting friends and family in the States in September were enjoyable but sufficient, thank you very much. The luxury of lounging in a king-sized bed watching big screen TV and surfing channels soon wore off. Endless advertising for cars, miracle drugs to cure the ills of the nation (Why is everybody sick?), and hateful personal political attacks ruled the airwaves. The congressional inquiry into Judge Kavanagh’s misogynist teenage behavior was the icing on the cake.
I have to admit that traveling from destination to destination in a clean, smooth riding vehicle over paved, pothole free roads was a treat, as was dining out at various themed restaurants that served food that somebody else cooked. Attending football games that featured my grandsons as players, my granddaughter as cheerleader, and my son Zach as assistant coach was drawn out but fun. The drive to Serpent Mound, the world’s largest surviving example of an ancient animal effigy, was like a trip back in time. When I was younger, I often headed to the Arc of Appalacia in southern Ohio to check out the fall foliage and soak up ancient spiritual Indian vibes.
The entire family, including my younger son Josh, visited to the Ohio History Connection in Columbus where the exhibit “1950s: Building the American Dream” was on display. Definitely déjà vu, it featured a Lustron all steel prefab home like the one I grew up in, which cost $4,190 when constructed on your own lot!
On Josh’s 50th birthday, the boys and I dropped by the shady old cemetery where my mother’s side of the family, including the illustrious Grandpa Charlie, are buried. Afterwards, we spent some time going through old photographs to explain to the grandkids who was who. It’s amazing to me that the folks who played such a huge part in my reaching adulthood are all dead now, when I myself still feel so young. (Most days.)
I popped in my old craft store in Dayton and was proud of what the subsequent owner had done with it. I spent another day on the farm of an old friend—lawyer, polo player, gourmet cook, and excellent woodworker. His health has failed dramatically in the past few years, but at least he’s still alive, unlike many of my peers.
I came back home in October to find a railing around the veranda of the main house. Other than that, not much had changed…still no lights, no phone, and no internet. On my 71st birthday, I went snorkelling at my old stomping grounds, the Soufriere Scott’s Head Marine Reserve. ELAS! I hardly recognized the place since Maria. Shanties that once graced the seaside were missing and many homes on higher ground were still roofless. Underwater was like a coral graveyard. Few reef fish remained thanks to the hurricane and the invasion of lionfish that savvy fishermen were cleaning by the coolers full to sell to restaurants in town.
October a time of Independence in Dominica, and as usual, folks can’t wait to celebrate. A series of cultural events leads up to the World Creole Music Festival at the end of the month. For kicks, I rented a space in the botanic gardens for four days under the auspices of Waitukubuli Writers at a music, food, and craft event called Creole Rendezvous. Hurray! I actually sold some books. I’m still recuperating, but I enjoyed being out and about. I then rushed to complete my entry to the Commonwealth short story prize, which was due Nov. 1st, and sent it in a day early. It was a good thing I did, because the mobile data on my tablet was down for the next three days. After another long weekend, it will be back to the lonely job of staining the plywood to seal the ceiling of the main house. Meanwhile, I plan to enjoy the fact that I’m living the life I chose to lead, in the place I want to be, healthy, free, and simple. Despite all its problems, this magical island still suits me.