How do you say it?

flagggwhap kidonbeach


I didn’t have cute little nicknames for “things” when I was growing up.  It seems like if I called a “thing” by any name other than its own, someone set me straight on it.

The older siblings must have had this leeway.  Like, my oldest sister called Potato Chips & Pretzels… “poopies and dobbies” or so the story goes.  This was well before I had any comprehension of words… let alone….life on this planet…. or for that matter… potato chips.  Yet, nicknames go that way.  They don’t always match up to the plain English.

The one exception in my “nicknames bag”… at least that I can think of….. were birds and animals, in general.  A Cardinal was called a “red bird”… and a Blue Jay, or any bird of blue hue … was called a “blue bird.”  Even Mom & Dad did this.  There were regular birds, blue birds, and red birds.  Black birds too.  You get the picture.

When you are on a little island in the Caribbean, you seem to get reminded of things you wouldn’t otherwise.  These sorts of things.  Like bird names, and such.  The other things that enters the noggin, scenes from movies.  You see them in real life, everywhere down here.

The big one that has been coming to mind for me has been Castaway…. for obvious reasons.

When Tom Hanks first lands himself on the island, and all you can hear is the roar.  It is exactly like that here.  The wind has been relentless since our arrival.  As such… the ocean roars, non-stop.  It is a constant barrage of wind, hitting water, hitting shoreline.  It howls, and thunders.

And, another movie moment:  Jesse happened upon one of many coconuts on the beach the other day.  He picked it up and chucked it out into the waves.  A little pudgy boy came running up, crying, screaming… “Cooooccccooooonnnnutttt.”


We sort of nicknamed him Coconut Boy.  But we really haven’t seen too much of him since.  I hope he wasn’t marred by the experience.   He seemed to be a little on the odd, or awkward side.

What the heck.  So was I.  In fact, I still am.  Yep.  Valentine’s Day always reminds me of that.  In grade school, during Valentine’s Week, we had a Post Office.  You could “mail” your Valentines for the other kids here.  Any one you wanted, or no one at all.

It seems like I worked in this little Post Office, quite a lot.  I would sort through the little white envelopes… with the flimsy heart-shaped cards inside.  They would get separated by homeroom.  The teachers would then see to the distribution of the love notes.

You know.  I was always hoping to see my name on the cards.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of the pretty and popular girls.   I didn’t get so many deliveries to the Post Office with my own name on them.   It is something I have never forgotten.  I guess you just never know what is going to stick in the mind of a 3rd grader.

Albeit, things turned out better than alright, I’d have to say.  I’ve been with the love of my life for 26+ years now.  On this Valentine’s Day, we relaxed in the 80 degree weather, took walks on the beach, read books.   Tonight we ate a great dinner at Bombay (Szechuan Noodles, and Lobster, and the rest.)  After that, we came back to our place on the Cayman Islands and played Yahtzee, as the wind made the ocean roar.

My nickname for all of that is “Truly Blessed and Fortunate.”  As it turns out… it means the exact same thing in plain English.


“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.”
― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged


“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard