Whew! It has been an intense couple of days.
I worked solo for the first time on Wednesday at Shearwater. That was fun. I get satisfaction from filling in the spaces on the scheduling sheet. Everything is neat and has a place. That is great for me. I cannot tell you the hours of my life I have spent creating neat little forms to be filled in, starting from when I was a small child.
However, Tuesday and Wednesday were hard for me because I was completely unreliable for my father. He and I have been working on this huge grant proposal that we had to send out on Friday. We've been sending it back and forth but we were counting on having Wednesday where we were both available at the same time, because that's necessary sometimes when telecommuting. However, two of my jobs needed me at the last minute on Wednesday. This freaked my dad out because although I had all day on Thursday, he was going to be travelling that day. Also, his internet went out on Wednesday, so his stress levels zoomed way up because so much of the proposal process requires internet access. So, I took the laptop to work with me at the Island Flavor in the morning and finished another draft and sent it to him. But then I wasn't available at all for a few hours and then I wasn't where I said I'd be and he and my mom had to call around the island to find me. Even if I had an explanation why I wasn't where I'd said I'd be when I'd said I'd be there, I know how crazy-making that must have been for them before they knew. So, I was just kind of unreliable all day, which I hate because my dad has been so reliable to me throughout my life.
Wednesday night I went out to Jeff's hosue because it had been forever since I had seen him. Also, I wanted to help him clean up a little since my friends were going to stay at his house. However, he didn't have anything for me to do, so I spent Thursday working on a grant proposal and doing naked laundry since I was the only one at the house. It was a nice little vacation day.
Thursday night I worked at the Cafe with no incident. Friday morning, I got up at 6:00 to work out the final details of the proposal with Dad. Then, I went out and worked at the Exchange, then drove back across the island to wait tables at Doe Bay, again without incident.
Saturday, I did the Farmer's Market. At the same time and the same place, the community was having its Bit of Orcas, which is along the lines of the Taste of Chicago, but on a much smaller and cooler scale. At the same time and same space was the Pet Parade. The day was chaotic and fun. The pet parade was held pretty much where my table was set up so I got to see the goldfish being pulled in a wago. Also, the gerbils, guinea pigs and baby chickens that also used wagons. Some frogs were loaded onto skateboards. I small Jack Russell Terrier had been dyed blue. I met a beautiful 12 pound female pug that was not in the pet parade. I liked her so much and her owners were so friendly that I offered to dogsit if they needed me during the 4 weeks that they're on the island. Who would have guessed that I'd be such a sucker for pugs? This couple had owned over 15 pugs in 30 years. I was inspired.
Saturday evening, I again headed out to the Cafe. The atmosphere was grim because the sous chef, who was related to the prep chef quit and went back to Bellingham. In that grimness and the fullness of my days, I was led into a conversation in which I agreed that, yes, I was working tomorrow night. When I had been asked formally to cover that Sunday night shift, I had said no since my friends were coming. However, she wrote my name on the schedule anyway and I messed myself up by agreeing in casual conversation later. So, Sunday at 6:00, I found out they were looking for me and I couldn't pick up the slack. It was the busiest night that they've had yet because of the holiday weekend. They need to figure this out soon or I will move on to another job for my own peace of mind.
The rest of Sunday was great. Erika is a friend from college. She was in my wedding. Betsy and Glackin are acquaitances from college. We were all in Habitat for Humanity together and our groups overlapped sometimes. Betsy lives in Seattle and I have gotten a chance to know Glackin better since we have all graduated and very much like her. They arrived around 1:30 at The Exchange. I was at the Exchange because I had a comlete islander day. I had planned none of the deatils ahead of time, figuring that I would just wing it as it was necessary. Actually, I didn't figure much of anything. I just hadn't had a chance to plan out the detail. This is very odd for me. I absolutely want an itinerary and explicit directions before outings. After Sunday's chaos and the crazy feelings produced, I think I will stick with that particular modus operendi. However, things worked out and someone was able to take my shift at the Exchange at the last minute. So, I showed the girls around there and then headed into town. We looked in all the cutie little shops and treated ourselves to beer, fish and chips, and burgers at The Lower. Those were the three expressed needs of the girls and we were able to satisfy all of them at the only tavern in town. Perfect. We went out to Jeff's house because we thought we were going for an evening sea kayaking trip. However, the winds were too fast and the tide shift too dramatic. So, we headed back into town to get dinner for Jeff and a second "light" dinner and dessert for the rest of us. However, most resaturants aren't open on Sunday since usually it is a day when all of the tourists are leaving the island. So witht he holiday, the remaining tourists had to pack into the few restaurants that were open. The one we wanted to go to had a server call in sick because it was a beautiful day. It was a service to the owner for us to take our business elsewhere. However, as the farsical montage of video clips of us walking up to various restaurants only to see the "closed" signs as we were pulling on the locked doors shows, we were unsuccessful in finding a place to feed ourselves. We ended up driving out to the ferry landing to the little grocery store there to get sandwiches, a giant piece of chocolate cake and a pint of ice cream. We took these back to the The Grange, where a reggae band from the mainland was supposedly playing. We sat outside and ate our cake and ice cream. The usual group of children were chasing each other in the lawn. One begged for some cake, so I gave him some. We realized later that his parents were nowhere to be seen, so I'm glad I gave him some attention rather than shooing him away nicely. I felt a little bad, because the girls weren't really prepared for how much of our lives are spent outside in 60 degree weather. They only had T-shirts with long-sleeved shirts over them and I think they were cold for much of the evening. We did not end up going inside to the reggae dance party (I was hoping for a local color scene to show them) because the whole time we ate there was no music to entice us and it was a $10 cover charge, which is pretty steep for out here. Not only did we not want to pay it, but also, other people apparently did not want to pay it because there really wasn't much of a scene. So, we headed back to Jeff's house and hung around talking for a little while until the girls were falling asleep in their chairs. We got them settled inot couches and spare beds.
Monday morning Jeff did get to take us kayaking out to the Peapod islands, which are wildlife preserves so we had a few harbor seals looking at us and an eagle posing grandly (sorry, Dad). It was a little choppy out there, so some of the animals stayed away, plus we had some intense paddling on our adventure on the high seas. The girls expressed much gratitude for the experience so I think they liked it. I can't claim credit for anything other than having a cool boyfriend. Then, we went out to the ferry with a quick stop at the Studio 4:20, which is am on-your-honor gallery of neat little things. We didn't find anything but I liked the experience. We got to the ferry at 2:00 and by 3:00 the 8:05 ferry was already full. I stayed with the girls until the 4:00 ferry was boarding. I haven't talked to them to find out if they got on that, the 5:00 or the 8:00. I don't know what the tourists who didn't know to get there early did with the rest of the day.
I loved seeing people from my old life here in my new life. I loved remembering what it was like to be new here. I loved that although we told some stories from college, we mostly talked about our lives now, rather than lapsing into nostalgic talk that sometimes covers the fact that old friends can become incompatible. As we were leaving the Studio 4:20 to walk back tot he car, Erika held my hand. I like that kind of friendship.
So I extend the invitation to all of you, my readers. If you find yourself with 4 days of freetime (or more), come visit. We'll put you up if need be and a round-trip ticket from Chicago usually costs less than $200 this time of year. I'd love to show you my island.
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