You would think that having an island house would reduce the amount you carry there. Aloe House is stocked with swimsuits, flip-flops, snorkeling gear, t-shirts, personal care items, bug spray, books and sunscreen. What more could we need?
Well, just for starters, I'm looking at spray bottles, drill bits, printer ink, a pair of garden clogs, light bulbs and shoelaces. And there are always re-supply items, such as shampoo, Brita filters and sandpaper. Hobby items--beer-making and mosaic supplies--take up room, and we always, always need batteries.
Yes, some of this stuff can be found on the island or on Provo ... but you can never be sure if Yvette's will have *your* brand of shampoo, and the hassles of a Provo day far outweigh the hassles of carrying office supplies or construction glue. So we schlep it.
And then there are our "mule" items ... requests from friends. We know only the nicest people, so they never overburden us, but space is space. Over the years, we've provided a stream of easier-and-cheaper-in-the-states items for various folks: sheet sets, vitamins, sunglasses, electronic devices, certain DVDs. (I thoroughly enjoyed another's recent Facebook blog about island mules and recommend it: check out Women Who Live On Rocks.)
Add it all up, and the insides of our checked bags are less "Beach trip!" and more like the sale table at Lowe's or Target.
But that's the way it evolves. Only people familiar with out-island life can look at a suitcase full of plumbing supplies and think, "Beach trip!"