"Listen to the waves," Joni said, and I realized, I hear the waves most days. For the last two years, the waves have been a part of the sounds of our home. Only when the wind is not blowing do we not hear the waves, and on this windy island, that doesn't happen very often.
In less than three months, I will no longer fall asleep to the sound of the waves. It won't be a continuous rumbling in the back of my ears.
I will miss this place.
When do you get to live in a place where water borders three sides of your home?
When do you get the opportunity to live on a 12 x 19 mile wide island in the middle of the Atlantic?
I will miss walking over to the Red Café with my boys for an ice cream cone. The same faces sitting outside drinking their coffee or beer each morning and afternoon and evening.
It's actually called Café Ponta Negra but for the sake of the red awnings and red chairs that line the street, it will always be the Red Café to us.
(They have the best chocolate donuts too.)
And even more than the Red Café, we will greatly miss Buzius. Close to once a week, we sit down as a family on the water with Ms. Marta or Ms. Katya -- the two waitresses that serve us each time.
This restaurant is a favorite of the Americans, and we feel so lucky to have it in our backyard. They call the kids by name and walk around with the baby and bring the kids their food without us even ordering. JB usually asks the chef just to "make him something special" each time. It's such a comfortable place for us.
And the natural swimming pool to the right of Buzios represents this island for us. It is how we judge the weather. If there are Portuguese bodies swimming or laying out in the sun then summer is upon us -- or at least a warm day. Climbing on the rocks is absolutely the boys favorite thing to do.
And Scrubs absolutely loves playing Frisbee in the water -- if it isn't too cold.
I've often wondered if living on Base would have been a better fit for us, and then I realized that all my memories surround our home here in Porto Martins ... not the Base or any section of it. When I look back, I will remember the wind and the waves and the fireplace and the marble stairs and the pirate ship clubhouse and the pool and the gardens and the Café and Buzius.
The truth is that this has not been the easiest assignment for us. We've really missed our friends in Turkey and we've really missed our life in America.
But there is no doubt that this place has been home.
And it will be hard to say good bye to it.