Island Musings

Ramblings of an islandgirl

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Location: San Fernando, Trinidad & Tobago

Hi,just a regular islandgirl enjoying life and all its beauty! Make the most of every is a gift!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Time runs out like toilet paper

It's been a while since I've written here. A long while.

Been busy,

been distracted,

didn't feel like writing.


The usual excuses.

Excuses..we are good at that we humans.

Always a reason why...

or more often why not.

Why we haven't written, why we haven't called, why we haven't visited.

After all we have ALL the time in the world. We have tomorrow, we have next week, we have next year.

The toilet paper roll never has an end.

Or so we think.

Time ran out for one of my friends this week and left me wishing we hadn't gotten to the end of the roll so fast.


My Internet friend of the last 11 years.

Rick was a wonderful guy. Funny, smart, straightforward, loving, able to say what you needed to hear even when you didn't want to hear it, wise, forgiving, amazing, annoying at times, loyal. I met Rick online in a chat program called Pow Wow when I first got on the net. What first attracted me to him was his sense of humour. Very tongue in cheek, thumb your nose kind of humour.

I read his web page and instantly liked the guy. When we started to chat I liked him even more. He remained my devoted friend for the next 11 years. Sometimes we'd have long email talks that went on for days, sometimes we'd not talk for weeks. We chatted on pow wow, ICQ, sent e-mail, I sent him snail mail and then most recently I goaded him into trying Facebook.

Rick was always there for me. He always made time. Maybe because time stretched on endlessly for him some days. Rick had had an accident when he was 19 and was left a quadriplegic. He had limited use of his hand and would painstakingly type out every sentence. I know it must have taken a lot of effort on his part. But write he would. On the net he was 'normal'..he wasn't a guy in a chair to be pitied. He could be himself and many of his friends never knew the true story behind him or even saw what he looked like. I was one of the lucky few who got that privilege. Maybe because to me it didn't matter. I'd sass his ass anyway. I could give wheelchair jokes just like he could. Maybe it was because we genuinely cared about each other.

Rick was there for me through my divorce, the death of my dad (and his a short time after) and the tumultuous years that followed when I was trying to get back on my feet and figure out who I was and what I wanted in life. He was patient with me when I needed it...rude to me when I needed a kick in the butt, and made me fall off my chair with laughter. Laughter is good for the soul. He was special. We never met face to face and my one regret is that I'll never get to give him a hug. Rick died last Thursday..three weeks after having a stroke. He was only 45. I found out on Monday night and I cried and cried and cried. I'm still crying and not wanting to believe I will never be the butt of one of his jokes again.

Now a lot of people might find it weird to be so upset over someone I had never 'met' in real life. But what really is real? To me Rick was. He was more of a friend to me than some of the people I see every day. He took the time to care, to love. Was it because he was stuck in a wheel chair and had nothing better to do?? If it is I wish we could all be like Rick. Take all the excuses away so that we could really care about the people in our lives. Take away the distractions and the chores and the lists. Slow down. Listen. Love. Go that extra mile. Be a friend. MAKE the time because it isn't going to last forever. One day you'll be scrambling to catch the end of that toilet paper roll before you're finished wiping. And your left crying and can't even blow your nose.

I didn't get to tell Rick goodbye.

There were a couple times over the years he had scares and ended up in the hospital and we never knew if he'd make it back out. This time I didn't even know he had gone in.

I had gotten distracted. A couple weeks slipped through my fingers doing this, that and the other and when I finally came up for air Rick was gone.

Just like that.


No do overs.

No second chances.

That's life.

One day we are just gone.

And tomorrow never comes.

And the things that were so important, that kept us so busy, don't seem quite so important anymore.

It's time to flush.

and we wish we could get it all back or have one more week, one more more moment. One more chance to say I love you and I am glad you are a part of my life.

One more chance to say thank you.

So tonight I am saying thank you to Rick.

For all he was.

For all he did.

For all the ways he made my life better.

and I am promising too to slow down a bit. To really look at all the special people in my life and appreciate them more. And not be so stressed about the 'important' things.

A friend of mine once said "In a hundred years we'll all be dead and none of this will matter".

I'd like to add "except for the love we have left behind".

God speed Rick. You left lots of love behind.

Rick loved many people. He touched many hearts and healed many souls around the world.

And just in case you didn't know it....I loved you too my friend.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Meme...and a sorta post

1.Where is your cell phone? Handbag
2. Your significant other? Kitchen
3. Your hair? Growing
4. Your mother? Amazing
5. Your father? Miss him (he died 6 years ago)
6. Your favorite song? Dancing Queen
7. Your dream last night? Lots
8. Your favorite drink? Red Wine
9. Your dream/goal? Going to Greece
10. What room you are in? Bedroom
11. Your hobby? Painting
12. Your fear? Harm coming to my kids
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Still here!
14. Where were you last night? Up Painting
15. Something that you aren’t? Mean
16. Muffins? Chocolate Chip
17. Wish list item? Plane tickets!
18. Where you grew up? Trinidad
19. Last thing you did? Painted
20. What are you wearing? House clothes
21. Your TV? Off
22. Your pets? Love them
23. Friends? The BEST
24. Your life? Happy
25. Your mood? Thoughtful
26. Missing someone? Mummy
27. Car? Has a date with the mechanic
28. Something you’re not wearing? Bra
29. Your favorite store? Art supply store
30. Your favorite color?Blue
33. When is the last time you laughed? 10 mins ago
34. Last time you cried? hmm...can't remember - couple months?
35. Who will resend this? Bored person
36. Favorite vacation? Next one!
37. One person who emails me regularly? Rhonda
38. My favorite place to eat? Out

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What is it Christmas already????

I'm not ready!! I'm not even sure I WANT to be ready for Christmas. I just want to crawl back into bed and hide under the covers till it blows over in its flurry of wrapping paper and tinsel glory. I'm a summer holiday "we're all laid back, don't wear a watch and couldn't give a damn WHAT day of the week it is" kinda person. I'm not quite sure what started my Christmas aversion..I think it just sort of crept up on me slowly and then drowned me in bills and christmas bows. That and the idea of all the cleaning and dusting that comes with it.
I used to love Christmas...but I guess that was back in the days when my Mom did all the work. Everything seemed to happen by magic. Mom I appreciate you SOOO much more are amazing!
I started this post with good intentions and now I am tired just thinking about how much I dread the fuss and drama of the Christmas season. Guess the tree is not going to get hauled out today after all. I'll be a Grinch for a while longer yet.

Friday, August 15, 2008


My Darling Gruber is back!!! He looks a bit hung over and grumpy - probably been celebrating his "Blog Frog Contest" win a little too enthusiastically..but he is home again safe and sound. Oh Gruber darling I missed you! The mosquitoes have been horrendous since you left...please don't leave me again. For a while there I thought you 'croaked' when I found mummified frog remains behind the computer. But thankfully, so thankfully my prayers have been answered and you have returned to me my love!!! YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Best Summer Holiday Ever!!

Well now that the 'Summer Holidays' are more than half way through (sniff, sob, sniffle) and I finally have a chance to sit and write, I have a huge grin on my face thinking about all the fun we've had so far this summer.

This is the first year in about 6 years that I have actually been 'home' and not stuck in a horrible, depressing office pushing paper aimlessly around, while my kids are out enjoying the fun. For the first time in a long time I am truly happy. You see, earlier this year my whole world and life flipped upside down then, through a miraculous chain of events, I became an Art Teacher. Which goes to prove that every dark cloud has its silver lining. Laughter can come from tears.

This year has led me in directions I had never dreamed possible, and I can safely say I have found the job I was probably meant to do all my life. I love being able to help kids see the beauty in the world around them. I love seeing them play and explore and dream. I love seeing them be KIDS and make mess and create, and I love seeing them free to express themselves and believe in magic in this age of violence and video games. I love my art room...

When I first started at school in May it was basically a junk room. Everything was there, but it was in such a mess and so dark and dingy you didn't feel like walking into it. After much elbow grease, a coat of paint and lots of sweat it has finally become a proper Art Room. The kids are thrilled and I am thrilled. Everything is nicely organised now and the kids love to come spend time in it. In fact I can never get them out!

This year they had their first ever art exhibition at the end of term - even though I had only been with them for 2 months. They had never seen their work displayed before and they were all so proud. Parents came up to me and said that they never even knew that the school HAD an art room. It felt good to know that I made a difference. I hope to continue making a difference. I love what I do. I am excited!

But.. back to my summer theme - one of the very best things about being an Art Teacher at a private primary school is 2 months paid summer vacation! WOOO HOO!! (and also Christmas and Easter) Thing is though, even if I didn't have holidays I would still be deliriously happy. I love what I am doing now, I love my job, I love the school and I love the kids, and I can't wait to start the new term in September. The holidays are just the icing on the cake!

This holiday has just been layers and layers of icing for me. To start it all off we successfully pulled off our '20 year' school reunion. On July 4th, 2008 at Prive in San Fernando the SJC San Fernando Class of 1988 got together to catch up, laugh, cry and shake some serious booty!

It took two years of searching, thousands of emails and hundreds of phone calls but we did it! And boy was it amazing! Some of us had not seen each other for 20 years, some of us see each other every week. Some of us came from overseas, some from right around the corner. Some of us ate, chatted and danced the night away and some of us could not be there but sent our email greetings anyway. We all reconnected. There were tears, there was laughter. It was wonderful. It was great to see all of my 'sisters' again. All of us a little older (but still looking damn hot!), a little wiser and a lot more forgiving of each other and ourselves. We have become phenomenal women. Gone are the giggly, shy, insecure young girls and in their place are beautiful, strong, confident women. I feel honoured to be a part of this incredible group of ladies. We had a wonderful night of partying, then a lovely family day at La Vega estate topped off by a relaxing 'girls' lime at Blanchissuese a week later.

And then it got better! On the 8th of July I celebrated my 37th year of arrival on this planet. There was cake - lots of cake (!), there were flowers, there was dinner and wine - even a birthday serenade -and tons of love from my family and friends. I am so very blessed! Having a birthday at the beginning of summer holidays just ROCKS (according to Sam) We share our birthday - and yes Sam, I agree it ROCKS!!

Since then we've enjoyed being down the islands with Nan, Sean and the boys, football in the rain, painting at Nan's studio, lots and lots of hours spent in traffic (drawing, singing, farting) and taking the boys to sailing camp, feeding baby manicou - Nan and I dug worms out of the garden for them today, our new puppy Vinnie (never mind he's as deaf as a stone), eating lots and lots and lots of birthday cake and other things totally sinful, reading, sculpting in Bunty's pottery - generally relaxing and having a wonderful holiday. I am looking forward to Mayaro next week for our annual "girls and kids lime" NO NAGGY HUSBANDS ALLOWED! Debs dig out the scrabble board, Kels bring the wine, Suzie start digging out the sunblock, Nan buy the pancake mix and dust of the griddle.. Paradise here we come!!!

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Don't FROGGET me!

Hello! I am back...after a more than year long silence I am writing because I cannot contain my joy at finding out that my dear frog Gruber has placed first (in a three way tie) in the 1st Annual Blog Frog Contest. My Prince has been recognised for his talent at last! Alas, his new found fame has prompted him to hop off on a world tour leaving me sadly bereft of my green toed friend. But don't worry..he should be back in the next dry season..they always come back - they never frogget where they came from! 'Till then I will stare lovingly at his deserted drain pipe and write weepy froggy poems and keep the flames of amphibious love burning brightly....
"Oh Froggie, froggie where can you be,
The drainpipe stands so E- M- Puh Tee
I'll dream of you
and save you a fly
And watch the rain
with a knowing sigh,
And when the wet season is gone again
You'll return to me, my sticky green friend"
For more Froggie poetry and tales of adventures of the country kind click the link above and go visit Nan. She'll keep you entertained till I get back in blogging mode again.
Night night all!

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Its a small world after all....

Today I found a couple great sites on the net that indulge some of my passions...postcards, lighthouses, reading, getting to know new people from around the world and travel. I thought maybe, if you actually read this cobwebby blog, you might be interested in visiting these sites and joining yourself, so here they are with a brief description of what they are all about: - For those of you who love to write -The Post Crossing Project. Send and receive postcards and make new friends all around the world. - For those who love to read -The Book Crossing Project. Leave a book you have read in a public place for someone to find and log in on the website to track its travels. - For those who like to see the world - Track your travels around the world with this site and plan new ones! A travel guide you write yourself! - For the to read other people's secrets? Or maybe have one of your own to share? Check this site..updated every Sunday.

All of these sites are free and guaranteed to keep you busy for hours. Hope you enjoy! Please let me know what you think!