Finding wonder in the (confined) world around me.

Well it’s April 14th, day #whothehellknows for the shelter-in-place, hard/soft lockdown, beach closures, water closures and no one leaves their home orders. We are (mostly) all following the requests that the government has made to keep the people on this island safe, healthy and alive.  However, because there are those who just don’t GET IT, the lockdowns never seem to end, and only become more and more confining.

Of course, there are always those few naughty kids who ruin recess for everyone, and as a retired teacher I sincerely apologize for all the times I allowed that to happen. I will admit that towards the end of my career I realized that it really WASN’T fair or smart to expect that the fidgety, restless and impulsive children would really understand why the whole class was punished, and I found other ways to “help” the challenging student figure out why he needed to learn to control his behavior. 

It doesn’t work when there’s a pandemic.

So, since I haven’t been able to walk the beaches to look for treasure and to ease my mind and my soul, I have revisited the tour I took of the Queen’s Botanical Gardens here in Grand Cayman.

I visited one day on my own and was thrilled and shocked to discover amazing beauty along the many paths in the Gardens.  So, I am going to share these images in the hopes that it gives you a brief moment of pleasure.

I think that this “great pause” is one that for me, is giving me even more reason to find things to be happy about each day. I am using this time to really look around me and enjoy the wonder of my world. I hope that you are able to find moments of joy throughout your days.

If you try very hard, you might be able to hear the parrots as they squawked in the trees. 

I hope you can share with me your moments of joy today. #BeSafe #StayHome


Open your eyes, please. The joy is right in front of you.

While we are here in Grand Cayman, I always begin my day with a walk. I know it’s probably not the SMART thing to do, but I always take the same route. Sure, it’s the opposite of what I tell my daughters to do every single day, but oh well.  I love the path, and I am a creature of habit. (I will try to work on that.) 

I take a walk each morning along the road to a particular place that has public beach access.  I walk up the steep steps to the opening, and make my way to the beach. It’s a lovely, lovely sight to see the sun just as it rises across Caribbean. 

I then turn and make my way home along the beach at the water’s edge. The sound of the water gently rolling on the shore is incredibly peaceful and calming. Because there is a coral reef that surrounds most of the island, the waves do their initial crashing along that reef, which makes the tide that comes onto the beaches relatively calm and soothing. The water is the most beautiful blue you’ve ever seen, and the smell is fresh and salty. In fact, the fresh smell from the water is unlike any I’ve experienced on a beach. It almost has no smell at all, except what I can only describe as fresh and clean.  

I walk the sand between the high tide line and the incoming water. I do this so that I can see what treasures the water has brought from the sea, and I am almost never disappointed. I’ve discovered many treasures that come up from the beach- many different small shells, sea sponges, sea fans and sea urchins. It’s the urchin shells that I treasure, because they are so fragile and somewhat hard to find! 

I have discovered that there are a few places that seem to have at least one or two each morning. I’ve learned through some research that sea urchins inhabit shallow reefs and sea grass beds that are somewhat protected. When the beach veers to the left as I’m walking, I know that it might be an area where some sea urchins will be washed ashore. They are often nestled in the turtle grass that comes ashore with the tide, and because they are so light, they are often on top of the grass. You have to know what you’re looking for, as some can be very tiny! They are usually white, but will sometimes have a green tint due to the algae.   

Lately I’ve also discovered some urchin shells in places that I haven’t found any before.  Once in a while as I’m walking, I’ll see one perched alone on the sand as if it had just been left by the wave that rolled in.  My heart always skips a beat when I find one, and it brings me joy. 

I find these moments of joy throughout my day because I am open to them. I delight in them and my heart is thankful for them.  I think that if you look for your own moments of joy each day, it makes this life a blessed one, indeed. 

 How do YOU find your joy? 


Flatten the Damn curve.Please.

March 20, 2020 

March 20, 2020 

We came to The Cayman Islands on Christmas Eve, as we have been spending that particular holiday 
here for the last five years or so. My adult children seem to always have other plans at Christmas,
so instead of moping about at home in Pennsylvania, we decided to come to Fred’s home in
Grand Cayman instead. It has worked out very well, indeed.  

Who doesn’t want to be in the sunshine surrounded by clear blue water? 

We didn’t know at the time- as many of us didn’t- that we would be staying here a lot
longer than we had planned. 

We left briefly a few times in February - once for a funeral and once so that Sassy could
pick out her WEDDING GOWN. (That's another story entirely.) We hope that her wedding
will go on as planned, but we know that the events leading up to a wedding will most likely
be postponed or cancelled altogether. She is prepared for whatever this future brings.

We have done what we can here at Cayman to prepare to hunker down for the long haul. We hope it’s a
short haul, but are prepared emotionally and physically for a long haul. We have purchased just enough
food to last a few weeks or more, so that we can abide by the social isolation rule. We are not hoarding,
but want to have enough so that we don’t HAVE to shop or have anyone deliver to us.  

We have puzzles, games, booze,  snorkeling gear and the Caribbean in our front yard. I would say we
are far better off than most folks, and my heart goes out to them all.  While we could have returned to
the US this week, we felt that it was in our own best interest to stay here.I am 60 with high blood
pressure and a family history of heart disease, and Fred is 75. He just recovered from pneumonia in
February, has a heart condition and high blood pressure and other various underlying health concerns.
I was adamant that he stay put and not expose himself to anyone in airports or on airplanes. We
have to ALL be vigilant and make the best choices that we can. I am worrying about my own children
daily, but am sure that they are making good choices. I am threatening them with bodily HARM IF
THEY DON'T.I have ALWAYS told them to make good choices, but kids never listen, do they? Well
now their lives depend on it- and the lives of others around them.

You know the curve everyone is talking about?  THAT’S what we should all be contributing to --
flattening the curve and decreasing the amount of personal contact and helping save the lives
of all around us.

Don’t be stupid. 
Don’t be selfish.
Don't be reckless.
Don’t make spur of the moment decisions. 

Be smart. 
Be kind. 
Be smart. 
Think long and hard about going anywhere. 
Love from afar.

Flatten the damn curve. 

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