March, 2001
Nevisian Paradise
Garrick's Pasture
Nevis, West Indies

Greetings from Paradise
"When You Can't Sleep, Try 'Jolly Juice,' 'Betelgeuse' (Pronounced Beetle Juice), or Whatever 'Juice' Turns You On"

Hello Everyone

Hope you are all well. I enjoy hearing from you and what is going on in your lives.

When I started to use my treadmill shortly after we had unpacked (November, 1999) the running belt locked. After much searching, using the "jungle telephone" and finally with Maria's help, I found someone to fix my treadmill. Following a full days's work at the Four Season's Resort, his uniform discarded, Ellis came into the house barefooted, donned in cutoffs and a tank top. He disassembled the machine, methodically looked for the problem and quickly told us which part to order so that he could fixed it. He is also a trainer at the new local gym. As we chatted, he shared that one of the visitors at the Four Season's villas had asked him, "What do you eat or drink for breakfast that makes you all so jolly? Is it a special kind of drink?" He shared what he usually ate and the visitor discovered that it wasn't much different than her diet. "Well, what do you eat for lunch?" Again, healthy. "Well, what kind of vitamins do you take?" Ellis replied, "I don't take any vitamins; most Nevisians don't." "Well then, what kind of jolly juice do you drink?" He answered, "We have faith in God. We are an ambitious people--many have two jobs--yet, we are content with what we have at the moment." They truly are. Following hurricane Lenny a year ago, the Four Seasons Hotel had laid off almost half their local staff--around four hundred people--which is around twelve percent of the labor force--and yet people didn't worry. Outwardly, they accept that it will be a difficult time until the hotel reopens, but they have faith that gives them peace of mind in knowing that they will be okay and have what they need.

For my 60th birthday this past December, Lee and the children (and of course Rebecca) gave me a telescope something that I have wanted for a long time. It was supposed to be one of these new friendly-user types, but not so. Several people, including Katie, a recent astronomy graduate from Cornell University, Lee's partner who is very computer savvy and Lee and I who are not as computer literate spent an accumulated twenty-five hours to figure out how to use this "user-friendly" gift. (Turns out that a plastic coating wasn't removed from the view finder so we were lost at step one.) Anyway, it was worth the wait, as most things are. Finally one evening, Lee and I along with Katie and her friend saw Jupiter with its moons and Saturn with its rings. But then I saw the MOON!!!! I have always been fascinated by the magic of the moon and effected by its pull. I use the moon as a "rendevous" with my children and granddaughter as we are usually separated by thousands of miles--sometimes reaching halfway around the world. I tell them to look up to the moon and feel my love and energy as I am also looking at the moon. Thus while sharing with all humanity, the moon also becomes our own private satellite. So to see the moon in all its glory with its craters and shimmer was astounding!!! Since then, thanks to Katie, I can look at the nebula in Orion's belt, a red star called Betelgeuse and one of my favorites, the sapphire-blue Sirius.

The light-weight telescope is on a stand which I can maneuver all by myself, allowing me the freedom to enjoy it anytime that I want. Often when Lee is off island or sleeping and I am awake, I go outside, look up to the heavens and then choose which of the three viewing areas I want, the back to the mountain, the front to the sea or the orchard side where the half-moon hangs late at night. Viewing the heavens at a "closer distance" gives me such a feeling of interconnectedness again with God, the universe and humanity which eventually lull me to sleep. So wherever you are on this planet, I hope that you find "your own juice" to give you peace of mind and lull you to dreamland.
 
 

                                                                My favorite photo of the full moon taken
                                                                at Paradise Beach with Mt. Nevis in the
                                                                background.
 

Love and later,
Ruth