And now the latest addition of Let's Pretend This is Normal.
Exhibit A: I've got crabs. Lots of crabs.
They like to do things like tip my tacky yard art over. See my "gazing ball?" I don't even know what the point of these things is. I have a nice metal planter and I can't manage to keep a plant alive inside of it, so it's now home to this blue bowling ball-sized glass ball. It's quite heavy. And thanks to a blue land crab, it's always on my front door step (next to piles of banana rat poo).
I have to fight crabs sometimes to get in my classroom. They are small and feisty---they put up their little crabby claws and run towards me, like they are going to take me down. I pick them up, move them off the sidewalk (so nobody steps on them and squishes them---sadly, it does happen), and an hour or so later, do it again. And again. All day long, they keep sideways walking into the wall by my door, and I'm always moving them to the grass. It's like a crazy game, where a crab is getting the last laugh.
(Or maybe, just maybe, Island Fever has officially made me crazy).
Either way, this is the new normal.
We also have a major food crisis. McDonald's, one of our eight fine eating establishments (we also have Windjammer/Pizza Hut, O'Kelly's, Bayview, Jerk House, Taco Bell, Triple B, Subway), will be closed for six weeks. The high school kids can no longer eat at the Galley, our mess hall (and best eating establishment here, in my opinion) for a discount price. The buses no longer take kids to the Galley or anywhere else off campus for lunch. So we now have even less options.
Am I sad? Not really. It is unhealthy junk food, after all (as are about half of our food choices here). But their chicken wings and sticky rice are my FAVORITE go-to meal/comfort food. We are small and isolated, but our McDonald's secret menu item is the BEST I've had anywhere else we've lived.
Of course, I've eaten at McDonald's here more in 3 years than in the 40+ years of my life combined pre-GTMO, so who knows what super-secret items are really out there. All I know is we have even less places to go for a quick meal. The fact that I would even consider fast food a "meal" is a new normal, too.
Also Exhibit C: I recently berated a childhood friend on facebook for killing a huge tarantula he encountered while working in Equatorial Guinea. Did I mention it was huge? I wouldn't have blinked an eye if this had happened 3 years ago, but my new normal is loving tarantulas and making sure they aren't unnecessarily killed.
I feed iguanas hibiscus flowers for fun. Just letting that sentence percolate in my head blows my mind.
I call her "Mama" because she has baby iguanas running all over school. I'm afraid a boa has eaten some of them; let's hope that the remaining ones can outrun it and grow up to be other cute iguanas. I am glad that a female has taken up at school instead of a male, since they are SO much friendlier.
So feeding wildlife hibiscus blooms is my normal. I am not kidding when I say that even on the roughest, toughest, most exhausting of days, I feel 100 times better by just watching her walk around our school atrium.
And finally, E:
The Map of Lost Map has THREE new pins, thanks to our ever-exciting mail service. Sometimes we get it three times a week; sometimes, three times a month. It's always like Christmas up in here. I am still waiting for a package I mailed in July to get to GTMO (and it's September). It's been stuck in Customs in Chicago forever now.
I still can't understand how 09588, the USS Truxtun; 09009, Ramstein, Germany; and 09357, Kuwait City, Kuwait, look anything like 09593, but whatever. My mail is well traveled and my map contains lots of pins of places I have never been (but would like to visit one day).