Sandy Point resident David Kennedy recently shared with me an “island thing” that I find totally charming. It seems that Ralph and Brenda Wilcke of Bottle Creek realized that three of their friends would be noting birthdays in quick succession. They had one birthday card, and the idea that North Caicos has a Hallmark shop elicits maniacal laughter, so they started a chain card. Kim passed it on to Arturo, who passed it on to Randy.
I love it! While cards are becoming obsolete elsewhere, replaced by JibJab emails and Facebook greetings, North Caicos reinvents the custom with an even-more-personal touch, since there is not only a scarcity of cards but also the non-existence of mail service. Bravo, Ralph and Brenda.
Perhaps I am so taken by this bit of island-ness because I’m such a softie for paper and office products, yet I recognize their incompatibility with island life. Tom and I have an office drawer full of business envelopes that we shipped to North Caicos in 2007, now all sealed shut. (We hadn’t learned to prep them with waxed paper buffers before keeping them in the humidity.) We also have oodles of rusted paper clips and staples, rubber bands that disintegrate when stretched, and a collection of dried-up ink cartridges for printers that died long ago. Paper, stored in plastic bins, fares better, but about most office supplies I would say ix-nay on orage-stay. Don’t bring/buy more than you’re going to need soon.
And accept the fact that when you do need it, you probably won’t have it. Best to wander over to your neighbor’s house to see if he/she has a spare paper clip.
There’s the charm of it all. Island life is all about community, even when it comes to paper clips and birthday cards. Ain’t it grand?