December, 2000
Nevisian Paradise
Garrick's Pasture
Nevis, West Indies

Greetings from Paradise
"Happy Holidays to All and Celebrating My 60th Birthday with Loved Ones"

Dear Friends and Family,

Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas (belated) and the very best for the new year, 2001. Wishing you all good health, joy and peace in your heart and soul and in the world. Maybe there will even be peace in the middle east.

We are settled in our Nevisian Paradise and with the house 99.99% finished, enjoying the fruits of our labor and the blessings from God. Our children have been here and helped in the celebration of my 60th birthday on a beautiful, God-given day. In the morning, we celebrated at paradise beach, which is still mostly deserted and pristine with a few remaining palm trees that weren't uprooted by hurricane Lenny last year. The beach is seven-tenths of a mile down the mountain from our home. Gayle, Tamar and Robert went to the beach earlier; Greg, Karen and Rebecca to arrive later. As Lee and I approached the beach Tamar, Robert and Gayle who were already immersed waist-high in the water greeted me with their singing "Happy Birthday." On the beach numerous cows mooooed and in the water pelicans skimmed less than a few feet overhead as we leisurely swam on our backs. If we approached the pelicans very slowly in the water, we were able to tread within ten feet of them. I watched one of the pelicans guardedly shift its eyes to the side without moving its head. When we floated too close for comfort, it lifted and glided its magnificent body ten feet from us. Soon after, Greg, Karen and Rebecca joined us for our time on the beach and picnic lunch. I gratefully gazed at our family as we sat, swam, chatted and relaxed with each other; I thanked God for my blessings.

In the evening, Lee, the children, minus Gayle's husband (they are coming back in the spring), our granddaughter, Rebecca and fifteen of our close Nevisian friends and ten children celebrated at a local bistro. The children had their own connecting room with a window to what the adults were doing. They played musical chairs and then the adults played. Pastor Douglas and Sunshine was very competitive but in the end the Pastor won. We started dancing with the children doing the hokey-pokey sung by Tamar and Gayle a la Supreme style and then we all danced. Lee read his first poem ever. It was three pages, delightful, revealing, clever and very reminiscent. Many of the local people got up and shared something about our--Lee's and my relationship--with them and life in Nevis. It was very touching to feel how much we are a part of the community and celebrate with our children and grand and our Nevisian family. The next night, our family attended the Christmas tree lighting. Tamar lead the children in a sort of bunny hop as we waited for the electric department to hook up the wiring so that the tree could be lit. Pastor Douglas introduced us all as "locals" and shared that we had become permanent residents. (Yes, we still have our US citizenship). This all took place on the main road in the village, Jessup and old fishing village adjacent to Garrick's Pasture. Pick-up trucks, heavy trucks, vans and cars plowed down the narrow road and accompanied by the squeals of the children and adults warning those sitting or standing too close for comfort to get out of the way as large trucks do not stop; they right away. Unfortunately, that sometimes results in traffic accidents and often the children are the victims, but tonight all went well.

Well, take care, a glorious year and "greetings from paradise."

Enjoy some photos from my birthday.

Love and later,

Karen, Gayle, Rebecca, Tamar and Robert                Nick not present at my        Greg not on climbing rock
on children's climbing rock before party.                    birthday, but celebrating        so photo of him on veranda
                                                                                 his the previous March          taken a year ago
                                                                                with Lee, Gayle and me
                                                                                in Nevis.  He was missed!

The family - minus Nick - on front deck after        Lee and I on the 'children's            Rebecca and I on my 60th birthday
sunset before the party.  Photo by Don                 rock' before the party.                   sitting on the 'children's sitting rock'.

        Lee, Rebecca and I

Here are photos of some of the friends who were at the party. Pictures of Dexter, Orville and some of the children are elsewhere in the emails.

"Doc" and friend, Lee.                            Friends, Hilarena, Veronica                    Pastor Douglas and Ruth.
                                                                and Naomi.

    Lee and Kenneth.                            Shirley and John with daughter            Sunshine - Maria in States
                                                           Simone.                                             having baby.

   Lee reading poem.            Rebecca and other children so dear                Gayle with Rebecca, Deanza
                                            to my heart.                                                    Infatari and Renrieke.

Beautiful Janella singing        Tamar chatting with Four            Dee, Brian, Janella, Infatari and Iziah
happy birthday to me.          Season's managers, Christian      were at party.  (Earlier photo.)
                                           and Martin.