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Friday, September 11, 2015

Caymen Islands: The Storm

I created this painting from a photo I took in the Grand Cayman Islands. Settle in, this is a long story. It was  the year 2008 and I had just completed my Associate Divinity Degree and a season of Chaplaincy at Duke Hospital. My husband wanted to go scuba diving with my son. I felt that it would be nice to join them for a little 9 day rest. I was also into whittling at that time and  was sitting on my porch the day before we left for the Island whittling a walking stick and cut my wrist. I received 9 stitches. It should have been a warning to me, an omen of sorts.

We arrived in Belize and took what I call an egg beater airplane over to the Island. I was not comfortable on that small plane, it did not help that  one of the 15 passengers on the plane was a man who talked loudly and with great knowledge about the likely chance we would all die. The Island was beautiful and the water was clear and an exotic green. There were pineapples and coconuts all ready for picking. It was just like the brochures depicted, except when when you  walked behind the resort. It was then I discovered it was more like a set from a Western Movie made in  the 50's... things were propped up and painted up front, and in shambles when you walked around the corner.

We stayed in one of the best resorts there and decided not to complain about the fact that there was no hot water after we mentioned it one time and realized the maid did not speak English. Then the power kept cutting off, sometimes for hours. We watched the news and discover it was not the approaching Typhoon that caused the power to go off, it was that the Island had not paid their part of the  power bill. Belize was mad at that little island. That was okay. The Island was stunning and charming. The little village behind the resort had some nice little vendors and we were amazed to discover there were no flies. None. You could eat outside and never see one. I asked the locals  why there were no flies and they said... ( okay, this is the truth- I kid you not) ....that the flies would be in on Thursday.

My husband and son gleefully charted their scuba course and took off on the boat early the first morning while the clouds gathered over the horizon and the news reports mentioned that hurricane/tropical storm Arthur was heading for shore. They managed to get in two days of Scuba before the resort took on the look of Gilligan's Island. We listened to the wind whistle and battened down the hatches.

The next day was Thursday. The flies were everywhere. I found out later that they come the first rain. Talk about timing. I felt like that deserved a paragraph all of its own.

After Arthur came through the news report said that Alma was heading towards the Island. We had experienced 4 days by then with flickering lights, cold showers, and pelting rain, although some how the guys had gotten two beautiful scuba days. Both days I wandered the island during the day and in the afternoon I stood on the dock, the one in my painting and watched the afternoon storms roll in wondering if they would make it back to land. Apparently it does not seem so bad under the water as  on the shore.

When Arthur finished ripping every coconut and banana off of the trees on the Grand Cayman Islands I heard about Alma  and I decided not to hang around to meet her. I was concerned that for Act Number Three Arthur and Alma would spawn a little demon storm named Alvin. We called our airlines and cut the trip short. I got back on the little egg beater plane with the winds whipping up and the pelting rain and I was not afraid, I was heading home.

I will refrain from telling you the details of our flight home. Suffice it to know it was a rough plane trip and the lady beside me had to use the little bitty bag.  I  considered it now part of my new personality to be courageous and endure hardship and came close to kissing the Texas tarmac when we arrived to change planes and head back to NC. That tarmac was hot and nasty but really yeah, I was ready to bow down to the earth and French kiss it.

I got my stitches removed the following week. 

So enjoy the painting. I will not go back for more photos.


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