Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ali's Ocracoke Odyssey, Part II

It's been a little over three weeks since I arrived on Ocracoke, and boy it seems to have flown by. I've been settling into my new situation: living on my own, my work schedule and island life. As far as living on my own, I'm trying to learn to cook for myself a bit, but I haven't gotten much past sandwiches, ramen, rice and (this is the most exciting) tortellini. I figure it's better to practice on myself than on my roommates next year. They would be less than impressed if the only cooking skills I brought to the table (literally!) were ones with the microwave. Then again, I haven't had to put my skills to the test much, since Philip, Jude and her husband Frank have been really wonderful in welcoming me to the island by inviting me over (or out) for dinner. More often than not, during those dinners I get to meet some of their friends from on and off the island, and I'm starting to recognize people around the island.

Working down here is actually a lot of fun. I've been warned that it will only get busier, but so far it's been steady and I've been able to ease into things comfortably. I am enjoying being able to meet people from all over, many of which come back year after year—as a result many know more about the island than I do, and I'm always learning something new. It's the island life that seems to draw people back; I've only gotten a taste of it and you can't beat it. I love hopping on my bike at the end of the day and riding down to the Community Store and picking up what I need, or maybe just going for a ride. I go the beach on my days off, and I'm hoping to check out the ghost crabs at nighttime one of these nights.

The other day Philip showed me how to open clams, and invited me over for the "clams casino" he talked about earlier. Jude is recovering from several nights of nursing kittens only days old that were brought to her the other day. Her dedication to taking care of the "Ocracats" is one of those faith-restoring gestures. It is refreshing to see that people down here care "because nice matters," as the new sign reads above the counter at the Village Craftsmen. The laid back atmosphere, the fresh clams and the caring nature of people on Ocracoke...it's only the beginning but it looks like I've tapped into something pretty great.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the brave and courageous members of the US Life Saving Service. You can read it here.


  1. It's just a minor nit-pick, but the word is "Odyssey", not "Odessey". Having got that out of my system, I'm enjoying your odyssey, and I thank you for sharing it.

  2. Thanks Clem. I should have known better! It is now corrected.

  3. Ocracoke is the best. Will be down from Pa the end of the month and will make the usual stops in cluding the VC. Can't wait to be back in Ocracoke! Look forward to more stories and updates.

  4. Anonymous9:09 AM

    Was in the store last week and had the pleasure of meeting Miss Ali..you guys have found a real gem with that girl! Even though she isn't from the island, if you didn't read this blog, you would never know it to meet her..her personality is absolutely "island", she appears to be a beautiful girl all the way around.

  5. Ali, my son is a lifeguard this summer at the public beach and having the time of his life just like you are. His odyssey has included learning to surf, protecting turtle nests, grilling fish and working hard. The next time you are at the beach on your day off tell Tyler his Momma said "Hi".

  6. Anonymous6:56 AM

    Why does it say posted by Phillip if it is titled Ali's Ocracoke Odyssey and it is written in first person Ali voice this all so confusing

    it reminds me of where I work there are temp employees and they are called casuals -- and some people attempt to remember the name of he casual some do not bother-- as within a few weeks they may quit or get fired or not be re hired . it is an exhausting emotional event to be a career person and see this constant wave of new people and like who are they? can we trust them ? it is very draining i wonder if knowing you are staying on the island because you are permanent is cache enough to be welcoming to new combers who are temporary or are those with a "letter of introduction" have an easier more welcomed state really is there that elevated state the life guard does not blog on this page why not??

  7. Hi. This is Philip and I will try to clarify. This is the Village Craftsmen Journal. I am the principal author, although I have given permission to Jude to post as well. As you can understand, I'm sure, it would become confusing and difficult to manage if I gave permission to everyone who worked here. Ali is one of our summer employees, and we thought our readers would enjoy hearing her perspective of living on the island. So she writes her observations every now and then, and I post them. Thus, my name appears at the bottom of the post. The life guard does not blog on this site for the same reason that numerous others do not. He or she is not a part of our Village Craftsmen team.

    I hope this clarifies this for you.

  8. Anonymous7:42 AM

    Looks like "anonymous" needs a vacation to Ocracoke, which will relax all that confusion right out of his system. I enjoy Ali's perspective, it reminds me of the way I felt the first of many times I visited your beautiful island, where I always felt welcome and at home.