Saturday, April 26, 2008


WOW! What a fantasy....cruising the Caribbean! Vivid blue seas, a pirate's hideaway, tropical islands, pampering, sunning, fantastic food and enjoying the blessings of family - Incredible!

We did it! It truly was a great time and I can't sing the praises of our cruise too highly. It was so much fun. We visited San Juan , Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Grenada, Bonaire, and Aruba. I think I loved every minute of it. I was impressed with the kindness of others, the general happiness of those who live without all that I have been blessed with, and the courtesies extended to us and that we were able to return. Indeed, besides a sunburn, I think it was practically perfect.

Favorite memories - riding Segways through old San Juan at sunset, seeing "our" ship for the first time, land sailing on a desert island, the Spice Island - Grenada - and the smell (it smelled like a spice cookie from the time we got on the island until we sailed away!!), waterfalls and monkeys, dinner with family and telling our tales of the day, afternoons of sunning by the pool and reading until I was crispy on all sides, a formal dinner - men in tuxedos and women in gowns - wowee!

I was able to read three books on the cruise and will remember them for a long time for the spots that I read in. Of course I took three more, I just ran out of time.
First Drop by Zoe Sharp featured Charlie Fox, a bodyguard from England, on her first assignment. She was hired to watch a sullen teenager in Florida (where we stopped over - I looked for "her" everywhere in the airport!!! I even looked for Horatio from CSI:Miami and was disappointed not to find him as well!) The book moved quickly and I really enjoyed the character of Charlie. Ms. Sharp also has teenage angst down to an art. She displays a keen eye for their behaviors and depth. I really enjoyed this book.
The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall was like a Hallmark movie. A slim volume that can be read in a short afternoon, The Ultimate Gift was an allegory of learning the important lessons in life. Although it was schmaltzy, I felt that the author wrote from his own experiences and had a real desire to share it from the perspective of fiction and not from his own life. Jim Stovall, blind and the creator of NTV, has conquered his own problems and is quite a motivational leader. It was a bit too sweet, too perfect - like artificial rose perfume, yet parts of it linger with me today. Besides, I got a good tan while reading it.
For Whom the Minivan Rolls by Jeffrey Cohen. This first book by screenwriter Cohen introduces Aaron Tucker, a writer, stay at home dad and a family that is loved and faces it's own problems. Sarcasm was pretty thick. At first it was funny but, like many literary and conversational devices, it can get old real fast. I read the book on the recommendation of a book group buddy and I liked the same things she did, the love the character has for his wife, and the slant of reading a "cozy" mystery from a man's point of view. I felt that it moved slower than she did however. At one point I almost gave up, I just didn't care that much about the plot and the characters. It seemed that the author didn't like most of them either. I will say that I enjoyed Aaron Tucker and his family but beyond that it was a wash! I have heard that the series gets better so I may try one again in the future - maybe on my next cruise!

Back to life and back to reality!! Only 19 more school days left!

Jennie was safe while we were gone. Her cousin stayed with her for the week and we found all well here when we returned. What a blessing. In a few short months she leaves for college - I will miss her more than I thought possible. Have I done everything I could to teach her and assist her? No, of course not. But she will bloom and flower on her own and at her own time. For that, I am grateful for the "village" that has helped make her the great young woman she is and will become. Thank you! Life is now busy with graduation plans, invites, prom, honor banquets, apartment shopping and general happy chaos! She's busy and happy. Thank you!

I am an infrequent blogger so I realize that this is mainly for me, but I need to officially record my thoughts of gratitude, abundance and blessings. I realize that some of my loved ones are struggling with the cares of this world - $, employment and some worry, but I also have realized that when we help and support each other that the burdens may not go away, they just become easier to bear. I am grateful for the support of family, the love and caring, the relationships and the friendship. I am so blessed!