It’s been a quiet week on Ocracoke. The birds who normally rent the church chimney adjacent to my office were a bit late arriving on Saturday afternoon. Apparently, the Department of Unknown Migratory Birds (DUMB) delayed their transit for over three hours due to a misidentification of their beaks. Who knew there was a no fly list in the avian community? After a phone call to the Department of Homeland Security and a less than reputable avian veterinarian I knew “up the beach”, the situation was resolved. Now Sebastian and the Countess von Sponheim may vacation in peace.
Of the many good things about my idyllic home, I am often struck by the quality of hash browns available on this island. For an isolated community, adrift in waters of the Atlantic Ocean, totally dependent on imported potatoes, our chefs work miracles to produce divinely inspired dishes to be consumed at breakfast. Diced, sliced, browned, chunked, or tater-toted, the culinary varieties possible when applied to the template of the simple potato makes breakfast one of most interesting meals on Ocracoke.
Somehow, I seem to find myself wrapped up in the midst of and choosing among Ocracoke’s many breakfast experiences. I was in the deli, café, restaurant place; you know the one, near the paved road easing its way through the center of town. Entering the café, place, restaurant, and deli has become, in many respects, an extension of my own home. There is one major difference; this room is better stocked with junk food, on demand ice tea, and is separated from my actual house by the formality of a “road”. Despite the fact I don’t technically live there and I have to go by motor vehicle to get there, I feel at home.
Perhaps it is this degree of comfort which led me last Tuesday to walk in and exclaim in my best broken Spanish, (which makes Forrest Gump sound like a Nobel Prize winner), “Bienvenidos, Yo soy aqui ahora”. In reply, I was told, “Senor, your fly is unzipped.” It’s good to be at home. It’s good to have friends who look out for you; especially in your home away from home. Because there’s no better place to look stupid than with people who love you.