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After seeing my last post, Brian said matter-of-factly, “That’s not a great picture of you. You look kind of weird.” I took a second look and, yeah, I think I need to say something about it. 

That picture shows what happens when you go from living in a house in the city, your main job being taking care of kids and driving a car most places you go, to living in a house on a mountainside that you can’t drive to, hence your children and every single item you eat, use, or need (including propane tanks and gasoline for the generator) has to be carried up the mountainside, plus accomodating guests whose rooms are scattered throughout a 50 acre valley, and a dependence on boat transport (in which you, yourself, are often responsible for hauling said boat in and out of the water) as your means of access to the outside world.

Want to see the picture again?

Now I’m not saying taking care of kids in the city is a walk in the park. In fact, I considered myself to be in pretty good shape from chasing kids around all day. But compare the photo above to this one, of Brian and I six months previous, while we were vacationing at Petit Byahaut.

We’re not really looking our best, having just gotten out of the water from snorkeling in the rain, but there is a difference between the photos, no?  I know this would be more impressive if I had been more ample before starting our lives as resort operators, but I think I look, you know, reasonably healthy in the bikini photo. My collarbone isn’t bulging through my skin and my face is more oval than gaunt.

My mom took the picture of Remy and I in the dining room. We had been on the island for two and a half months and Mom and Dad had just arrived for the holidays. She had a look of concern on her face when she said, “You look really different. You’re so thin, but you’re muscular. You just look so different.”

All I had really noticed was that a) all my shorts were falling down, and b) I could now almost sprint up the mountainside to retrieve or deposit this, that, or the other from The Treehouse where we lived, if I didn’t have a kid on my shoulders.

So while my parents were visiting, my mom put darts into all my shorts, just like she had done when I was seven. And Brian started using a piece of nylon cord, left over from the installation of the incredibly appreciated and loved no-see-um net Mom had sewn for our bed, to hold up his shorts. So functional was that cord that Brian still uses it today to hold up his pants.

As the months passed, I’d like to think our bodies got used to our new lifestyle and eased into a more natural looking state. They were just in shock in the beginning.

So, anyone looking to drop pounds and build muscle for the upcoming bathing suit season?

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I love this picture. I know Remy’s hair is in her face and both her and Simon’s eyes are closed, but this picture tells a thousand words.

Simon has his eyes shut tight because he doesn’t want to have his picture taken and he thinks we won’t see him if he can’t see us. I’m embarrassed to point this out, but do you see the red spots covering his legs? We’ve been on the island for just a few weeks and we haven’t yet learned the best way to protect ourselves from the mosquito-like no-see-ums. I’ve already been scolded by ladies in town for not taking better care of my children. Remy’s legs are covered in white Calamine polka dots but Simon would rather go without.

The necklace Remy’s wearing, she chose and bought it with money she got for her birthday. It was the only one of its kind–white plastic pearls with a teardrop shaped pearl pendant–on a tabletop of red, green and yellow wooden bead and shell necklaces.

The cooler in the bed of the truck holds ice cream, the two boxes on the bench are cases of booze, the sack of rice and Simon’s yellow and orange life vest rest atop more boxes full of groceries. We just paid 20 Eastern Caribbean cents for the black plastic bag to carry the fish we bought at the open air market.

The two men in the background who were passing by at that very moment—they are St. Vincent. One man in khaki pants, collared shirt and dress shoes. The other in dreadlocks and a beard, cut off pants, barefoot.

And Brian’s in the driver’s seat wondering, Why the hell does she have to take a picture now?

I was going to take the photo several minutes earlier, while Brian was inside Gonsalves Liquors, making the last of our purchases for the day. But then a construction truck too big to fit down the road started yelling to me to move further over so they could pass. So I started up the truck and moved it over, but it wasn’t far enough, the men yelled. I carefully moved over further as they continued directing, until the front right wheel dropped off the road into the concrete drainage ditch. Then the men were really beside themselves. With much theatrical drama, all six of them got out of the truck, and pushed the Ford Ranger back onto the road. And as Brian exited the store, he was met with great disapproval of his wife’s driving ability.

But besides his annoyance about that whole scene, he’s looking at his watch, counting the few remaining hours to plan a menu and prep for dinner and decide how many staff to keep for the night. It’s afternoon and we have no idea if there are yachts in the bay which will determine how many guests we’ll have for dinner. We have to get back, he thinks.

I’m not sure why I had to take this photo then. I was still shaken up after that driving incident. Probably, I had the camera with me, and thought it an opportunity to snap a shot of a day running errands in town. I didn’t know it would tell so much more.

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