07/21/2015 Just for the memory, remember the termite wing horror we had at our house?? I have NOT forgotten, never will. Anyhow when I went to take my mascara off in the hotel in Baltimore, I opened my travel pack of Kleenex and TERMITE WINGS fluttered to the ground.
Not a very good segue, but I tried. Lamely.
It was great seeing my parents and I feel so fortunate that we all still have them in our lives. At the rate they’re going, they will be with us for awhile. Both of them are in good health, Dad’s memory is foggy at times but hell, he’s 94. Mom can remember pretty much everything so I have to give her credit for that. Dad still swims 3 times a week at the center but they don’t go out much. They really enjoy their back porch and spend most of the day there, weather permitting. They read but mostly snooze out there. Can’t say that I blame them, it’s a great napping porch.
Mom and I shopped
quite a bit every day for dog toys and I had no trouble buying them, didn’t really matter what they cost, just so the boys would have some new toys.. I was looking for clothes too but it’s funny, I didn’t want to buy any. My realization is this: when I lived in the US and worked full time I made a decent wage and was able to buy whatever I wanted. And I did and I did it excessively, although I never really looked at it like that until I was getting ready to move to Roatan.
When we were still in the states I bought new clothes every freaking weekend, and black shoes or boots and scrapbook supplies. I could have opened a scrapbook store. I had a whole room nicely and obsessively organized with so many supplies 12 women could have scrapped there and had everything they wanted. When I started sorting through clothes and shoes and coats and bags and scrap stuff I wondered what the hell I was thinking; why did I buy all this STUFF? I bought it because I could. It satisfied a need, a ridiculous need. I now have 2 plastic milk crates in my closet stuffed with shoes I have not worn in almost 2 years. Some are new and they are festered over with mold and mildew. What a waste. That doesn’t count the 10+ pair I have given away so far. I was a product of my environment, of advertising, of magazines (not TV, haven’t had cable since 2003) of Macy’s RED discount cards that came in the mail and had an expiration date on them. OMG, HURRY UP AND SHOP!! I did, I used those freaking Macy’s cards, I coveted them. I felt that if I didn’t use them they would explode in my purse or blow up in my greedy hands.
While back in the states this time shopping I saw skirts and tops and shoes galore that I loved but then I remembered why we downsized, why we live the life we do, why we don’t NEED the things we think we WANT. I thought of my life on the island and the fact that I wear the same 3 or 4 dresses (old worn out cotton things) every week. I sweat in them, clean in them, scoop 39 piles of dog crap in 5 minutes in them and many times I nap in them. They are all I need to wear around here. I also have my regular “go to” choices that I wear most of the time. I still have new clothes I have never ever worn that I bought before we moved. And I’ve given away bags of clothes here on the island. While in Marshall’s, my 3rd shopping attempt, I just stood there and looked around at all of the stuff in there. Vases for your flowers, fancy candle holders, dishes, pots and pans, clothes, all kinds of handbags and suitcases (I adore NEW suitcases), then I looked at the people, so intent on buying the things in the store, some had carts full of stuff. I wondered what their lives were missing that they kept buying all this shit, and then I remembered myself and how I normally behaved in a store. These people don’t know that they don’t NEED this stuff, they have not reached that point. Some never will, some already have and are working on their plan. I’m glad I’m over it.
I’m getting there, not quite there but I’m trying like hell. Since I have been spending so much time with Nidia and seeing parts of the island most people don’t get to see (some people who live here would rather ignore the fact these places exist) it has opened my eyes so much. I see children who don’t get breakfast because there is no money for food, kids who wear size 9 mens shoes to school because it’s all they have, little girls who wear knee socks belonging to their years older sisters that are 4″ too long and they have the sock folded over under their foot, inside their shoe. Some kids have no shoes. Their homes have no glass or screens in the windows, no flush toilets, no comfy beds with 600 thread count sheets, no electricity or running water. I see women wearing whatever they can find off the piles of clothes that are donated from other countries. A striped skirt with a plaid shirt. Who cares? They are clean, so what if they match? It has made me realize that to be happy I don’t need things, I need moments.
The moment when the little boy hugged me before I even fitted him for TOMS shoes, the smile on the face of the girl I gave 5 pairs of shoes to, the children as we handed out meager Christmas gifts last Christmas, the smiles on the faces of the mothers we gave food to, the smile of the little boy we gave a Spiderman backpack to, the little girl who was amazed at her fancy pink plastic ruler; and I think I need more new stuff? I don’t need shoes until I wear these out. I don’t need clothes until I have nothing to wear. Yes, I’ve learned a lot as I’ve grown older and living here makes me realize that I still have a shitload to learn.
So there you have it..
My parents and I only went out to eat once to Olive Garden, their favorite place. It was fine as far as chain restaurants go, certainly not a Milano’s or a Cal’s Cantina, but it was fun to be with them and they enjoyed their meal.
I left the next morning, after making sure I had everything, I was off to Ikea to get 2 bathmats (which I needed and they are MUCH cheaper and nicer than the variety here) and then to my sister’s. At the last minute I made a stop at a TJ Maxx. I walked around with hangers in my hands and hung them all back and left. I bought NOT A THING, despite the urgent feeling I had to shop, I got over it and left with a smile on my face.
I had a great dinner with my sister and her husband. Miss and I repacked my headlights on her dining room table, we ate and I left there around 8, went to check into the hotel, then return the rental car, get a shuttle to the hotel, sleep for 4 hours, get a shuttle to the airport and begin the flight home.
It’s nice to work at the airport, I know all the baggage handlers and some of the people on the tarmac. I got hugs and as soon as I was through Immigration Banjo came over and grabbed my baggage claim checks, Orlando hugged me and Luis gave me a high 5! Once again, those PRIORITY tags mean nada in Roatan.
I asked Bill to bring Barrio to the airport when he came to pick me up. He brought him and he puked twice on the way, all over the truck and Bill. When we got home Bill had to pull the seats and console out of the truck and scrub everything. Around 4 we noticed a big sore on Gringo’s elbow so I called Bethany to make sure Doc was still there and Gringo and I headed down. He would have no part of riding in the car. A mile down the road he crawled over on my lap and peed. All over me and my cloth seats, while I’m driving, one-handed down the road. We saw Doc, he gave Gringo an antibiotic shot and he howled for 3 solid minutes, I was in tears. I also have to bathe him with special soap and give him cephalexin for a week. We were headed home and he was on my lap again, crying, straining to not be anywhere in the car at all. Soon I felt the warm trickle run down between my legs, my underwear was wet and I DIDN’T EVEN PEE. GRINGO DID. AGAIN!! Just as we pulled in the driveway he puked all over my arm, into the door handle/well and alongside my seat onto the floor. Welcome home Mom!!
It took me 3 days but I got everything put away and cleaned the dog hair off the floor.
We took the pups swimming and I’ve never had so much fun, photos will be in the next blog.
I apologize that these posts are rather random. My brain is really flipping random right now. So much going on, Senior’s luncheon is tomorrow, we worked HARD all day and will be there at 7:30 tomorrow morning to finish setting up everything. We are expecting 450 people for lunch, games, music, dancing, throwing down some Dominoes and a Maypole..
Next week it’s the vet group, Helping Paws Across Borders, I’ll be working there several days. Then Chance comes, There is so much going on and I’ll bust my butt to keep you all in the loop.
My vodka is empty, I have to publish this, shower, kiss the puppies and then it’s crash time for me.
P.S. New record, 65 new piles of poop in 2 days.
I love reading your accounts of your life. We are soooo much alike, altho my dog has never puked or peed on me, lol. Hang in there, get some rest and take in the beautiful place you live .
Quite a comment coming from Santa himself. Thank you Walt and thank Judy also for caring!
“It has made me realize that to be happy I don’t need things, I need moments.” I really love this! It is so very true when you get away from the rat race and see life from a simpler place, you realize that we’ve been programmed to want/need all that stuff. The moments in life that you can really enjoy are what matters and being a good person. Well done, Ledfutt!
Thank you Barbara, I always enjoy your comments!
I found your blog as we were waiting for summer to begin in Maine, read mid-June, and have been catching up on your journey since then. My husband and I have gone to Jamaica for the last 10 years and seen the changes in the island over that time. Many sound similar to what is taking place in Roatan. I decided to comment today because this post so strongly connects with my own feelings about “want” vs “need” and the foolish drama that often gets flying when people lose sight of , or perhaps have never understood, the difference. I look forward to following you through the the very long winter and we hope to make a trip to Roatan…maybe next year.
Thank you Suzanne. My outlook on life has changed considerably since moving here. I am much happier living the simple life. Thanks for following.
As it is July 25th and it’s 63 degrees outside apparently I need the tropical boost even now
Come on down!
Suzanne, if you come to Roatan, please let me know so we can meet..