Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Traditional Architecture, Rincon

It's mid-winter. The days are getting longer and the temperature is supposed to creep above freezing in the next few days. This is the time of year when I go away, in my mind, to Bonaire, my favorite island waaaay in the southern Caribbean. Some years my body gets to go there too, and even gets to go scuba diving to visit all the fishies and sponges and shrimp and critters that live in the clear salty water. This year we turned our vacation dollars into shingles and put them on top of our house. We needed a new roof, the old one was over 30 years old and, let me tell you, that's old for a roof. But now, in the cold and dreary and short daylight days of January, a new roof just doesn't seem like a worthy trade off for 30, or even 15, even 10 but that's as low as I'm willing to go, days in Bonaire. Terry and Bonnie went. Kevin and Deb did too. I know Dennis and Julie, and some couple I'd never met before from Waupaca who came in last week, are going too. The Niles' went because the missus called last week to say how much fun they had there. There was even a 2-minute segment of some unnamed Bonairean reef at the end of CBS Sunday Morning last week! How come everyone on earth gets to go but me? (Yeah, I know, not really, but it sure does feel like it today.) So the best I can do is go through my Bonaire Week-At-A-Glance calendars and do my daily prompt writing about the island. I just can't leave it alone; it's like picking at a scab.

January 12--Traditional architecture, Rincon. Thick stucco walls soar up into the dark blue Caribbean sky as I steer the rental truck down the narrow street. Every one of these one-horse island towns has a church at the end of the main street. Every car drives past the pharmacy with the sun-bleached packages of digestive tablets and out-dated fashion magazines, the mini-mart with two broken down chairs leaning against the outside wall and the Polar Beer sign nailed next to the entrance, Cora Lee's Better Dresses, a school yard with either a ragtag flock of chickens pecking for bugs or a billy goat and his three-nanny harem cropping the grass, and a combination bar/restaurant/gas station/post office toward the church. It doesn't matter what the faith or building material, they're all the same--blinding white, patched and leaning, tired from years of exposure to sun, salt air and trade winds. But each one is also a testament to endurance, constancy, and faith. Maybe more towns in the US need to redirect Main Street traffic to redirect municipal focus.

Look at that, two rants for the price of one. Hope you enjoyed the ride.

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