Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bikes and Tires

Things get better here everyday. Though it has been six weeks and I still don't have electricity at the museum and I don't have an insurance settlement at the house. I have been going to Provo every week for meetings. Last week I was there for four days. In Provo I have electricity, water, air conditioning, and I go out to eat a lot. But I don't have any of the comforts of feeling at home and no friends that you just hang out with. One of the good things about going to Provo, however, is that I am able to bring fresh meat back with me. This means that when I am on Grand Turk there is usually a BBQ party or something going on.

Last night I ate at Allsio's. He made island-style BBQ chicken. There was so much chicken I thought there would be several people at dinner. It was just Allesio, Jackie, and me, but we ate five pounds of chicken thighs. After dinner we went down to the SandBar, which is not open yet, and jammed with Mitch and several other guys playing.

Tonight, I am having a couple people over for an American BBQ with more chicken thighs. I was also invited to two other BBQs tonight.

Everyday there is still a story that is unbelievable. This blog allows me to reflect and see things outside of my life. I am no longer amazed by this. But I am beginning to think that we would all have outstanding stories if we would just look at the life that is around us.

Here is my story for today. It is a story that is either about preparedness or providence. That determination can be up to the reader.

Elaine has gone off island for two weeks. Her sister, Louise has come from Canada to look after the dog shelter and other animals that Elaine cares for. I spoke to Louise the other day, though she is French Canadian and speaks little English. I did understand that she thought Grand Turk was difficult before, but now it is almost impossible for her to accomplish simple tasks, like getting groceries or water.

I have been charging phones for Elaine. I picked up a phone from Louis when I helped her take water to the pound yesterday. Last evening Louis called to come get the phone. Later she called to say she had a flat near the hospital. A couple weeks ago I had to deal with flat tires on Elaine's truck and this is what I was expecting.

When I got over to Hospital Road, however, Louise was pushing a bicycle down the road. She does not drive. Like a ton of bricks, I was immediately hit with the responsibility that comes with understanding the purpose of prior events. These are the things we do that we often do not understand the reason or significance at the time. Like when you choose to take the long way home, and then find out there was an accident on the other road.

When I came back to Grand Turk after the hurricanes, I brought several things I thought might be important. Food was one. Diapers was another. I also brought back an assortment of a dozen bike tires and tools to fix bicycles. I can't even tell you why I though this was important. They were just really cheap at Walmart. When Dave was here, we unpacked them and took them to the museum. We fixed our family bikes and then organized a bike repair station on the tool wall.

There have been few people I have ever helped who were more appreciative than Louise was today. In less than fifteen minutes I had her old tire off, her new tire in, both tires aired up, and her chain oiled. I truly think she had thought that on Grand Turk the flat was the end of her bike. Her only transportation.

I can't take her thanks. In the end, I had nothing to do with this. It was a good day today because for a small minute I understood my purpose. This is fleeting though, because like everyone, I immediately began to focus on all the other little day to day things I have to do, which more often than not have no purpose at all in the end.

1 comment:

Salt Cay Cindi said...

Neal..when I went ot Salt Cay after the Hurricane...I went thru 4 bikes with flats...golfcart had to be fixed by Boo 3 times and I wrecked my Scooter. Dang Thank Goodness I have all that to choose from.....But hey all the people needed fed at that time...they are wonderful people and we all worked together...sorry I did not see you then but I was in GT only an afternoon..they needed me on Salt Cay...but I did go see Hein Chris and sad about Colin..I loved that man! Then Grandpa Talbot died right after I left the islands...crazy...but at least all pulled together! Love to Deenan and the boys...