I have found that even in short, three-month stays, I treat every season in my life the same way. I write about it and reflect over it and make sure I leave that season with a clear understanding of what I gained and how I grew as a person. Throughout my last ten days on the island I have been assessing the end of this season.
There are definitely things about this place that I will not miss. I saw two examples of this last Monday while working around the cafe. The first reminder happened before breakfast. Just when I thought the war on mice was over, two ladies from Cabin 1 called me into reception to “tell me a story” about their stay. I had a feeling I knew where their story was going to be about but I listened patiently anyways.
“Well, last night I was laying in bed and I kept hearing little scuffling noises. I knew something was in the room with me, I just didn't know what. I laid there a little longer and the next thing I know it was in my hair!” I cringed and gasped. I would have fainted if I had been her. “It was a mouse! So I went in the other room and told Barbara what had happened. She let me sleep on the top bunk, so if you wonder why the linens are on the top bunk, that's why.”
“That is not a problem. I am so sorry...” I was cut off when I realized the story wasn't over.
“So we laid back down and then we heard noises again, this time coming from the kitchen.”
Barbara jumped in at this point. “So I got up and saw he was in the trashcan. I ran over there and tied him up real quick and I said, 'I got him! I got him!'.” My face was pure terror at this point.
“So we didn't know what to do with him so we hung the bag in a tree outside, so you should know that is why there is a trash bag hanging outside the cabin. We didn't want him in the room with us so that was all we could think of.”
“Yeah and the crows were circling him this morning but we don't think they got him because the bag is still tied shut. The poor guy probably suffocated, honestly.”
I took a deep breath. “Okay. First, let me start by giving you your money back.”
“Oh yeah, that would be nice. Thank you.” Their cool demeanors were throwing me off. There is no way I would have been that nice if I would have had their experience in an overnight accommodation.
“Second of all, I'd like to offer each of you a meal on the house. You can have your choice of breakfast and I would gladly prepare it for you, free of charge.”
“Oh, no, that's okay, we already ate. We just wanted to let you know what was going on. It's nothing horrible, everything else was wonderful and we would definitely stay again if we are ever back on the island.” They were both walking out the door and I was still standing behind the cash register stunned.
“Are you sure, there is not something else I can do for you ladies?”
Just as quickly as they had came in, they were gone. They hadn't wanted to complain, only to inform. I was grateful for their positive attitudes and also that the roles hadn't been reversed. This was an example of a really bad situation handled well. I don't want to know what would have happened if a cranky customer would have had the same experience.
Later that day I was walking outside when I heard Matthew talking to an inanimate object. I went over to see what the fuss was and he explained it was the lawnmower again. When I asked him what was wrong with it, I got a full-length tour of the (insert slang term)-rigged unit.
“About three weeks ago the handlebar disconnected from the engine so it had to be wired to the bottom. Before that the throttle broke so it now has to be controlled by a pair of pliers that I craftily installed on the top portion of the motor. Now if you want to start the thing, you have to know what you're doing. The pull string no longer holds tightly so once you pull it out you have to wrap it carefully around the handle bars in order to keep the tension. Oh, and don't mess with the duct tape on the bottom or else the machine won't work properly.”
Despite the mundane, low-budget fix-ups and mice-infested things I won't miss, there are definitely things about the island that I will miss...but that's another post.