Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One more thing before the end of the year....

Have been in London for two weeks now. It has been so cold and dreary most of the is wonderful to be with Camille, though!!! We have gone out with friends, to the theater, out walking in the rain and snow......Frankie and Frank made it over for Christmas and Camille's birthday. It was a surprise for her and.......she was!!!

I arrived on a cold and snowy day.... fortunately, it started snowing after the plane landed. I was glad for that!! The flight over was pretty smooth, but I couldn't sleep much. AND the plane was full!!! Still, Virgin Atlantic gets my vote for best service to London, I'll fly again with them. Anyway, where was I? Yes, snow. Well, just on cue, that little snow on my day of arrival has turned into the coldest winter so far in 40 years!!! Sleet, freezing rain in the city and snow storms paralyzing the country are the order of the day. One or two amazingly sunny but freezing days in between.....Need I say more?

Next year, I'm back on the island!!! It is really the only way to spend the Season. I only have to look at the Facebook pages of friends that are spending these Holidays back in Curacao. One party after another: drinks here, Tie Night there, some one's birthday, Christmas parties, brass bands, beach days........aahhhh, that is the Life! I want a part of it!!!

Next year at this time, we will be preparing ourselves for the reverie of New Year's Eve celebrations. I can already hear the firecrackers, see the sky light up with color and the music......aaahhh!!! Yes, from now on, Holiday celebrations will be at the beach!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009


I know, it's December....everyone should be in the Christmas Spirit, but not this year, not in the same way as in other years. Should we be surprised? It's the economy, stupid....has become again the focal point in most people's lives. And with very good reasons: unemployment is at 10% (some places even higher), consumer confidence is non-existent, there are two wars what are we to do?

December has always been a favorite month with our family. Celebrations, family reunions, gifts exchanges, Holiday and drinks!!! While we lived in Curacao, this was my favorite time, especially after the children came to study in the States. They would come back to the island for Christmas. I would decorate the house, all of it, with fairy lights and holly (artificial of course!!), we would plan get-togethers and visits to friends. I would cook non-stop and made sure there was always food and drinks available. All the youngsters would be home for the Holidays and the island was one big party. Christmas Eve was for family...but ended in a party. Fireworks would light the skies on the 31st to welcome the New Year and we would end New Year's day on the beach

Remembering that is why I am a bit torn this year. My daughter cannot make it to Miami. I am putting my best foot forward and going to London to see her. Sort of like a mini-reunion....husband and son are still undecided about their plans. Right there, it's a big difference in our family's celebrations. The girls in one place, the guys in another. Makes me sad. We try to be together for this Season, every year. We have been successful 99.9% of the time: in 2002 my son and husband got to Curaçao on December 27th and in 2007 my daughter stayed in London for Christmas, I joined her for New Year's.......pretty good record I should say! Not this year.....What to do? Let's make the best of it. Still, it's December! The Season to be Jolly!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Can you go back?

I think I could, but that doesn't necessarily mean we'll move back. Things change, people move on.....Our time living on the island is past, so my husband tells me. The ties are there, the friendships continue and every time I visit is as if I never left.....but moving back looks less and less probable.

Of course there is not time for decisions yet. Frankie still works and enjoys it. I am still looking for myself...isn't that something? at my age? I feel there is a lot we can do still, so much to see, to enjoy, to live. Miami has things to discover, even is I am not always enthusiastic about this place. Our children have strong ties to the island and I am sure they intend to keep those ties, after all that is home to them. That can be great for me....I will have reasons to go back if they insist on that too!

In the meantime, let's just visit as much as we can, keep our friends close and out memories alive. When the time comes, we'll see. I am not going to say NO to consider going back. Why? Oh, well......other probabilities can present themselves, other places can just become the front runners, but Dushi Korsow will always be my choice! and isn't that amazing?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Discovering new things....

Learning something new every chance we get, discovering things and actually enjoying it, making sure we keep moving forward and other such things have been on my mind lately..... Just returning from Panama, where I spent 10 days trying to make sense of the task we have there: taking care of our mother by long distance!

It rained every day, in the morning, or at night or in the afternoon. It was the time of celebrating all kinds of patriotic days: Independence Day, Flag Day, Anthem name it. I discovered that there is a never-ending show of patriotism in my small country. Having become an expat by choice so long ago, these things are not high priority for me...maybe never were. So watching endless parades was not on schedule. For sure, I was looked over as strange by most.

Then there was the fact that people think I should move back because...don't I miss all that? Oh, well. Never thought that would be the reason to move back...good health care, beautiful beaches, cheap household help, small communities, now those are reasons I understand. Who would have known? I absolutely do not understand the people I grew up with.

Friends from high school have been trying to get in touch by calling members of my family I don't even keep in touch with!!! On arriving here in Miami, I got emails and pictures of birthdays and reunions. To my amazement, some of them I hardly recognized! Having been out of touch with most of them for over 40 years, it was to be expected....but I discovered I would have liked to see them and probably will contact some of them next time I go visit my mother.

I feel like a citizen of the world, with little or no attachment to my country of birth, people I knew when I was growing up or things I used to do and like. It was not surprising, but it was a bit sad. There are things I missed that I might have enjoyed, or things that I would have participated in, memories I would have made, friendships to cultivate. They stayed behind in Panama and became a tight group, something we were not when in school. That could be a good thing, it is to them, apparently. I sort of envy them that... On the trade off, I have gained a new me, a person I am more comfortable with. Discovering this has been good.......

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The island beckons.....

It does, I can assure you. There is this irresistible urge at this time of the year to start looking for airline tickets to go to Curaçao. The Holidays are approaching fast and I seem to get the command to book a flight! Amazing! It's been almost seven years since we moved away, why then does this happen?

Throughout the years that my children studied in the States, we always started planning the Holidays trip soon after Parents' Weekend in October. In the years we have been away, there has always been a trip to plan: the children come to Miami or we go to where they are or we go somewhere together. Only one of those trips has been to Dushi Korsow in 2006, but we keep track of the festivities and now with Facebook, we actually see everything as it happens........and we get nostalgic.

So what to do? It's getting more and more difficult to actually get the four of us together at anytime, much less at Christmas time. This year, Frank is close by in Miami, but Camille cannot get days off during the Holidays. Frankie is too busy and cannot take time off to go to the UK with I am planning on my own. Yes, the island I am looking forward to this year is not Curaçao! Don't know how to take that....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Middle Age?? Retirement?? It can't be!!!!

Today I read something that stayed with me...."This is the cruelty of middle age, I find: just when things have gotten good — really, really, consistently good — I have become aware that they will end"....Judith Warner. Does that make sense? Probably, but it doesn't necessarily mean everything is ending and we should be sad...right? It means we need to plan for what is coming!!!!

It is more important than ever to decide where and when are we going to settle down for the rest of our lives. Can't be frantic about it, or hysterical to the point of letting this define your days, but we do have to think about we can settle into the pleasant routine, the comforting feeling of just enjoying what we have. Or better yet, starting new things! I always thought that retiring was an alien state, something people that work all their lives look forward to. Never, for an instant, did I include myself in that group! After all, my work has been something intangible, undefined, something I did, but was not really work. You know what I mean...

I have worked during my life, but in chunks, a few years here, a few years there. Nothing like a career or a continued employment in a specific company...I don't know, but you get the picture. So retirement was not included in this non-existing could it be? Most importantly, my family took a lot of my time and raising my children was a career in itself and I loved it....but you don't retire from that! Now suddenly, things I took for granted, things that I did for my family are no longer relevant, my children are independent adults, my work is something more like a hobby to be enjoyed and I feel as I have come to a crossroad.

I know now exactly what is happening: things are really, really good. I have done well, I have accomplished what I had to. I can look back and see the fruits of all the hard work I put in my life with my family, my friends and my career. I can relax and enjoy this new stage in my life........and that is something to look forward to!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


More often than you want to, you can catch yourself thinking about absent friends. People you have met along the way and that, for one reason or another, have stayed in your life and become part of it. When you have moved around, lived in different places or countries, these friendships are so important...they keep you grounded, they remind you of so much, they cannot be replaced.

Today I had a long conversation with Thelma, one of those friends. We haven't seen each other since 1996!!! A lifetime....but we can fall into conversations so easily, laugh out loud, discuss our children and the changes that have come as they have become adults. We talked this time about going back to our countries (she to the Philippines, I to Panama) for visits and how we cannot relate anymore to the friends we left behind or the family we still miss and about the strangeness of everything that once was so familiar.

Our mothers are still living there, needing our help and our support. We need to travel to see them, to solve problems, to keep that link alive. Still, it is becoming more and more difficult and we feel guilty....what to do. We cannot changed the decisions we made and the life we chose, we have been happy with those. We cannot just dismiss so many years...on the other hand, some places have felt more like home than others and we miss those too. The friendships we made and the things we did, the fun we had. It is truly amazing, but I think this is part of growing older in strange places...not even our familiar and favorite ones: like Curaçao!!!

Yes, we did talk about that too because we met there and we shared so many things and our children are friends and.....Oh, well....It is true, that island had something for so many of us. Most of my friends at this time of my life, the ones that mean the most, I met there or at the very least I met because I went to live there!! So, we decided we need to meet soon and then plan a trip together to Dushi Korsow. That instantly lifted our spirits and planning is on its way!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 the Tropics!

Yes, you knew I was going there.....all the talk about civility cannot be completed without mentioning how things work in more gentile surroundings. Let's be clear, there are rude people everywhere. There is no escaping that. Big cities and developed countries do not have an exclusive on that. The difference a whole there are nicer people in other places.

Starting with living in a place where we know each other, we see each other frequently, the chances of running into someone you know in almost every place you visit during the day makes for a more relaxed way of life. You are in your best behavior, you tend to smile at yourself and start small talk with your friends and acquaintances, you feel more like yourself...

Back home in Curaçao, there is an amazing little custom that other places can copy. Any given Monday, when people greet you in person, on the phone, even on emails, first things they say: Bon Dia, Bon Siman! Yes, good morning and good week...that's it. Well, it's a bit hard to get upset after that, wouldn't you say?

Laughter, that is another thing. People in other places tend to have a laugh ready for everything. It could be that living in nicer surroundings make you nicer? Maybe that is simplifying the problem too much.....or maybe not. There are very nice people in cold northern countries and very rude people in balmy, sunny ones. In Curaçao, there is a sense of fun everywhere you go...ask me why??!! The days are sunny, the breeze cools the nights and the beaches take your breath away. So is it the attitude, the beauty of the place or the way life is lived in the Tropics.....

You remember that catchy tune of years ago: Don't worry, be happy!!!! I go to Panama frequently to see my mother. I still cannot get over the fact that people are so nice. From bank tellers, to supermarket cashiers, to taxi drivers to waiters....everyone goes out of their way to help. Oh, and everyone is cheerful! The climate is not the reason there: it can be horribly hot and humid and rain can pour for days at the time. So back to attitude.....right?

Who knows? It is, thought, a fact that has made me believe that these two places are much nicer than the one I find myself in at the moment. Social some places that is a way of life. In others it's an effort.......graceful living is unknown. It is time to take a second look at the Tropics!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I have no idea what is happening in the world...civility has gone out the window and very few people seem to mind. Am I being old-fashioned? Am I showing my age..uhmmm? Well, who cares... there is no age in good manners and there is nothing wrong with behaving with civility...I do have some theories, and I'm sure you knew that! The bigger the country, the worse it is. The bigger the influence of television and movies, the worse it is.

It has become a way of life to communicate via mobile phones, emails, social networks such a Facebook. That is all fantastic, it's the future, it's the world moving forward, I get it. Still, we need more human contact. Face to face exchanges have become so rare...why? we are human beings, we need eye contact, we need touch, we need to exchange ideas with spoken words.

What to do...those things seem so unfashionable at the moment. I think is the way we behave in big places. There is no time to get to know each other, no desire to exchange pleasantries, not need to be nice.....we need to get back to basic. Back to when we all knew each other's name, back to when we knew our neighbors....or maybe I am too naive.

Big cities don't lend themselves to warm relationships. All work and no play is a way of life. We commute and get home and need to solve every crisis that has presented itself during the time we were away at work. We need to complete tasks started before we can start new ones. Then we sit to see the 24 hours cable news, comedies, dramas and other so called entertainment. Sitting around the dinner table is a thing of the past, and if it happens...there is little to talk about. We are cranky, upset, tired and have no patience for anyone. No wonder we explode in uncivil behavior.

When we are outside the home, we behave in the same manner. We are impatient and rude and want to get our way quickly before we move on to another thing. How sad! We must remember that civilization comes from civility. How is civilization going to survive is civility is the first casualty of modernization?

We need to get back to simple things, paying attention to what is said to us before we react. We need to make sure our children know how to answer, how to ask for things and how to thank people. Please, the world is beautiful...stop and enjoy it. It will give you time to improve civility.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Wowed by Curaçao"....

Once more Baz Dreisinger, from Caribbean Travel and Life magazine has gone to Dushi Korsow.....and has written a most wonderful article!!! This new piece is the continuation, if you will, of another written in March. He has captured with amazing insight the sights and sounds of this unique island.

From the beautiful landscape to the cosmopolitan feel of the nightlife, to the many languages you can hear in the cool winding alleys of the capital city of Willemstad, to the breathtaking beaches and the marvelous sunsets, Baz didn't miss a thing. I have been, for years, trying to get anyone I meet or has not been paying attention to recognize the uniqueness of this island. I talk about it, make my new friends take a second look, write about it every chance I get, wrote a book about my life there AND have this blog!!! Since I moved away, I never miss a chance to's "home".

Today my friends' facebook pages are buzzing with comments and the link to the article is being passed around. We are all loving this!

At the time of the first article, I wrote a letter to the magazine complimenting them on it. It was published in May and I got a small gift...a Caribbean music CD that doesn't include ONE piece of Curaçao music!!! Really? I think they could have done better.....Anyway, my subscription ran out and I didn't mind, but now I thinking of getting it again. Any publication that is wise enough to recognize the unique beauty and fabulous people, the culture and the cosmopolitan feel of this paradise deserves a second chance!

Book info at the end of the page!!!!! why not?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Treasure Hunt.....

Today I received an invitation from my friend Andre to be at a Treasure Hunt! Yes, this great promotional treasure hunt will be taking place in Curaçao on Monday....It is part of a campaign to do with Curaçao as a hidden treasure in the Caribbean. There are participants from the USA and Canada and the lucky winner will get half a million dollars! WOW!!

Of course, I cannot participate, contestants were chosen a while ago and are already having fun on the island. I can see how it will be, though. When we first moved to Curaçao, a scavenger hunt or sterrit was one of the best ways to spend a Friday or Saturday night. Someone will organize the route to follow with directions, clues to look for, things to collect, timings.... It was an art and there were a few of our friends that were excellent at it!

Once you got your invite, you'd round up the people you wanted to ride with. Some were better than others and were in demand. The day of the party, we would meet at a designated spot, get our directions and leave as soon as possible. We had a time limit to return to the place where the party was going to be afterwards. Then the race was on...we drove around looking for clues, collecting the items asked for, trying to lose everyone that got too close and just having a great time! Someone will drive, someone else will read the instructions, very important since they were in Dutch!.... and everyone else will collect the items.

Can't believe how easy it was to have a wonderful time on a warm tropical night, driving around the island with our friends, going back and forth to our homes to collect things we couldn't find...yes, we did that too: like license plates, or live roaches!!! Yuck! Still, it was one of our favorite things for a while. Still can close my eyes and see everyone scrambling into their cars, people getting lost on dirt roads, laughing out loud, getting back to the party and reporting on your finds, counting your items, giving each group its points, announcing the winner..... Simpler times, I miss them.

These people have no idea what memories they will bring back! How fantastic the whole experience will be even for the ones that will not win the money.......The beauty of the island will be enough.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ramblings on Storms and Moves.....

Yes, finally, we have the first storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Never mind that in the Pacific Ocean the storms have been frequent and destructive, the Atlantic/Caribbean has been unusually quite. So, when I saw on the Weather Channel that ANA has been born...I was not happy.

Could I remind everyone of another August storm starting with A ?.....Nobody saw it coming, until hours before hitting Florida, ANDREW was just a storm, a minor hurricane.... nobody here has forgotten that. Outside it is rainy, misty, awful. I cannot see any of the islands on the Bay: Fisher Island, Key Biscayne, Miami Beach. They are all shrouded in mist and everything looks so damp, so sad. It's the time of the year when I wish I lived somewhere else!!!

I am not even thinking Curaçao, where the storms have been coming closer and closer. Think OMAR. The destruction it caused is still been talked about and things are still been repaired. The climate changes are real, I don't care what people tell you. It doesn't take a genius to see the progression of the storms. The way they are becoming deadlier and how they are getting closer to places they never being before. Seriously, I want answers and I want them soon.

In the meantime, I am hoping ANA has plans to dissipate. Let it be a wishy-washy kind of storm, one that can't take the cool waters of the Caribbean...and let those waters be REALLY cool this year!!!

On another note, my daughter moved today in London. Took the whole day, but she's in her new flat!! She sounds really positive about the place. That is something to celebrate...wish I was doing the same thing. After years in our cozy condo....we are bursting at the seams...and, no, I don't want to get rid of more stuff. I have pared down to the minimum. I just have what I like, what brings me good memories and what is practical. I think that is the best rule of thumb.We need more space for visitors and the sooner the better: an extra bedroom will be so welcome!!! So here it is to moving...again....but not in the middle of a storm!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Change is coming, I want to see it....

Amazing how things can change in a matter of days......I have been just hiding out. Thinking about the future, considering places to move to, giving retirement a thought or two. Now is, never mind! I am making it here for a while and Curaçao is NOT going to be taken off the table. I do like that place too much!

I have heard from friends, family and strangers. Family, even if distant, has no plans to move anywhere. Some friends are moving away, but we do have a core of really good friends, more like family, that are staying too. I have heard from perfect strangers who are planning to move to the my gut feeling is: wait before you make a decision.

The States is bound to change, there is too much going on. Back to more basic living, more responsible living, I think. It would be nice to see how this turns out, sort of, I was there when things changed..... and I don't mean the political change promised last November. I mean the change that will come naturally after the difficult financial times. I don't know, feels like back to the times when we moved to Curaçao, when we didn't know what to expect, everything seemed fresh.....well, sort of. We'll see.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I AM BACK!!!!!!!

It's been ages...and without setting out to do it, I have just let the writing go. Not what I intended and so easy to fall into that trap. Now, I'm back...with new energy. It feels good. The whole perspective of my writing seems to have shifted. There is no need to compare and try to see the best in the island home I left. That is a given!

What I have now is the serenity to see Miami in a different light. The wisdom, shall we say, to look at this move that took place years ago, as a fact accompli. Well, never thought that was going to happen, which just proves that anything is possible. Making things real, let's not just celebrate the fact that I love Miami...neee! It is more like the slow realization that this is it for a while yet. There are no plans to be moving away in the near future. There are no plans to stay here forever that is a compromise I can live with.

Since I was here last, so much has happened. Trips to Panama have continued in a steady way, stressful as ever and with no end in sight...that would be unthinkable. My mother still needs our attention, but thanfully she is doing so much no trip planned for the rest of the year. Family disagreements and differences of opinion are still there, maybe worse than ever, but I now see that I don't have to put up with any of it......such a relief!

I have been to Curaçao once for a wedding. It was so nice, so walking into your life all over again. Things have changed, of course. New construction, new faces everywhere, more touristy and less spoiled. A bit of financial crisis, like the rest of the world, but nothing extreme yet. Political problems, differences with Holland, too many political parties...nothing new there. The everyday life has become a bit more hectic, a bit more expensive. In the end, I didn't noticed much because the people I care for and the things I miss continue....yes, some friends have moved away, new places have popped up...but life seems remarkably the same. Or maybe I wasn't paying attention...but I doubt it! The island is still so beautiful, and life is better when there is beauty involved!

In the last few days, I have been up in New England attending another wedding and having some family time with my children. The glorious Northern Summer! The wedding was a reason to see dear friends and the day was at it's best. Then on to Boston, which was alive with people walking everywhere and strolling along the plazas and squares and gardens. The Charles was full of sailboats and the sunsets were just as beautiful. We visited friends and took in the sounds and sights of this most beautiful city.

Yes, a lot of things have happened since I last was here....all of them good in their own way. All of them a reason to love life and accept what I have been given....I will not stay away so long next time, and I will include photos of all places I visit, all things I do along with the ones from Dushi Korsow!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Absolutely! That's it. I spent today just doing things about the house, something I don't enjoy and have to concentrate do to. Of course, living in the states, there is little choice, housework is sort of mandatory.....what to do.

So how did I get to wanderlust from housework.....not two things that are connected at all. Well, putting things away after lunch, getting the kitchen organized, realizing that there are things still in boxes, things I never unpacked because I have no space, I began to wonder what am I doing here? isn't it time to move on, go somewhere new?

I could see myself organizing a new home, walking on empty rooms and planning where everything will go, opening boxes and discovering things, it will be as if they were new! It was absolutely real and it made me smile. I can feel it in so many ways: it is time to move. There is always something out there I want to see, a new place I want to call home, the excitement of choosing, arranging. The smell of new, unfamiliar places I will make my own......yes, that is how I went from housework to wanderlust......

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Weddings, Reunions and Holidays.....

This seems to be the season for weddings. I know, is not June yet, but in my part of the world, on the small and beautiful island I so miss.....weddings are all the rave these days!!! This past Saturday there was one, on April 18th there is another one and on May 9th still another one!! All involved family, good friends and people I really care about.....and I am missing hem.

Because we moved to Miami, I am missing all these events. This means missing seeing people I care about, reunions with others I haven't seen in years, holidays by the clear waters of the Caribbean, sunsets that take your breath away and the warm feeling of friendship that is so needed by the human spirit!!

Having missed this first one, I am making plans to attend the other two. A wedding is the best moment to see people at their best, happiness cannot be denied and you can see so many of your favorite people in one happy day or days! Because these are sort of destination weddings, other fun activities will be planned and including rehearsal dinners, beach days, relaxing moments with a drink overlooking the sunset. Life is short, things change in a matter of days, moments that we missed don't come back and I am not willing to accept that.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shopping for Baby, Walking by the Sea....

Yes, I'm back...again! after a couple of weeks away visiting my mother. It has become a routine I don't much care for, but it is necessary and in some ways.... welcome. Here I go again, I guess, contradicting myself in one sentence. It is true, though, I loathe the trips, but enjoy my time there....doesn't make any sense, right? Maybe not, but that's reality for you.

This time I had no encounter with most of my mother's family, which was wonderful. The cousins and aunts I saw I can relate to and don't interfere. Another plus was the new addition to the family: one of my cousins' two month old granddaughter! She is a perfectly adorable baby that smiles and giggles and follows you with her eyes as if she knows you. We went shopping for her and delighted in choosing outfits and toys and other things for this bundle of Joy. I think we are all in need of grandkids......don't think our children will agree. Never mind, we loved it!

While there, my sisters and I went walking by the beach every morning...early. Something I only do there, since I am NOT a morning person. Still in Panama I wake up at the crack of dawn and I'm ready to go around 7:30 a.m. Walk for about 45 minutes, breathing the fresh, salty air and hearing the crash of the waves. There are shells to pick, driftwood to admire and other kindred spirits to greet in this early morning exercise. It is so soothing and we would not survive the stress of most days without these walks. What a wonderful way to start the day!!!

Besides, coming and going to the beach gives us time to talk about so many things, enjoying each others' company as we cannot during most of the day. Life is good, we have discovered, even when we need to travel to Panama so frequently we almost live there!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Perfect South Florida weekend.......

This past weekend was a very good one. Camille came from London for a friend's wedding...well, more than that. Cristina is the daughter of one of our oldest friends. We have been looking forward to this for more than a year. The children are best of friends and haven't seen each other for ages. So this was more like a reunion.

Friday, we had drinks by the beach on a Miami Beach hotel. The boardwalk was inviting, the ocean calm and the sand white. It was not like the beaches we are used to, but the company made up for that! The groom's family and friends came down from Boston and other New England cities....they had a ball. We stayed late and went home content.

Saturday was the big day. We woke up late, had a nice family brunch and went to the pool. Then Camille and I went to the beauty parlor to be pampered....back to the house to get ready. Camille had a date to dance the night away. One of her best friends came as well. The weather was magnificent! Not a cloud in the sky, temperatures in the 70s and a light breeze. Perfect South Florida weather!

The church was lovely and the guests were in such a great mood. The bride looked gorgeous, every detail was just right: from the harp music, to the lighting, to her brother who sang so beautifully it took our breaths away and brought tears to more than a few eyes. I was not expecting anything else.

The reception was at the Bass Museum and it proved to be a perfect venue. The food was so good, the drinks flowed and the music was inviting. The party lasted until the early hours, with everyone dancing! When we went home, it was with a light step and a light heart. What a fabulous party! What a way to start a new life.

On Sunday, we got together again with our friends and their families, the bride and groom and their friends. Beach day...well, in typical South Florida fashion, Sunday was cloudy, breeze and temperatures dipped into the 40s! All to be expected......The day ended up with great Cuban food and great conversation and a drink or two. A completely successful weekend!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Mother's Birthday

Today my mother is eighty-five!! Can't believe it. Just two years ago, she had a massive stroke. My sisters and I thought she was not going to make it. How wrong were we! In the long tradition of the women in her family, she rallied, then endured a year of physical therapy and several setbacks. Now she is thriving. It gives us hope of a long and fruitful life. I remember her mother, her aunts, all lived well into their nineties.

My sisters and I always looked up to her. She was always full of energy, a gracious hostess that welcome everyone to her home. An older sister that took care of keeping her large family together, living until recently in her parents' old house. Of course, she lived far from her daughters, but visited frequently and enjoyed her example to a point!

I called to wish her Happy Birthday and she was alert, funny and commenting on the events of the day so far. Everyone has called or visited, she had presents to open and people to converse with. My sisters are there preparing a feast for tomorrow night when everyone she cares for can come to share this time with her. In a way, I wish I was there too, but with my family all together here in Miami, that was not a choice. There will be other times to celebrate and I am sure we can all be there: daughters and grandchildren. We will have a wonderful time!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gracious Living

Gracious Living, yes, that is what I am missing. Don't get me wrong...Miami has so much to offer. When it come to things to do, the city has more than its share, and that is not the point. The everyday life here is very hard, always rushing, little time for entertaining, visiting, or relaxing. Distances are appalling, it takes for ever to go anywhere, making daily commute a nightmare for most of the people in the city.

No laid-back lifestyle here, no matter what people tell you on the nightly news...the weather can be gorgeous half of the year and you would still struggle to have some time to enjoy it. For me, it's very simple...there is no gracious living in Miami.

You know what I mean, time to visit and sit with friends enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, time to really have a conversation, go for a leisurely walk at the end of the day or just enjoy the sunset. Today is Wednesday, I know, what's the point'll say. There is one, believe me. Today is Wednesday, back in Curaçao my friends go together to play bridge. Everyone would get there early, one by one they'd arrive, smiling, greeting, sharing. The tables are ready, the spread on the side table, the coffee cups, a cake, a pie, some cookies.

There are the latest news to be shared, the good and not so good news about their lives, the birthdays, the weddings, the births. Nowadays the housekeeper, the high cost of things at the supermarket. It is so civilized! On this particular day, Vicki, one of my best friends is celebrating her birthday. We always do the Wednesday after the real predictable and wonderful! There was cake, I'm sure, and greetings and someone had collected money and bought a gift card for her. Another would have something amusing to say and everyone would clap and things would only get better.

There would be playing and things to munch and drink along the way. When the bridge session is finished, there would be lunch, relaxed and familiar and delicious. Everyone would stay longer than usual, no reason to rush anywhere...this is where everyone is supposed to be. There would be good china, cutlery and glassware, a nice coffee and tea set and some good wine. Laughter and camaraderie and just plain fun...this is gracious living at its best!!! I so miss that!!!

And wonderful!!!!

Yes, I have up and down days a everyone else. The difference is that I write about them! The last two days have been great! The weather in Miami has cooperated: sunny cool and free of humidity. I opened the windows and doors of my apartment and let the breeze in. It was so wonderful! Never mind the people that think I am out of my mind....

Yes, there are a few of those. Just take the opening your home to the natural breeze. Here, just because the AC unit is part of the have to keep it on!!! except, of course, when it is too cold!!! then the heater kicks in....whatever. Nature is not considered in the equation...too bad.

Anyway, the day is gorgeous again. Biscayne Bay sparkles in the sun and the cool breeze makes small whitecaps. The buildings look actually beautiful and not so much as concrete blocks. The port is bustling and small boats crisscross the bay. I can see small children in their prams peacefully sleeping in the warm sun. Their caretakers...could we say nannies???....socializing in the park that is the center of Brickell peaceful.

How can I not be happy today!!! I am thankful for this......

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life is Complicated.....

What a discovery, you would say...I don't blame you. It is just that some days that is more relevant than others. Today is one of those days. I am in mist of getting my annual check-up. Not fun, I can tell you....but then I am sure you know that. This is the time, when my imagination runs wild and I think I am...who knows??!!

Never mind that, there must be a way of learning to be positive. If there is, I would like whoever has the secret to please SHARE!!! I am a worrier by nature and a pessimist by I would be grateful for an insight into the world of positive thinking and care-free living. No that I haven't tried, I have and keep trying...but it doesn't last long....

The day is beautiful. After more than a week of low temperatures and strong breezes, Miami is back to the 80s, sunny, low humidity and gorgeous. It almost makes me glad to live here.....alright, it makes me glad I'm here at this time. Consequently, I should be happy....enjoying this great weather....NEEE!!!! My mind is on the test I am having tomorrow, how is it going to go, what are they going to find and all the aches and pains I am feeling at the moment. Really!!!

My doctor told me the other day that I want to get old without having any aches and pains. Something I understood him to mean is impossible. Aches and pains remind us that we are alive, I guess he meant. Maybe that's it, you have to be your own teacher when it comes to being positive. One idea I can put into practice.......

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sailboats on Biscayne Bay.......

Differently from other bays, coves, ports, beaches and the like, Biscayne Bay doesn't seem to attract sailboats.....I have no clue why. While living and traveling in the Caribbean, while visiting Panama's coastal towns and in any other place by the sea...I have been soothed by the sight of sails out against the blue sea. Very seldom do I see them on Biscayne Bay. There are sailboats alright, but with their sails rolled up and using their motors.......

In the late afternoon on weekdays, there is a type of Asian junk with a large red sail that takes tourists on a tour of the Bay. Coming back, with the sun setting, it presents a glorious view. That is about it, most of the time. On the other hand, there are motor boats and Skidoos galore. Why is that? What is it with people and speed? The waters of the Bay can be so blue and calm, reflecting the light and the planes that fly low ready to land at MIA. A small white sail would look breathtaking.....or maybe it's only me.

Well, this week, when the weather has been at its best, cool and sunny , with a slight breeze......I saw one sailboat! Alone on the water and listing with the breeze, the sail fluttering, it looked beautiful! I went out into our balcony just to follow it until it disappeared towards Key Biscayne.
It brought back so many memories and it made me smile. What a simple look outside and lose oneself in the sight of a small sailboat cutting the waves on Biscayne Bay!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2009 looks like a good year...

Alright, the year is only a couple of weeks much information could I get out of that? You'll be surprised! The weather is finally cooling and it's the best time to live in Miami. It has taken a while this year......we had 80 degree weather for too long....

So, I have started to walk in the late afternoon. It is such a nice way of unwinding at the end of the day. My new iPodsuffle is loaded with walking music: some Latin beat (merengue, salsa, cumbia), ABBA, Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, The Doors, The Eagles, Elton John, me, it keeps me moving and sometimes makes me want to dance! This will help keep me fit.

My freelance work is picking up and some of my pieces have appeared in travel magazines and you can find them in Google.....not bad! This is also so much fun, keeps me involved and takes me to such interesting places around the city. Who would have known? This will help keep my mind fit!

At home, I have been organizing papers.....sort of a early Spring cleaning. Throwing things away, has to be one of the best therapies..EVER!!! Doing this I have discovered so many things: Christmas letters from friends, years worth of these; invitations to weddings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs and showers, baby and bridal; letters from friends with good news and not so good news; thank you notes and sympathy notes; boxes of journals, I have kept for longhand!!! It's been like going over parts of my life, all over again. This will help keep my heart fit.

I have also started to organized my kitchen, living and dinning rooms. Now I am SURE I don't need to buy anything new for my house...well, maybe for the kitchen. Appliances can always be replaced, knives, pots and pans, too. BUT no cutlery or china, maybe some wine glasses..NO knick-knacks or vases or silver of any kind. This will keep my wallet fit!

Finally, I have discovered that the ONLY things I will keep buying on a regular basis are: books, clothes and shoes......and handbags!!! Why not? I do want to look good at all times and my mind needs the constant infusion of knowledge and entertainment. One thing I plan to do, though, is try more vintage places, look for things that have a history and still look good. This will include pieces of jewellery that are not expensive, but look good. Yes, this is going to be a good year!!!