Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chasing My Tail and Finding a $20

It was the beginning of April, a week before Easter, and we received some news about a member of Renita's family that was not good. After pondering for a day or so, she decided that there was nothing for her to do but to take a trip back to Indy and try to help with the situation if there was any way at all for her to do it.

That's just the way she is. When someone she cares about is having a hard time, she is driven to help, in whatever way she can. She will put her own issues and wants aside to go out of her way to help a friend, and even more so when it's someone she loves. One of the reasons I love her.

After a long walk, and a lot of soul searching, she decided that she would go back immediately and stay for a month to help, to do whatever she could. We booked her a frequent flier trip and on the 6
th of April she was gone. I spent the day she left in mourning. Not because I can't live without her, but because I don't want to. I understood what she needed to do, but we are rarely ever apart.

Needless to say, one week before Easter, I was also a little panicked about being here with the Easter crowd by myself. Since she is the breakfast
aficionado, and I am the shy, quiet one, I wondered how I would fare during her absence. She was scheduled to be gone for 14 days and come back to Belize on the 19th.

I surprised myself. The main group of guests arrived that same week, and I was able to do both the breakfasts for them and all of the other things that she does every day. There was a fantastic group of people here during that ten days or so that overlaps Easter. Three girls, one who had been here before, along with two of her friends came for a week. They were all originally from the same town in Australia, although two of them live in New York now. We started talking one day and realized that they were actually from the same small town that Brady, Shanley, Erin and Cal were from. So I arranged a get together at BC's, and they all had a little "old home" week.

Jeannie, Ken and the kids were gone to BlackRock Lodge when Renita left, and so I cheered myself up the best I could. There were several other guests who were just so nice and fun, and it sort of felt good to know that I COULD do this if I had to.

Kristin and Tim from Chicago, and Dave and Bonnie rounded out the week. Keeping track of 11 people and all of their trips and tours for several days was a challenge, but I don't think anyone had a bad time or a bad breakfast while I was in charge. I chased my tail a few times, and a couple of other tails, but eventually found all the tails and put things in place.

When Jeannie, Ken and the kids got back, they were so sweet in inviting me to hang out with them nearly every day, so that I wouldn't get too morose, but the truth is, that I was pretty darned tired and was in bed most nights by 8:00!

Renita was having some success in helping out, and was helping my daughter with some things for her wedding. They talked daily and saw each other a lot. Since I was already scheduled to go up for the wedding late in the month, it was good to know that since I couldn't be there to do some things for Melanie, Renita was there and was helping her.

A few days before she was due to come back, she called me and said that she realized she was going to need more time with family, and since there were only a few guests checking in during the interim, I should go ahead and come up for the wedding as planned on the 22nd, and that instead of returning on the 28th like I had planned, (the wedding was on the 25th), we would both stay until the 5th of May.

She stayed up late at night (one night all night) and made lists and schedules, enlisted the help of Rebecca, Jeannie, and Tammy so that someone would be available for the few guests that we did have. She made schedules, lists and letters for the employees; she wrote letters to the guests explaining the situation and we decided to give them cash for their breakfasts so that they would still get breakfast with their stay; she sent emails and zip files from a crappy US internet connection that we pick up from the Alice in Wonderland House to me for printing. She basically did everything and sent it to me, all I had to do was get on the plane.

On my Tropic flight over to International, I had my IPod in my ears, with Kelly McGuire singing "Solitude" and over the song, I could hear the crackling of the pilot's radio, all the time looking at the little island I love, the sea, the sea, the sea.

This trip was also a frequent flier trip, and they don't always give you the most direct route when you travel that way. First stop was Miami, where I had time to run through customs and immigration, run to my gate, and get on the plane. Second stop was Dallas, where I did the same thing, except instead of having to go through customs and immigration, I had to figure out which high rise subway to get on and find my gate. I made it in the nick of time though, just as the flight was boarding.

The air was cold when I arrived......brisk would probably be how the locals would have described it.....cold to me. I didn't wait long at the airport before she showed up to collect me and my bags.......It was nearly midnight there, and I fell into bed, exhausted, even though I had slept on every flight all day.

Funny how people think that flying somewhere is not work. I'll wager against that every time. Not only is it stressful to get into and stay into the correct lines and areas when you are traveling into or out of the US, but then you have to attempt to do an OJ Simpson move through damned near every airport you are ever in so that you don't see that awful site of the door to the gangway being locked in front of you. In addition to that, you nearly always have to sit next to some strange person (some are stranger than others) in close proximity, while some faceless "captain" tells you that you are 42,000 feet above the earth. 100 push ups wouldn't make me that tired. Ok, maybe, but probably not.

I was delighted and surprised the next morning when I woke up. It has been six years since I have been north of Mexico in the springtime. I had forgotten the wonders of spring in the Midwest. When we arrive every year in late August, the Hostas are blooming, the "Liveforevers" are blooming, Asters and Mums have started to bloom.

The end of April though, is different. This is what I found that I forgot I's kind of like putting on your winter coat for the first time of the season and finding a crumpled up twenty dollar bill in the pocket.

All the little spring flowers!

Red tulips....I used to have 200 of these and 200 yellow ones in front of my house

I love yellow daffodils

...and the white ones too

Most people mow this stuff down....I love it!

The frogs have still not finished their checker game

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