Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday's Words for February 15, 2012

When we left for our vacation on the 6th of February it almost seemed as if winter hadn’t arrived here yet. There was no snow on the ground, and the temperatures were fairly mild—almost consistently above freezing.

Nature took care of that little oversight while we were away. Though the snow wasn’t deep when we got home, it was everywhere, and the land does indeed at last look like Southern Ontario in February.

We had a wonderful time on our vacation. We met more people – both fellow tourists, and locals – than we have on any vacation in a long time. It was amazing being back in Port Lucaya after nearly 20 years. The marina and a fountain were actually the only places we recognized. What had in our memory been a quaint assemblage of a few shops, and a large outdoor tiki bar overlooking a marina has turned into a thriving marketplace, where local craftsmen and women offered everything from clothing to jewelry to wood carvings.

Mr. Ashbury and I did indeed contribute, albeit modestly, to the local economy.
We took part in two excursions, as well. We participated in something called “Bonfire on the Beach” an evening of entertainment and music, food and drink provided by one of the local tour companies. And we enjoyed a two hour program put on by Unexso, which stands for Underwater Explorer’s Society. In other words, we had a “Dolphin Encounter”.

Mr. Ashbury was the one who got into the tank with the beautiful mammal, and had the opportunity to pet him. He even had his picture taken getting kissed by the dolphin. I elected to stay out of the drink and take pictures...but of course, I didn’t stay dry, as the dolphin executed a couple of well-learned manoeuvres guaranteed to get everyone there sopping wet.

Tourism is the main industry in The Bahamas, so you can imagine that the downturn in the global economy has been devastating for these people. And yet, wherever we went, we were greeted with smiles, and kindness, and open-hearted welcome.

The pool was too chilly to swim in, as was the ocean—although Mr. Ashbury didn’t let that stop him from having a dip into the briny almost every day. Of course we didn’t let the weather disrupt our vacation. You can’t control if it’s sunny, or rainy, or suddenly unseasonably cool. You can only control your reaction to it all. It was our vacation, after all, and up to us to make of it what we would.

There were a couple of cabanas poolside, and here I would sit, several hours at a time, either reading or writing while the ocean breeze refreshed me, and the sight of pool, palm trees, and ocean rejuvenated me. Of course I wrote in this paradise, because to me, that is one of the purest pleasures in my life. How amazing it was to do so in such beautiful surroundings.

Mr. Ashbury and I both consider ourselves very blessed to enjoy vacations away from home as often as we do.

As much as I look forward to going someplace where I’m free from the everyday demands and stresses of life, I’m just as happy to come home. Having been born under the sign of Cancer, I really am a homebody, and never truly so happy as when I am in my own cave, doing my own thing—be it taking care of my family, reading a good book, or crafting a good story.

I’m pleased to announce two career milestones. My 25th book comes out on Friday! And, I have had my web site professionally re-designed. I’m so pleased with it I have a contest on the news page with a $30 prize. If you get a moment, please stop by and check it out.


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