Whaddyadoallday? Real Life on a Desert Island Rotating Header Image

March, 2012:

Spring Ahead

Obviously most of my friends and family live in places where, as many of them like to brag, they get to ‘enjoy all four seasons’. They marvel at how someone could not want to experience the fall colors or the first snow of the year. Of course, the fall leaves often create awe-inspiring beauty provided the rains don’t come at the wrong time, but they always result in endless days of raking and bagging. I’ll also admit that there is, in fact, something pretty romantic about that first, fluffy, white blanket of snow coming down on a crisp and clear day. It just doesn’t hold true for every blizzard on top of melting slush on top of frozen black ice in really frigid temperatures that can follow on the heavily-booted heels of that initial Currier and Ives landscape print.

Therefore, I choose to live where the average daily temperature varies less than 10 degrees year round and is never less than 70 degrees. That doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate our own change of seasons. It’s just that the variation is subtle. The winds and the seas come from different directions or the doldrums come and the wind stops completely. The sun shines into my bedroom in the morning or moves north of my windows. (OK, the sun is stationary and the earth tilts away from the sun, but you get my drift.) There are even some trees here on island that turn red and then drop their leaves at certain times of year. They just don’t all do it and not all of them at the same time.

So we do have seasons of a sort. We just don’t really have ‘Spring’. Winter here brings the most divine temperatures. So we aren’t eagerly awaiting the renewal of warmer days. Eventually, we’ll notice that it’s hotter and it will be Summer. But it’s not a dramatic jump from 30 degrees to 70 degrees. It’s rather like the difference between putting the lobster directly into boiling water or starting with cooler water and raising the temperature slowly. The response is different. Daylight hours don’t vary that much either down here closer to the equator. So we aren’t going crazy from lack of vitamin D, and we certainly don’t go around turning our clocks back and forth an hour on a whim.

However, the fact that you all do does impact our lives. The four-hour time difference to California drops down to three hours this time of year. That means that we don’t wake up Michael’s kids as often calling too early, and they don’t wake us up so much calling too late. More importantly, our television channels are all U.S. east coast affiliates. So when New York is on Eastern Standard Time and we are on Atlantic Time, all of our favorite shows (including Monday Night Football, thank you!) start an hour later here. That means we aren’t even awake for most of prime time. On the other hand, when you all spring forward, east coast time catches up with our Atlantic Time, and everything is once again right with the world. This morning, the Today Show came on at 7AM – just as it should.

Daylight Savings Time, just like snow, isn’t for everyone, but we’re really glad you all deprived yourselves of an hour of sleep Saturday night. So in the words of Daniel Tosh, ‘and for that we thank you.’

Crime and Punishment

You can’t really get away from crime. Anywhere you go in the world, some amount of crime exists. Thankfully, though, there are places where things are not as bad. Anguilla is certainly one of the better places. That is not to say that we have not seen an increase in crime since we arrived on island, but this little island is still no New York City and the majority of incidents are not violent. Years ago, shortly after we moved into our house, we did have a break-in at our home. It happened in the middle of the day. We had gone into the Valley on errands and came back to that sinking feeling that something was not quite right – just little nagging impressions that things were not exactly where I remembered. Once I got to our bedroom, it was obvious. The closet was a mess. Someone had been in there tossing through things. I ran to Michael and told him to call the police. While we waited for them, we took visual stock of things.

No electronics were taken. All the computers and televisions were in their places. Michael’s wallet was still on his desk while a $10 roll of quarters was missing. Apparently, the real ‘valuables’  had been discovered in a cardboard box of bathroom junk, ponytail holders and old makeup and such, that I just hadn’t bothered to dump into the vanity drawers. Amongst the castoffs, however, was
some old rhinestone jewelry my mother gave me when I was a teenager. The thief must have thought he found my well-hidden (who would look there?) stash of diamonds and run off with the take.

It was when the inspector showed up, however, that the situation really got interesting. We showed him where the screen was cut to allow entry. We showed him every place we knew the intruder had been and told him what we knew to be missing. Then I realized that the clock radio on my nightstand was flashing as if there had been a power outage while no other electronics indicated that one had occurred. Since the outlet the radio plugged into was inexplicably wired to a switch, I quickly deduced that the thief must have touched that light switch. I felt that little mental, electrical jolt that told me I was on to something and eagerly encouraged the inspector to dust for fingerprints. (How very CSI!)

Being oh so professional, he pulled out his kit and dusted away and lo and behold, there was a beautiful print on the nice flat surface of the rocker switch. Eureka! I was really excited then until the inspector dismissed it by pointing out that the print was mine. How could he tell?, I asked.  Just look at the size of your hand, he said. The print was small so it must be mine. (Even though the access hole in the screen wasn’t exactly large enough to squeeze through a behemoth.) I was stunned and said so. Wow, I marveled, you know in the States they need fancy computers or at least big magnifying glasses and comparison prints to make that kind of determination, yet here you are able to just tell by looking. That’s amazing.

Well, surprising or not, they never did catch the crooks or recover my rhinestones.We repaired the screen, dealt with our loss, and moved on with our lives. I do hold out hope, however, that investigative techniques have improved over the years especially when I read the following installment of the weekly crime report that ran in the local newspaper recently. Consider the individual who had to file the last police report in the list:


At first blush (and I would definitely be blushing), I don’t know that I would report the loss of those last particular two items. Then again, what with the duty rates on imported electrical goods, the true replacement cost could be substantial. I just don’t know. That would still make it a tough call. And then, even so, would I really want them back?