If I were stuck on an island, I would like to have:
When I was a kid oh so many moons ago, my mom worked the night shift as a nurse and my dad worked days as a radar tech in the Air Force. To let mom sleep, we were usually sent outside to play from sun up until sunset with the occasional food and potty break. For summertime in Alaska, that usually meant a good 18 hours of daylight, no kidding. So, we got good at making sure we’d packed all the stuff we’d need for a day outside exploring the neighborhood. And we weren’t the only ones sent out for the day like non-housebroken puppies.
The kids on both sides of us were usually put out on the porch about the same time we were, so the six of us (3 boys and 3 girls) formed a tight little tribe that roamed the neighborhood like a pack of wolves hungry for fun and excitement. Because we lived on base, it was pretty darn secure and a safe place for a kid to travel by bicycle. Dad had put wire baskets on the rear tires of mine and my brother’s bikes so we could be gone for extended periods of times. And boy did we cram them full of stuff! Jackets, snacks, water, baseball gloves with baseball, mason jars for bugs, jump ropes, cap guns, and whatever else a kid needs to explore the world.
Some of our exploits led us to the flight line to watch the jets take off or over to the creek to catch pollywogs and minnows. We made friends with the firefighters at the fire station up the road from our house, and hung out at the bowling alley, drinking all you could drink sodas for $1. We made a clubhouse out of the dugout at the ball field that was seldom used. There, we would pretend it was a cave, a moon base, a pirate ship, or whatever theme we decided on that day. But my favorite game was always, ‘stranded on a desert island.’
We spent endless days creating our island paradise out of things we’d rummage from the woods or brought from home. By the end of our summer vacation, that old dugout looked like a makeshift desert island. It was our favorite place to escape to and hide from our parents. And only the six of us knew about it. There are moments in my adult life that I pine for those sweet summer days filled with innocence and secret hideaways.
If I ever found myself stuck on an island, I’d probably wish I had the following:
1. A hammock. I’m too old to sleep on the ground and I don’t want bugs crawling all over me.
2. Unlimited sweet tea. I can’t live without some sweet tea!
3. A shower. It could be as simple as a waterfall to a full blown camp shower that hangs from a tree. I’m not picky, but I’m anal about showering daily.
4. Raw materials. To make clothes, furniture, an a hut out of. A coconut bra should really only be worn after Labor Day.
5. A lifetime supply of writing stuff. In case I get bored scrounging for food. I might actually force myself to write those damn books that have been gnawing at me in the back of my brain.
6. White Christmas lights. To decorate palm trees and make it look like a cheesy bar somewhere off the beaten track.
7. Mosquito netting. No bugs!
8. Camera. With unlimited storage and solar powered rechargeable batteries. So I can capture “Life on the Island.”
9. Hair accessories. I’d need a comb, brush and a pony tail holder. I can’t stand having my hair in my face. Especially needed while traipsing through the jungle where my hair would get caught on branches and twigs.
10. Slingshot. I used to be pretty darn good with my old slingshot. If I couldn’t have a rifle and ammunition, a slingshot would come in handy for knocking some of those tasty birds out of the trees and into my soup pot.
11. Fishing line and hooks. Just because I could, I learned to fish with a hand-line; it takes fishing to a whole new depth. I know, bad pun. But it’s still challenging and fun. I’d need it to land the catch of the day. Ok, I’ll stop with the puns.
12. A bunch of books. I know it’s probably on just about everyone’s list. But seriously, what are you gonna do for those hours and hours filled with absolute nothing? Mooning the passing fishing boats never gets old, but the sun burn isn’t exactly worth it.
13. Mochas. A girl cannot live on sweat tea alone. And I needs me my chocolate fix; liquid form.
If I go much further, I’ll sink the island with all my baggage. And I’m not just talking about the crap I can pick up down at the Walmart. But one last thing I’d need before I wrap this up. I’d need some companionship. At first, I was thinking I’d love to have my best-llama, because she’s smart and fun. But then I thought about all those cold, rainy nights where I’d need someone to snuggle up with and use our body heat to keep warm and stave off hypothermia. There could only be one answer; Keanu Reeves. If I get sick of the island and I wanna hit Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner, Neo can fly.
No one said we were stuck on the island indefinitely.