Friday, January 16, 2009

Life on a Small East Coast Island

So, life on a small island on the coast of North Carolina is charming and different. Especially in the winter. It's a simpler life. There is silence all the time. In the morning, I hear birds, wind, and occasionally the soft putt of a fisherman's outboard. I drive to work, obeying the 25 mph speed limit, and I see people on foot and on bicycles - no matter how cold it is. I might see three other cars during my 1 and 1/2 mile commute, and the other drivers always lift their hand in friendly greeting, whether or not we know each other. I live in a village, not a town or a city. Many of the children walk to school and there are usually around 4 to 6 kids in each grade.

I work in a realty office. Sometimes, co-workers bring their dogs or their children to work. Everyone takes turns holding the babies and feeding the cats that live on the front porch of the office.

There is one restaurant open on the island right now. They have great pizza, seafood, and draft beer. Every week I go to the post office, the bank, and grocery shopping. Each stop is only a short walk away. There are two places to buy groceries. At the Variety Store, you can find magazines, books, greeting cards, clothing, and kitchen supplies in addition to food items. Conveniently, the hardware and liquor stores are next door.

The Community Store has a great organic and health food selection to choose from, but I would go there just for the atmosphere of the nearly 100 year old building that has been so beautifully restored. I feel like I've stepped back in time when I enter and feel the warmth from the fire in the antique iron stove. The wood floors and hand-made wooden shelves and produce bins make it feel so quaint and homey.

Brian rides his bike to work everyday. We walk our dog without a leash. We hear the church bells ring every day at nine, noon, three, and six. On our days off, we go to the beach, walk the nature trails, work on projects at home or on the boat, or go fishing. No street lights on the island mean that at night, the sky is as beautiful as it is when we're out sailing in the middle of the ocean. I feel more free on this little island that I cannot drive or walk away from than I have anywhere else I have ever lived.

Brian took the ferry to the mainland today for a Doctor's appointment and some shopping. The ferry ride took a little over two hours.

So, I have the house to myself tonight. The temperatures are in the 20's, so I have the faucets dripping so the pipes don't freeze. No worries, 'cause this cute little cottage by the water is warm and toasty!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thanks Casey!

I just have to say thank you to my friend Casey for all her wonderful help getting me started on my first cute blog! She has a really adorable and entertaining blog about her family. I loved her blog so much, I had to have one of my own. She was my blogging muse! And she is really helping me figure it all out. THANKS Casey!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Is it Really January?

We had beautiful weather yesterday, here on Ocracoke. That's us on our skydeck under a gorgeous full moon that was actually way bigger than it looks in this photo.

Last night was warm and humid. Lovely. Brian grilled babyback ribs and I sat on the porch steps drinking a beer and taking pics of this brilliant, moonlit night. I have to say here that I went vegetarian about two weeks ago and I did not eat any of these ribs. Brian went Vegetarian too, but not completely. He has had meat every now and then. These ribs were in our freezer and he couldn't bear to give them away. So, this was kind of his last supper. Interestingly enough, Brian has noticed the side effects from eating meat as a part-time veggie. He noticed when he eats meat he feels more bloated, heavy, slow, gassy, and just generally yucky all around. So, that's kind of a cool experiment.

The island that we are lucky enough to live on has very little tourism in the winter and a year round population of about 800 - 1,000. We live in a neighborhood called Oyster Creek.

Most of the houses around ours are rental homes, so they are vacant in the winter. It's nice and quiet. Our dog, Charlie, loves to sit by the canal and watch for the otters that live,play, and hunt here.

Isn't that full moon incredible!? It was a good night. We even slept with the heat off and the windows open. It felt wonderful.

All of the houses in Oyster Creek are built on little canals that lead out into the Pamlico sound. It's a really fun place to live. We are working on some boat projects on Puff, our Bayfield sailboat, while we are living in this house for the winter. We have until March to really make some progress on Puff's upgrades. We will put in a new diesel engine, sew new canvas, polish stainless, apply new non-skid paint to the deck, varnish the teak, and Brian already made new propane tank storage boxes.

Some of our other goals for the next three months include making daily work-outs a habit, eating vegetarian, creating a commercial travel website, making significant progress on my novel, and for Brian to complete plans, materials, and cost lists for our house in the Bahamas. Some background info on this is that we purchased a lot on Long Island, Bahamas in 2006. We have been saving money to be able to build ever since. We should be able to begin construction of our tropical island home in Fall of 2009!

Thanks for stopping by!