Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Why I'm Missing 'Lil Ole Rhode Island

Having been out here in misery … er, Missouri (inside joke, never gets old … to me) … for almost a decade, and having lived in NJ for at least half a decade prior to that, people ask me what I miss most about little old Rhode Island. Well, there are thousands of things I miss, but here’s what’s on my mind right now:

  • I miss the sound of the foghorn when I’m still in bed early in the morning on a foggy warm/cool spring day
  • I miss the island humidity that smells like only humidity near the ocean can smell
  • I miss red tide at Second Beach
  • I miss Second Beach … and Purgatory Chasm
  • I miss the deep blues of Narragansett Bay, and the color of the sky
  • I miss Maple trees (oh, how I love Maple trees)
  • I miss the cloud formations native to Aquidneck Island
  • I miss Brenton Tower (e.g., the Brenton Reef Offshore Light Station)
  • I miss sailing to the Block’s New Harbor through fog so thick it feels like I’m breathing cool steam and have cotton in my ears, and talking to the people on a boat 30 feet away becomes as intimate and muffled as a whispered conversation by firelight
  • I miss Aldo (the elder) putt-putting around said New Harbor selling pastries while happily "singing" Italian opera at the top of his lungs
  • I miss riding around Aquidneck Island on the Vespa with my Dad, just the two of us
  • I miss watching Mom and Dad slow dance around the kitchen, with that disgust only a teen can muster, of 40% “ew, gross!” and 60% “I hope I’m that lucky when I’m old like them” (youth being a currency only the young can spend)
  • I miss lying on the foredeck of D'Lite with Mom, having girl talk while Dad and the boys play cribbage in the cockpit
  • I miss flying kites and having unauthorized bonfires (don’t try this at home) on Ocean Drive
  • I miss Saucy Silvia (and Charlie on the MTA) at the Sheraton Islander
  • I miss Easter and Thanksgiving at Nam’s, where work and play go hand-in-hand
  • I miss Christmas days at Nana’s and Grampa’s, and Christmas nights at Uncle Paul’s and Auntie Elaine’s
  • I miss potato wedges at Chicken City (but only sometimes)
  • I miss the world's biggest captain’s chair and Nibbles Woodaway (the big blue bug)
  • I miss having days (days!) to prepare for a possible hurricane, and that only once a decade or so (tornados are so impatient)
  • I miss soft, fluffy snow in Winter that sounds like bacon sizzling (instead of the driving ice storms of the Midwest)
  • I miss gentle rains that don’t tear up the neighborhood and rip roof tiles off houses
  • I miss the many different RI and MA accents, and the dearth of “R’s” in most of them
  • I miss being able to spend hours outdoors every day in the dead heat of summer, because no matter how hot it gets, it never gets as hot as MO, and there’s always shade, and almost always a breeze
  • Mostly I miss my family, and I thank God almost every day that no matter how far away I get, they’re always just a phone call away

But I also know how true is the adage "you can't go back", as I learned the year I returned to Aquidneck Island, between stints in NJ and MO. Change didn't measure up to What Used To Be, but What Used To Be? Well, that will live forever in my soul, and that's good enough for me.

Now don’t get me wrong, Missouri has its share of awesome things, and one of these days I’ll tell you all about some of them.

BTW: Johnny Dare cracked me up this morning, talking about how people decorate for Christmas earlier every year, and how he usually has the best in his neighborhood until (gasp!) the new folk moved in. Apparently they gave him a run for his money last year, so all he had to say about his plans for this year was, “I don’t care if my electric meter looks like a fan. Oh! It’s on!

1 comment:

The Common Man said...

I miss red tide at Second Beach.

Just eat a huge bowl of chili, drink 5 gallons of draft beer, take a huge dump, then stick your head in the toilet and voila the essence of red tide....your welcome

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