Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Now that I've actually identified what's bugging me, maybe I can actually write something.

Christmas Tales
Tale #3

I'm in the mood for a more luxurious Christmas story. How about. . .the Bahamas on a budget!!
Christmas Angels
Once upon a Christmas, our plane landed on Grand Bahama Island. It was a glorious day with the sun shining brightly. Someone had said that you could see the sharks in the water from the plane. Lo and Behold! It was so. They may have been dolphins or other large fish; let us not quibble about such trivia. Nonetheless as the plane came in for landing, large critters could be seen swimming in this crystal clear bay. We were thrilled.

The boys were teenagers, one a Sophomore, the other a Senior in High School. We had thought it might be our last chance for a exotic vacation with both boys. And it was our last vacation with just the four of us. Bob had surfed the net scrupulously to find the least costly vacation to a sunny spot by the sea. He found an all-inclusive for four days at a really low price. We could hardly sit in our seats!!

For four days we played volleyball on a sandy beach, swam in marvelous pools, and took in the local sights. We had very little money beyond what we had paid for the four days, but it wasn't really a problem. There was plenty of food offered at the hotel. It did get a bit boring. We prefer trying the local stuff. So one night we ate at a fancy restaurant overlooking the ocean.
That was exciting! The sharks came in and ate the table scraps. I kid you not. Diners could go out on a pier and drop scraps to the sharks. (Gottcha. You thought the sharks swam up to the table, didn't you?)
Then on Christmas day, we rented little motor scooters to go explore the island. I was a terrible driver!! (Do you call it driving on a motor scooter?) My High School Senior keep reminding me to stay on the LEFT SIDE!!! Everytime I turned a corner, I'd get confused and wander to the wrong side of the road. He became my guardian angel for that ride. I also had a habit of turning the wheel around corners. Apparently even on bicycles, the way to turn corners it to lean the bike. Duh!! So I never learned the RIGHT WAY to ride a bike. "Lean, Mom. Don't turn the wheel, or you'll skid," He'd say. And I'd try.
That's an interesting switch: the point at which the offspring becomes the adult and the parent is the learner.
However, as we arrived at the far end of the island, he discovered that his bike was using gasoline much faster than the rest of them. Fortunately, he's the kind of person who's always alert to such things. I rarely glance at a gas gage. Mostly my gasoline lasts all week. I gas up on the weekend, just in case it should be low. (You don't want to know how many times I've run out of gas!!! LOL)
So here we were on Christmas Day, at McLean's Town (On the map it's called a settlement!). Many miles from Freeport. Finally we found a small restaurant, of sorts that was open. It was more like someone's private kitchen and dining room with 3 tables. Out the open back door, the family was grilling their dinner over open coals in a grassless dirt patch that served as patio. We drank a Coke and asked about gasoline. No, there's none available on this East End of the island. So we sat debating whether we could siphon enough gasoline from the three bikes to put in his, and how we'd accomplish this task. We were seated in this hut, at a wobbly-legged table with a not-so-clean oil cloth cover drinking pop and discussing possibilities, when a local man in dreadlock and extremely casual clothing walked up and said maybe he could help. He could get us a tank of gas, he said.
Grateful, we traipsed out to follow him, pushing our scooters for a couple of blocks. He went to a car, unscrewed the gas cap, took a small piece of rubber hose from his pocket and proceeded to fill our tank. We paid him for the gasoline and headed out. He didn't even want to take our money, but we insisted.
I've always wondered if that was his car!!! He was being helpful and in some of these places, ownership is a very flexible concept. If you need it worse than someone else, it's yours.
Our guardian angel that day wored ragged overalls, sported dreadlocks and spoke English using Bahamian colloquialisms. It was a great Christmas, complete with two guardian angels!

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