Saturday, December 11, 2004

A beautiful breezy Saturday a.m. in the islands. The tourists swim in this weather, but it is a bit too cool for the locals, me included. In the doldrums of the summer we would go down and just stand in the water up to our necks to cool off. One day I had what would be an aquarium of colorful fish swimming around my legs, occasionally nibbling on me. It was so cool - the way I could see right down to my toes. Depending upon the direction of the wind, the water can be very cloudy with sand or very clear like it was that day.

We went downtown for dinner last night and I was surprised at how few Christmas lights there were up along the wharf. The Havensight Mall, which is where the cruise ships dock, have a multitude of lights up, but the little businesses in downtown Charlotte Amalie do not. I don't think Christmas is as big of a deal down here as it is on the Mainland. No Christmas music wafting in the breeze or any Santas ringing bells. We had the dates wrong for the Christmas Boat Parade - it is next Friday. I will miss it as I leave for Wisconsin next Weds.

Speaking of music - we have Aaron Neville's wonderful voice floating about our apartment. We saw him in an outdoor concert a couple of years ago and he was wonderful. He and his brothers played at an ALA function a few years back too, but that wasn't as much fun. Every time we go to New Orleans we talk about finding their club, but have yet to do so.

Just finished Alice Mead's Swimming to America. There seems to be a proliferation of immigrant stories from countries other than Mexico being published as of late. Linda knows she is not American, she's Albanian, but her mother will not talk about how they got to the U.S. or how she got the scar on her face. A family tree project for her 8th grade English class causes Linda to push the subject until her mother tells her about their terrible trip to freedom via Greece and Mexico. Linda's best friend is Ramon, a Cuban immigrant whose older brother is involved in dealing drugs. No one wants to get the police involved so it gets a bit out of control there for a bit. A solid addition to a MS collection, but I am not a big Alice Mead fan. Her books have a dydacticism to them that gets in the way of plot and character development. I felt the same way about Year of No Rain, set in the Sudan. An interesting book, with lots of information imparted, but the depth of character development is just not there. Nevertheless, these are books that should be in a library, because there is so little written about either region.

I have the ARC of rhymes with witches by Lauren Myracle in front of me. Can't wait to dive into it. I do enjoy her books very much. :-) Myracle is also a cool lady - had the pleasure of sitting next to her at a luncheon. She has a great sense of humor.