The sender scratched out her husband's name on a used envelope, wrote in mine, and took it to the airport on Provo. It was put on a flight to North, and the pilot handed it to Mac, the taxi driver. He knew where the Rathgebs stayed when we were "on island," so he brought it to Pelican Beach Hotel and put it in my hands.
I was so amazed by the process, and so flattered to be known, that I framed the envelope and kept it on our wall until the time came to actually move to the island.
That's the kind of thing I think about when I get homesick for the place. Sure, I miss the water, the breeze and the beach - the things that took me there 23 years ago. But I miss more the details of everyday life in a place that's somewhere between the Third World and the First. (Second World? You never hear that term.)
These are the thoughts that make me homesick:
The buzz when some new food item comes into one of the stores. "Susie, they have broccoli" I announced, and she threw down her spatula, turned off the stove and grabbed her wallet, ready to go.
How Fee Forbes dresses up for an event (a captain's cap for a boat launch, for example) and starts the dancing, alone.
Rooster wake-ups, and watching hens and chicks forage in my yard.
How a wide-hipped woman in a big straw hat walks on a hot, hot day.
I don't think about water toys for adults, or cool-tiled resort lobbies, or complicated fruit-filled cocktails, or infinity pools. I leave those for the tourists. I miss my island with the warts and scratches.
Sure, when you live there the very things you miss become annoyances. But without its flaws, the Turks and Caicos is just another tourist trap. I prefer the real place.