Question: So what’s your island?

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We’re heading over to Drummond Island to my family’s cabin place, but I’m going with very mixed feelings. First of all, my mother is too sick to travel there, and I got us both, Helmut and me, tickets primarily to see her. I don’t know when I’ll be able to see her now. Then there’s the minor issue of the weather, which has been dreadful. But a little more worrisome is that my brother Adam has opted to give the horrible old Toyota a new battery-driven life, to save us all money. When I saw it last year it was already decomposing. Ye gods! Wish us luck.

Drummond Island is as down-home and funky as it gets. It’s a place where the best bar serves beer in jam jars and where an older man once tried to chat me up by showing me his teeth and saying “they’re all mine”. It’s also a place where neighbors hang out together and where people you don’t remember will welcome you just because they know your last name. My father’s family started going there in the late 20s or early 30s, not sure which. Anyhow, in this world of transient relationships, it’s a small miracle, and I love that place. I only hope that Helmut survives the three weeks that we spend there. – I’ll be posting our adventures, naturally.

So: Do you have an island like that, be it an actual island or a down-home place you will always want to return to at some point, for some time? Leave a GPS point in the comments, and say a few words about the place, will you?

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5 Responses

  1. I live on an island. Kyushu is the third largest island in the Japan chain. We’re at 33.50 N (latitude) 130.50 E (longitude). If you look at Kyushu in Google Maps, you’ll see that we’re actually closer to South Korea than we are to Tokyo. Over 12 million people live here, so it’s not that small an island!

    Kyushu was the first Japanese island to modernize–when Japan decided to open it’s “doors” to outsiders, they were limited to Nagasaki. Like most Japanese islands, we have several large castles. I live near Kokura Castle. Kokura was also originally supposed to the the second target for the atomic bomb during WWII. But, it was a cloudy day, so the planes flew on to Nagasaki.

    Kumamoto Castle, in the center of the island, is one of the most famous castles in Japan. You can see pictures here:

    You can also visit Kumamoto Castle in Second Life, where you can even fire the cannon. Here it is on a list of Japanese sightseeing spots in Second Life:

    Enough about castles. The best thing for me about living on an island is being near the beach. I live about 5 minutes from the beach, and enjoy the days when I can snorkel in the water, or just wander the tide pools collecting seaweed and shellfish.

    I would love to visit your island some day. It sounds lovely!

  2. Sorry, i can’t give you a GPS point as i don’t know how to do that without a GPS, and i am a fold and rip in the wind map person.
    And my Island is not an island but part of an island, Ireland.
    It’s a place on The Beara peninsula in the S.W. near the town of Allihies.
    A friend living nearby was “caretaker” of a house at the end of a 2 mile track that led to a small tidal bay hidden by granite, moss and Fuschia bushes.
    A long time ago a community of Mackerel fishers lived here and they moved their boats through a thin channel that separated bay from ocean.
    Now only three houses remain.
    Ours had no electricity, no toilet, just a cold tap and a peat fire.
    It is the only place that i have visited that i miss physically.

  3. Funny to hear a descripion – and what a nice one – of Allihies here.
    I’ve never been there physically but a cousin of mine’s husband came from there. They used to spend their summers there when the children were small. My sister visited them once in Allihies and described it to me -fits well to your description.

    As for my island – well my own village with its extraordinary landscape, music and tales is also in Ireland and I’m always transported back in time when I pop by every one or two years.
    Viel Spaß und Erfolg on Drummond Island Anne & Helmut

  4. I don’t have an island. But, my mother decided to ‘make’ an island for my family when she bought a ‘getaway’ in a tiny town in Pennsylvania. (It’s funny, because my parents still live in a town that’s not much bigger. . . but they get away from the other five thousand inhabitants.)

    I was already living in Germany when they bought the place, so I don’t get to go there much. . . but there are strict rules like anyone in the family can visit there, and you never ‘own’ the house. . . so, if we’re living there on our vacation and my sister wants to come in, she can. It’s actually great. The ‘mountains’ (read: hills) of PA are wonderful scenery, you can walk to a state park from there. And there’s no TV, no internet, and no cell phone coverage. You’re stuck talking to your family. . . and that always winds up being nicer than you think.

  5. Thanks for your beautiful comments, Japanese castles, flapping maps, green isle reverie, family utopias and all. They all resonate. 🙂
    Thanks for your good wishes, dear Joan. We’ve arrived safely and very happily and I’ll be riding out jet lag by updating this blog.

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