It never ceases to amaze me- the first sight of the sparkling jewel colored Bahamian waters. Emerald greens floating into sapphire blues around small islands dotting the water.
Awakening from a pleasant nap, the captain calls, “We have now entered Bahamian airspace.” I peek out the tiny airplane window stretching my neck to gather it all in. This magnificent view has been here since I left last spring, awaiting my return. During my absence, I enjoyed summers shades of greens, the reds, yellows and oranges of fall. Now this pallet display below me welcomes my heart home.I whisper silently “Oh Lord, help me never take this scene, this land for granted. Thank YOU for these islands I love and call home. Thank you for my eyes to see this beauty, your handiwork. I am awed by what you have created and shared with me.” ……..Psalm 107:23-30 comes to mind…..
Vs. 23…some men go down to the sea and travel over it………they see the works of the Lord and His wonders….vs- 30- Then the men are glad because of the calm, and He brings them to their desired haven!……………………..Ok- I am once again inspired! How can I not be?? 3 a.m. comes and I am wide awake after laying for a minute or so trying to figure out where I am! My first cup of Fairhaven coffee awaited me! ( well- it’s just Starbucks, but when I make it here, in my huge kitchen, it becomes Fairhaven coffee!!)
The kitchen floor is dotted with open suitcases strung all over and a few dead GIANT centipedes!!
Our flights were smooth and the day flowed by without a hitch. We even had time in Nassau while waiting for our Long Island flight for a bit of refreshment! (I did have to beg a bit to get on the plane to Long Island- we were past open gate time, but this is the Bahamas and they do have their own rules!) “No problem mon!”
Getting off the plane in Stella Maris we were greeted by very hot, stagnant air. It had to be at least 90 and NO winds! The sand flies were out in full force and enjoyed my fresh white skin! But soon we were meandering down Queens Highway in Gregory’s duely pick up truck with a welcome Kalik!
Gregory and Gloria are our best friends here. We met a few years ago and instantly felt comfortable with one another. They are Bahamians and live on Long Island full time after retiring from Nassau where they raised their family. Gregory’s mummy- Sara 90- lives here on the family land. Gregory built on his parcel, right on the beach- a spectacular view- 5 years ago. He now raises sheep and goats. John helps with transporting feed off the mail boat twice a month- 15000 lbs each time- 4 truck loads! Gregory and his uncle- Eddy- go out into the bush 3 times a week to gather “brow” a certain bush the sheep/goats eat. They drive down long rutted roads way off the highway, hike into the bush cutting and hauling “brow” in the early morning, battling mosquitoes and sand flies. It is not an enjoyable job that John has done when Gregory has to go off island! Gregory and Gloria maintain our house and plants during the summer and Gloria’s brother-Jerry- weeded for us before our return.
The yard is very brown and dead looking. We are in a severe drought. Mark,our neighbor next door says since he has tracked rain over the past 18 years they have lived here, it has never been this bad. The usual 36 inches of rain by this time of year is at a record low of 11 inches! ( this time last year we had 70″ because of the storms) We are blessed to have a full water tank however, but must start conserving because the dry season will be here by the beginning of the year. Many plants and the bush are wilted and brown. The saving grace is so many plants love dry weather- bougainvillea, hibiscus, yellow elder. I have reds, oranges, yellows and purples smiling at me from browning gardens.
OK- John is up, it is 5:30 and I drank my pot of coffee. It is time to make him a fresh pot and enjoy our first morning together! Gloria is making breakfast- steamed fish and grits. I told her we would be there by 9 and spend some time visiting. They had to leave quickly yesterday after dropping us off- it was time for her to cook dinner for Gregory’s mom who eats promptly at 6 each evening!
Mark and Jill, the sail boat friends who bought a small piece of land from us last year and built their “cottage”- have been here with her daughter- Laura and husband Jared- for 2 months already. They are putting in a swimming pool this year. Jill made sure I had half and half in the fridge for my morning coffee and invited us for a swim before all 8 of us went next door for Joanna’s awesome welcome dinner. While being refreshed by the cool salt water, we talked this year of no one having huge projects and having more beach days! I do not have as much cleaning to get done this year. With little rain, it appears there is no mold on the walls like last year. But, knowing me- I know I will still wash every room down top to bottom. It may take me a bit longer, but John says we are going to enjoy Long Island more and work slower! ( I think he feels his 60 years, appreciates life and Long Island more and truly wants to slow down some….we’ll see…..=+) …)
I already have less gardening- Jill and Joanna have planted herbs, vegetables and flowers for me and all I have to do is make soil and transplant. The weeding is done too! SO LOOK OUT BEACHES HERE WE COME!!!