Happy Little Cottages By The Sea

Cottage Charm, Coastal Calm

June 3, 2008

Becoming an Island Character

It starts slowly….. you never see it coming. You realize you live in a small town where being a character is a badge of honor. It’s the whole Key West thing- you know – you’re at the end of the chain of islands, can’t get any further south- or in the case of Tybee- can’t get any further East. It’s where everyone has a story, some better stories then others, some sadder then others, but everyone has one.
You notice that you really don’t mind wearing a baseball cap to cover your hair ( but it better be a Doc’s Bar cap or Tybee Bomb Squad Hat). You find that flip flops are your shoes of choice ( and some Tybee characters have found socks to wear with flip flops) You find reasons not to go over “The Bridge” to the “mainland”. You really don’t need that car because your fat seat beach bike – the rustier the better ( won’t get stolen that way!) gets you pretty much where you want to go. You have the internet to order basically anything you want AND it gets delievered to your front door- so you find yourself happier and happier with a wonderfully simple life style!

And then it happens. You become one of the characters you used to point out to your friends with a giggle…. Yes, this happened to me yesterday. My summer island car- the 25 year old volvo with KiKi, DeeDee and Jeff also carries around Danny and Max, my two labs. And poor Danny has a terrible hot spot from scratching that grew over night and to keep him from scratching, he has to wear a collar. But because Dr. Maheny,my wonderful vet ( Island Vet Clinic on Wilmington Island- the best vets in the world!) felt that because Danny was an island dog, he needed a much more festive protective collar vs those boring white Elizabethan style collars. So Danny looks like he’s wearing a life preserver and of course he rides in the front seat of the volvo- hence the tybee character I’ve become….

KiKi, DeeDee and Jeff

My darling daughter, Katie, is off on her summer vacation. This means driving up and down the Eastern Seaboard visiting grandparents, little brothers, family and friends. She drives a hand me down Volvo ( which she adores) but there is no air bags or AC. I couldn’t let her drive such a car for thousands of miles, so she took my beloved Honda CRV and off she went. Which left me driving her very first car, the 25 year old Volvo station wagon with almost 150,000 miles AND no AC. But in this summer of high gas prices, I’m riding my bike as often as possible on Tybee and bundling my trips off island to conserve gas. So what the heck. That’s what you do for your kids.

The first weekend of driving Katie’s car, I knew we needed to take care of a few things. The first task was to fix her dashboard hula girl from Hawaii- KiKi. This poor girl was 8 years old and had lost her hula skirt from dancing too much. All that shaking had worn off the raffa skirt….. I didn’t know quite what to do, but believe it or not, the answer appeared after enjoying a mojito down by the shrimp boats while my friend Karyn was here visiting from Miami . The North Island Surf and Kayak shop is located right beside Dewey’s where we were having drinks. There on the shop counter were real live, honest to goodness hula dancing people direct from Hawaii ready to dance, shimmy and shake. I decided that if she was in a group of dancing people, no one would really notice her lack of a skirt! So DeeDee and Jeff joined the dashboard dance team and off we went. Jeff is named after Jeffrey Bundy Wahl of Miami who can teach all of us a thing or two about living life to the fullest, even if it means you’re stuck in an un Air conditioned 25 year old volvo playing a ukulele!