Jo studied the hammock.
“I think it will stay,” she said to the small gecko hanging onto a wooden porch post. “Now, it’s time for a margarita.”
So far Jo’s dream had not developed as she had planned. She had worked hard for thirty eight years as a school teacher, living frugally and saving every penny toward her retirement. When her dream to marry and have a family had not come to fruition by the time she’d hit thirty-five, she decided to change her dream. Now, here she was, living on an island in the Caribbean.
The thing was, it was not at all what she had expected. Sure, there were sandy beaches, lots of good-looking men on vacation and beautiful clear waters.
But, the brochures had not mentioned the sand fleas or the fact that shoes need to be worn on the sand because it gets hot enough to cause blisters. Those dreamy picture cards had not mentioned the fish that nibble at legs and toes, or the jellyfish that stings like a burning hot poker, or the crabs that chase people from the water. Those beautiful brochures had not discussed language barriers, the inability to find help that worked more than a few hours per day so a house could be painted and wood trim fixed, or the fact that everything smelled like fish. All the time. Everywhere.
Jo had come down to the island once to see the house, buying it through a website. When she moved, she discovered she had paid much more than market value and now she was stuck. After three months of living in it, she recognized that she had not done her due diligence. Now, paint chipped, the washing machine froze up and she only had one burner left working on her stove.
She did not even want to think about the hurricanes.
And… Nobody had told her that in equatorial heat, sweat poured from every pore, all day and all night. She never felt clean. She was either sweaty and gross, or dried out from the salt air like an old starfish. Nobody had told her how terribly she would miss her family and friends.
Today was a good day. She had a hammock, and her blender still worked; and so, she made a margarita and took an afternoon nap.