For Rose’s Birthday Season, the gifts that keep on giving

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Just call me an old-fashioned romantic when it comes to birthday presents. Last year I took Rose's bike down to Manusch's Hardware and had them upgrade her bumpers. How many husbands upgrade their wive's bumpers, I ask you?
Just call me an old-fashioned romantic when it comes to birthday presents. Last year I took Rose’s bike down to Manusch’s Hardware and had them upgrade her bumpers. How many husbands upgrade their wive’s bumpers for their birthday, I ask you?

I think I outdid myself this year.

In 2014 during that special monthlong holiday known as Rose’s Birthday Season (it ends Sept. 7, more or less … ) I gave my wife an especially thoughtful gift  — new fenders for her bicycle!

What?

I hear you snickering. But let me tell you something, diamonds are not a girl’s best friend when you are pedaling a bicycle through water-filled, truck-eating potholes during the rainy season in Belize.

A little bit of what the road north of the bridge used to look like. It got worse, much worse.
A little bit of what the road north of the bridge used to look like. It got worse, much worse, with construction and heavy rainfall.

Good fenders are!

Last year, during Rose’s Birthday Season, there was no concrete road in front of our home but they were building one and the heavy equipment cut deep tracks into the rain sodden road, tracks which filled, merged and were deep and wide enough to sustain whole ecological systems, if not the Loch Ness Monster.

OK, this year we have the road. I do not know where the rain is but we could sure use some of it now.

Last year we were rookies. You could tell by the “skunk stripe” up the back of our clothes when roads were wet — which if memory served seemed to be, like, always,

Major respect to San Pedranos who cycle, mostly bicycles without fenders, and manage to keep their clothing clean. I have followed behind some on our then-muddy main road north of the bridge and it is clear a lifetime relying on two-wheel transportation has taught them well.

San Pedranos possess intuitive physics. They know the correct speed at which to pedal through wet streets, hitting that centrifugal sweet-spot which spells the difference between a rooster tail of mud up your back and a harmless spray cascading to the ground. Go slow. But steady. Let gravity do its job.

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This is what old Moncho's 59 looked like with its original, duct tape-enhanced roof. Sort of a island shabby-chic look, don't you think?
This is what old Moncho’s 59 looked like with its original, duct tape-enhanced roof. Sort of a island shabby-chic look, don’t you think?

Me, being a gringo, pay for my penchant for speed with a healthy splatter on the back of shirts and shorts.  There was nothing like pedaling to Wine De Vine on a Friday night — and not discovering until we returned home the  gray stripe up and down the back of my white (what was I thinking?) shirt.

True story. You thought island living was all Paradise and no pain?

Between last Birthday Season and this one, we bought a golf cart. Timing was such that it did not qualify as a birthday gift, more of a necessity. With the arrival of the concrete road north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, and the increase in yoga and Pilates classes that Rose was teaching, a bicycle just wasn’t enough. Plus a heart operation kept me off the bicycle for a couple of months.

Our cart is known throughout the island as Moncho’s 59.

Partially because that is what it says on the side of the cart, “Moncho’s 59.” And partially because it was probably the ugliest cart in continuous operation. The windshield is cracked and stitched together like a Frankenstein monster. The top was badly cracked and held together with duct tape, which tends to loosen in the heat and flap like silver banners in the breeze.

All that descriptive stuff came in handy when I thought the cart was stolen during the apex of Lobster Festival.

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And this, my friends, is Moncho's 59 today. What girl wouldn't be proud to ride beside a guapo guy like me in this swell vehicle?
And this, my friends, is Moncho’s 59 today. What girl wouldn’t be proud to ride beside a guapo guy like me in this swell vehicle?

To this day, our friends and some complete strangers remind me of the Great Golf Cart Brain Fart of 2015. No really, to this day. Just today, someone said …..)

But never mind that.

The point is, ugly no more.

Well, not as ugly.

For her birthday this year, I got Rose a new roof for Moncho 59!

Well, come on … a little applause?

What does this image have to do with the golf cart? While I waited for the top to be installed I wandered over to Wayo's Beach Bar (after wandering down to Estel's Dine by the Sea for breakfast) and there were some of our fine island musicians enjoying a Monday mid-morning guitar pull. Just one of the joys of island living. They should be there on Monday's around 11 a.m.
What does this image have to do with the golf cart? While I waited for the top to be installed I wandered over to Wayo’s Beach Bar (after wandering down to Estel’s Dine by the Sea for breakfast) and there were some of our fine island musicians enjoying a Monday mid-morning guitar pull. Just one of the joys of island living. They should be there on Monday’s around 11 a.m. if you play or just want to listen.

It actually isn’t new. It was sitting atop an old cart in the spare parts section of a great little local repair shop.

For $400 BZE  the guys swapped it out — and reinforced the aluminum frame.

When I told her it was part of our  birthday season celebration, Rose rolled her eyes a bit, which after all these years I know means that I am just adorable and she is so grateful for the little kindnesses that I bestow upon her.

Well, maybe she’ll think that when it starts raining.

If it starts raining.

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “For Rose’s Birthday Season, the gifts that keep on giving

    Susan Watts said:
    August 23, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Robert – you could have at least blinged the top out with diamonds! (not real diamonds of course) or had “Rose’s Ride painted on the cart! OR a really big rose painted ON the roof!! How cool would THAT look?! I could go on, but I think you get my drift…
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROSE!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Emily said:
    August 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    I totally agree with Susan, that cart needs a rose! Happy Birthday Rose, and I hope that Bob augments this utilitarian gift with something just a bit more romantic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Dawna said:
    August 24, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Robert – I look forward to your blog posts and appreciate that it makes me feel a little part of San Pedro. I spent part of the last 3 winters there and it feels a bit like home to me. I do not have plans to return this year do to the expansion of my business. I will probably tire of winter here in Canada and book something last minute:)
    In the mean time I can catch up on all the growth and changes going on thanks to you- Cheers Dawna Roy

    Liked by 1 person

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      August 24, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Thanks Dawna, that is a kind thing to say. It sounds like you are on a fresh adventure at home. Good luck with the expansion. Belize will be here when you are ready to return! (I promise!)

      Like

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