Thursday, December 30, 2004

Greetings from St. Barts

We arrived in St. Barts to news of the tsunami, Dad immediately checked his email to see if there was word from his brother Ken who works for an NGO and is traveling in south Asia. Monday morning there was a message, "I'm safe" was all it said in the subject field. Wednesday brought a longer message telling where he was.


I can’t believe this house it’s huge, it’s almost like a small inn. Located in a secluded spot a few hundred yards from the beach. The house is U-shaped and surrounds a pool. One wing has the dining and living areas with bedrooms above. The other wing is a serious of master suites with the kitchen and stuff in the middle. You name the amenity and this place has it, including a cook and housekeeper. Robert and Grace wouldn’t tell us who owns it; only that it belongs to a friend.


Christine’s here and I’m as content as a cat sleeping on a pillow in the sun. Catherine swallowed hard when she saw us smooching and almost choked on a carrot when Chris told her she was a dancer. But she overcame it and has been a joy. Catherine and Kenny hired the housekeeper’s fifteen-year-old daughter to watch the kids. She’s wonderful with them and they just love her. Looks to be a win-win.

Quite a bit of news was announced by family members. Disappointing Grace, but no surprise to me, Leah did not show up with a rock. But I couldn’t get anyone to bet against me that we’ll be planning her wedding (do you really think we’ll let her plan it?) next year.

Kenny announced he’s leaving his job and taking a position with a foundation. We wanted to know from Cath what she planned to do with him now that he’d be home a lot. She said she wasn’t sure yet but she wasn’t arguing. Kenny also said he intends to complete his PhD and that made dad happy. Catherine's lost half the weight she planned and looks great. We finalized dates for when they will come to Paris in June.

Dad shocked the family by announcing that he and Juliette were temporarily relocating to Capetown. He is assuming management for a project that should take six to nine months and maybe as long as a year to complete. I knew about this as we talked about the opportunity in October. He’s feeling some guilt about bringing me to Paris then leaving me there. This of course is related to the guilt he feels about leaving me with Mom. But his guilt is his problem. I told him I thought it was great and I couldn’t wait to visit.

Then he shocked even me when he said that when this project was finished he was retiring, or at least semi-retiring. The only thing on the list of their plans for retirement that sounds like retirement is to travel the world so we’ll see.

But the biggest surprise of all was that Grampy came!!! After Grammy died his children decided that he should move to DC rather remain in NJ by himself. It took several months to convince him but finally he agreed and it makes sense as he has two children and numerous grand kids living in the area. And it turns out that at the assisted living where he is residing, two former business associates are also residing. He seems happy.

We exchanged Christmas Gifts on Monday evening. The kids were in heaven as might be expected. I gave Christine a set of fancy tart’s knickers complete with silk stockings and she gave me a hat, scarf, mitten set she had knitted. Each item had a figure/design sewn to them in suede; Grace was the first to realize the suede were abstract forms of women’s body parts. IE. the suede on the inside of the thumb and index finger side of the mitten is the thigh/crotch and the pompom on the hat resembles a nipple.

I LOVE THEM.

The weather has only been ok with temps in the low to mid 80's and with at least a shower or two each day. But it really hasn't mattered as the company has been so wonderful.


Here are a few links to Q time movies of St. Barts for those stuck in the snow and cold.

St. Jean’s Beach
St. Jean’s Beach and Eden Rock
Gustavia Harbor
Gustavia Harbor

Well that’s all from here

Kim

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