Island style Christmas Magic

miracle

12/22/2015  Aaaah, yes, holidays on the island. It’s so different from what I am used to, from what was brainwashed into my head for so many years, the unrealistic expectations of Christmas. Here it’s different, people don’t get new cars and big trucks for Christmas or another diamond necklace, people are happy with a bag of rice and beans and the kids take a jump rope or a stuffed animal and they smile. In the states kids want Wii, Xbox and iPads, here a truck or a frisbee or a Beanie Baby is wonderful! No excessive gift giving on this rock.

On Thursday we had the kids party in Fiddlers Bight, an area with water access only. The kids from Calabash Bight came also, we think there were around 175 kids total, more than the previous year. When our boat arrived at the party spot the kids were busy making and flying paper airplanes with this cool set Marilyn and Alex bought for them. They were having fun with that, seeing who could throw theirs the farthest. A few of the girls were drawing with chalk on the macadam. It was a calm, hot as hell day, my shirt was soaked by mid afternoon and Francie was glistening.. At one point I thought my calves were melting. Too bad the sun can’t melt your ass off, or your gut..

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The coolest paper airplane kit that Marilyn and Alex brought
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So bizarre, part of a doll hanging on the fence. Random
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Santa’s new chair, made by Bill, painted by Marilyn
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I love DUBAI?? The country?? HUH?
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Kat, BJ’s gorgeous daughter, explaining the folding process for the airplanes
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Frosty in a box

The kids played for awhile, then the story lady told her version of the birth of Christ and Kat translated it to Spanish and rearranged some of the story to keep it on track. Lets just say the story lady has a slightly different version. Kat was great though, she told the story in a very animated way, the kids were really paying attention to her.

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Story lady on the right holding up a picture.
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gorgeous little girls
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really, could she be any cuter??
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Derek, my favorite
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Marilyn and her jester hat

After the story lady was done we gave the kids a stick and let them take turns beating the candy out of poor old Frosty the Snowman. I kept getting freaked out, afraid they might whack Francie a few times, the boys were slammimg the crap out of Frosty. Once they got a hole torn in it, it was all over. The kids dove on top of one another for the candy, as always, some get a lot some get a little.

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My new friend Judy staying WAAAYY back from the stick.
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Yes Carmen has on 2 sets of antlers.. It’s a look.
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Bashed Frosty

Then someone spoke the magic words, “here comes Santa”. Sure enough, standing up in the boat that was coming across the water was Santa Claus. Pandemonium. In all reality, for as little as these kids have, seeing Santa is a big deal and they were exceedingly excited. Second year in a row I’ve had tears running down my cheek when Santa arrives. You can feel the excitement.

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Waiting for Santa
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You can see by this little boys face that he sees Santa’s boat coming
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The one and only, SANTA!!
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Kids of all ages
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Even Santa’s boat captain is a reindeer.

Santa (we have a fabulous Santa) insists on wearing the full outfit, boots and gloves too, despite the 90 degree heat. He spoke to every child and when they left he told them “Santa loves you”. How cool is that? Mrs. Claus, chief elf and organizer Francie did a fab job too, hoisting the kids from their Mom’s arms to Santa and then back to Mom when they were done. She was the one glistening. Elf Joe helped keep the gifts flowing, Dave did crowd control, Melanie was the main photographer while Rosalie marked their hands, indicating they already got a gift. Smooth as clockwork.

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Twins were having none of this Santa stuff..
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Love the little boy’s look
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Such gorgeous kids
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He looks a little shy
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This kills me
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Anxiously waiting
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No Santa for this boy either
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This is the first little boy I ever fit for Tom’s shoes. He’s the one who hugged me before I even fitted him. His name is Derek
Mom must have a busy night planned. All the Moms want to sit on Santa’s lap too, that’s why he needed a sturdier chair.

Melanie took 465 photos in a few hours. For over an hour she knelt on her knees, on a piece of cardboard, on the dirt ground, taking photos. Amazing.When Santa had seen everyone the ladies there (many mothers) served the kids food.

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This little girls hair is so long, just beautiful.
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The most gorgeous kids
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Nice looking young boy
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Another good looking boy
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These kids are all cute
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Pensive
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So pretty
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With her new doll
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Family rowing home after the party
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Party is over, time to go home.

We left shortly after that and went to Alex and Marilyn’s house for dinner. She is so phenomenal in the kitchen, she can whip up an impromptu meal in no time and it rocks. Tonight was no different.

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Brett AKA Cute Boat Guy and Carmen
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The guys chatting
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Kathy and Judy
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Marilyn’s recycle bin
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Lounging in the living room
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The tree looks great

Great meal, yummy salad (Carmen).  There were quite a few friends there, we sat around and chatted for awhile. I met a new lady from Cali that lives here too. She had further to drive than I did and it was dark so we had Alex deposit us back at BJ’s and we each drove back to our homes.

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Ride home

Friday was BJ’s, I went there after my fiasco at the municipal. Late Saturday morning we took the dogs to Parrot Tree swimming. They haven’t been for a while and they knew exactly where they were and they were uncontrollable. Once they got to the other side of the lagoon, we set them free.

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My babies
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Barrio chilling on the chair
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They are water dogs
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Handsome Barrio, out of the 3 pups he has the sweetest demeanor and is the calmest, also the most skittish.
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Sweet boy Barrio
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L to R, Max, Barrio and Gringo in the front, he is the biggest by far, pushing 55# of solid muscle.
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Gringo, Barrio and Max
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Gringo, I’m not positive but he might have been taking a whizz..
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Barrio in front, Gringo, Max

These puppies have a serious hold on my heartstrings. I can’t really describe the depth of the emotions but I feel so responsible for them, even responsible for their happiness. I worry that they are bored, maybe they need exercised, maybe we need a bigger enclosed area, how about a pool for them to swim in?  Is their food good enough, do they eat enough? It’s an issue for sure. I truly feel like I gave birth to these dogs but obviously I didn’t, and I do know that, but it does not lessen my feelings of motherhood to these 3 pups. Plain and simple. They own me.

Saturday afternoon we went over to our friends, Chuck and Nancy’s for drinks and dinner. It was a nice break from our daily busyness and it’s always nice to visit with them and see the progress on the building they are working on. It is almost done and it looks fabulous, amazing…I could live in that space.

Sunday was the first of Nidia’s Because We Care Christmas parties for the kids. I arrived too early, as is my damn style.

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The Ark is taking shape..
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Just the view going into Punta Gorda. I make sure to NEVER take this view for granted.
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A house in town
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The party was held on this beach.

Nobody was there so I turned around and drove back through town, called Nidia and then decided she wouldn’t be there for 45 min. so I went home, (10 min.) and kissed the dogs for awhile. On my way home one of the boys who was dressed in shorts and nothing else, his body covered in black oil, wearing a mask  and brandishing a wooden spear, walked up to the front of my car and shook his belly. Then he came over to my open window and said ‘gimme 5 dollars. ” I said No, I’m not giving you 5 dollars, now move. And he did.

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They call themselves something in Spanish that roughly translates to Barbaric Indian. I guess I was supposed to be scared.
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So beautiful
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You can see forever
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Photo op
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I want this boat

When I went to Punta Gorda the second time things were starting to happen. Nidia and her two daughters and one of her sons were there, Santa was there and Nidia had lots of helpers. They brought the tables so we put the gifts out on the tables, which maybe is a mean thing to do. Mixed emotions on this one. After 2PM the kids and parents started to arrive.

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Getting the toys out
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Hats and jump ropes
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Nidia arranging the dolls, mouse ears, cars, trucks and assorted other gifts
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Flip-flops
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quite a variety of toys
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These kids are so cute
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Nidia in the center, her 2 daughters, Krista in red and Janisha. Love them all.
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A little bit of everything
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They delivered chairs and all the kids sat on them while the adults stood. Finally Sully (Santa) stole 2 for us.
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She posed for me, OMG!!
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Blowing up a balloon
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Cutie
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She was also trying to blow up a balloon.
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Kudos for him even trying. They were long curly balloons, not easy to blow up at all.

Once there were lots of kids there, most all in Santa hats, Nidia had the kids play musical chairs for a while, the DJ was rocking the tunes. It always blows my mind to see kids playing this game and wondering, do kids in the US still play musical chairs, like ever??

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Musical chairs using the chairs from the restaurant
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Pretty girl in her Minnie Mouse ears
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Couple more cuties
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Her dress, her barrettes, her ears and the balloon..
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Kids in Santa hats were everywhere…
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Once they were done playing musical chairs, Santa came.
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Such a doll!
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Getting organized into lines
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These kids are so gorgeous…
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This is my friend Gail in the pink. I met her the day I picked my friends up at the cruise ship, she was hanging in my friends store. She is from eastern Canada. She is with 2 Barbaric Indians. The kids all ran and screamed when they saw them.
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The little girl in the pink frilly dress had 2 balloons stuffed in the front of her dress.
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hmm, one of everything please
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And here he is, Santa. Sully (Santa) also helped out last year with some toy and food delivery. I believe he has helped Nidia many times, really a nice guy. This Santa was a tropical one in flip flops!!
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He was swarmed by the kids
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It was a sea of Santa hats
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Ho Ho Ho
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Adorable
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Santa and the kids
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My friend Miss Linda from Camp Bay and her grandson
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Santa, in between passing out gifts..
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Feet
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I always find the shoe choices interesting
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Gorgeous
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Sweet boys eyeing the goodies
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Santa passing out candy bags, then I passed out toothbrushes..
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Lunch, hot dogs, juice and ice cream
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Kids waiting for their gifts
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you could cut the tension with a knife..they wanted gifts
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The gift guarders
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How do you keep a few hundred kids in lines and quiet when all they can see is gifts?? Answer: YOU DON’T
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Please, something for me…
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Gorgeous twins. I walked over later and gave their dad 2 toothbrushes for them and 1 for their little brother. He thanked me in perfect English.
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He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.
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eating ice cream
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Then something happened and he started crying and there was no adult with him. We kept trying to find out why he was crying but could make no sense of what he was saying. Poor little guy.

It was a long afternoon,  5.5 hours there and I was done. I headed towards home around 5:30 and became a vegetable. Sheer exhaustion set in. I tried like hell to get this blog out that night and just COULD NOT DO IT.

I did some stuff around here this morning, ran to town, got groceries, brought them home and went to Oak Ridge to pay for the permit. I did the Pay To line on the check before I left home b/c it’s long and with my shitty hands, I have a hard time writing legibally. I did NOT make out the written dollar amount, I wanted to wait. I also took a SPARE check, just in case. Well, it’s a damn good thing I had that extra check because I did the Payee name in blue and the amount in BLACK, dated and signed in BLACK and they would not flipping take it b/c it was in 2 colors of ink. They said Davivienda Bank is very fussy. WTF? At that point I wished I had a sharpie because I would have written the damn check out on his forehead. Good thing I didn’t because when I left the office I saw the Mayor and got a hug and kiss before I left the Muni. He was sitting out in the waiting room watching TV. He’s a really nice guy and I do like him and, I think he tries his best.

When I left today, this was in the road. Bill took the photo. Not a soul around, no glass, no signs of blood, no bodies. Really, nobody came to investigate this accident??

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I got home and was working on the blog and picking up around here when Trish called. They were on their way home from Mondays Don’t Suck (I missed it again, too busy) and stopped by here for a drink on the roof. It’s the first I’ve seen her since she arrived last Monday! Looking forward to hanging out with them while they are here.

The wonders of Facebook continue to thrill me on a daily basis. It allows me to be in touch with people I used to see daily while working for Bank of America. Believe it or not, you make friendships with those people and being able to maintain those friendships via Facebook is incredible. One of those friends is Chris Castle, Chris was in the bank daily and he and I became friends. I knew he and his wife had 2 sons and that Chris was a soccer ref. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Chris and his boss Phil. After I left the bank I would run into him every now and then but when we moved, we lost touch. Until I saw him on my friend Katy’s FB. The rest is history, except for the fact that Chris’s wife is a very talented artist. I really enjoy seeing Julie’s work that Chris posts. He recently set up an Etsy shop for her. Please take a few minutes to look at her work, she is really good. The web address is https://www.facebook.com/Sand-Castle-Shack-Studio-448528448665578/?fref=ts  and her Etsy address is: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SandCastleShack?ref=hdr_shop_menu. Merry Christmas Chris, Julie and family!!

It’s 10 PM, I have to get 4 dogs outside and drag this tired old butt to bed. I have the one big BWC Christmas party on Wednesday then it’s fun and games and partying with our friends this Christmas season.

To all the amazing people who follow my blog, thank you. Bill, Highway, Lola, Frito, Gringo, Max, Barrio, Emmy and I wish you a fabulously Merry Christmas and an enchanting New Year..XOXO

JINGLE BELLS, ISLAND STYLE. Thanks to Jeanie for this one..(sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

We sit with drink in hand
Without a hope of snow
Under spreading palms
A hurricane’s sure to blow
Santa Claus will find
That things can turn to shit
He won’t be riding eight reindeer
He can’t get his permit
      Oh, hells bells….coconut shells
       Cervezas all the way….oh what fun it is to ride….in a pick-up truck today

 

 

 

 

By Ledfutt

Living on an island was a life long dream of mine. In 2012 I moved to Roatan and lived there for 4 months, went back to the US, packed up our belongings and sold our house. In Oct of 2013 we moved there permanently. Our house was completed in July of 2014 and we moved in. After 6+ years, I was ready to go back to the US. I made the move in Dec of 2019 and my husband came a year later. Here we are in Arizona, waiting for our island house to sell so we can sell this place and move on. I guess I'm more like a traveling mermaid.

12 comments

  1. haha, good thing you didn’t have that marker! I just love all those beautiful children’s faces…precious. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year with many Blessings!

  2. I teared up about the same time I read that you had tears running down your cheeks. I’m afraid fitting them for shoes will be hard on me and Julie both. So many with so very little, yet we’re spoiled here. Then too the kid are all so pretty. I’d adopt them all if I could afford to do so.

    1. Very easy to get teared up watching these kids waiting for Santa. It’s been a lot of fun so far,big party tomorrow w/ Nidia, should be pretty crazy!

  3. I love you woman, your such a writer. The photos of the kids sure melt my heart. Keep up with your giving heart, you’re simply one of a kind. You have found your gift, on a rock, surrounded by beauty and lots of stories to share. I appreciate every word and photo.
    Merry Christmas to you, Bill, the pups, and cats..mice..iguana’s, creatures still to be found…Happy New Year my friend.

  4. Hi Deb, Thanks for sharing part of your Christmas on the “Rock”, always enjoyable to hear about your adventures. I awoke to thunderstorms and heavy rain, going to be near 70 on Xmas – “Crazy” for this time of the year. I hope you guys have a very Merry Christmas and that 2016 will be a good year for all of us. Hope to see you in the next month or two, Hi to all. Christmas Hugs, Skip. . . .

    1. Sounds like Skip lives nearby. Having left Roatan a week ago today, returning to Alabama and it’s crazy weather only makes us wish it was January that we were flying back to Roatan rather than in March.

      1. I’m glad you’re not coming until March because January is still a busy month with sketchy weather. It will be nice weather and much quieter in March. Merry Christmas to you, Julie and the girls..

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