Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Ease of Living?

Who cares about playing in the mud and looking
funky if it's for a good cause right?
I was talking with a friend on the East Coast the other day - HELLO! (you know who you are) - and she asked me what was the most surprising thing about moving. I had to think about that one. There are really two things that super surprised me - no wait, three.
1) The move was easy. No, REALLY easy. I don't mean the packing or the actual planning of the move. Nor do I mean the sale of the house or all the angst of picking a place, but the settling was/has been easy. I remeber driving down Ben McCullum - see Anna, I know the lingo - about two weeks after we moved and I caught myself thinking how I felt like I had been here for years not weeks.  I had settled. I was still unemployed at that point, didn't know where anything was, didn't know anyone, we didn't have our stuff, but it(Texas) felt..... right. It was scary. How could I uproot myself and my family from all we had known for YEARS and move to an alien place and it feel right after all of two weeks? Was I a traitor to my island blood, my Caribbean way of life? On the contrary, I think living in such a wonderful place like St. Croix actually prepared me to assimilate and adapt as well as I have.

2) It is EASY to live here. Everyone is SO friendly, helpful, and prompt that life is easy. I can call the gas company and almost before I hang up, someone is knocking on my door to help out with whatever issue I had. I can get home and open the rice and there are no weevils (STX peeps know what I mean), I can take said OPENED unweevily rice and RETURN it with no receipt, no questions asked!!! There are 2 groceries, 3 drugstores, 4 gas stations, 3 banks, 3 community pools, and a MALL(!!!!) around the corner from our house.  The selection in all of those places is unbelievable, the prices are cheap, and there is way more than I could EVER want in any of those places.  Oh, did I mention there is are 2 Targets AND Walmarts within a 6 mile radius of us too? OVERKILL!

My kids moaning about the cold.

3) Everyone blows small issues out of proportion - and not in a good way.  The other day A had a swim meet - her first of the summer and it rained! Which, by all reckonings is rare in drought prone Texas. It was a nice morning between 5:30 and 7:00 am, but then it started to downpour. The kids were all under tents out of the rain, they all had chairs or shared, the meet was going on even though it started a whole 15 minutes late, it was all good to me. Heck it could have been worse right? No, it wasn't comfortable and it wasn't ideal, but kids have to learn to roll with the punches right? Apparently, I was the only one that thought so. Parents were incensed that the meet started late, that the relay's got cancelled due to time constraints, that it was raining, and horror of all that the kids had to stop swimming due to lightning. SIGH. It COULD have been WAY worse. I have noticed, that people complain if it doesn't rain, complain it if rains, complain if the DMV takes 15 minutes instead of 10, b!tch and moan if they can't do what they want when they want, etc.  Sometimes I want to jack slap all the whiners and tell them that spending time together and with family is what is important, that life could be so much worse. They could pay .50c a KW for electricity and NOT have AC, have to choose between wilted lettuce and tasteless tomatoes, have to prep for a hurricane, etc.  I know NOT everyone is this bad, but I do notice a trend of people that don't look on the bright side of life and forget to be grateful for what they do have.

All in all, I love living here. We now have some great friends, have done things that took us out of our comfort zone, gotten a job, bought a house, and enjoyed our experiences here. I do hope that both children remember to savor the bumps or potholes in the road, go with the flow, but appreciate the ease of life here.  C still dresses up as whatever he wants to when we go out. He still LOVES his pirate boots, but has now discovered super heros. A still prefers climbing trees to wearing dresses and shopping (thank goodness!). S still loves to clean and keep house(can I get down on my knees and thank my lucky stars?), and I  still like doing too much with too little time.

Living here in Texas has given me appreciation for the easy way of life that could be mine, but I still like to throw curve balls in everyone in a while, like trying to be two places at once that are 50 miles apart.  It makes life ............... i n t e r e s t i n g.