If we cannot be at home with our family this year, Hope Town is a good substitute. As I described in an earlier post, the Christmas spirit is alive and thriving here.
Our Christmas Eve began a day early as we walked the north beach again, watching and listening to the waves.
On the morning of Christmas Eve, the seas were calm and the sky very clear. We decided to take the dinghy on a ride out to Tahiti Beach again, scooting down the western shore of Elbow Cay. We snorkeled there, not for sea life, but for sea glass. Had a blast – what a way to find sea glass! Just cruising along, with an up-close view of the sandy bottom. Finding and picking up the pieces was like walking in a field, looking for wildflowers. Most of the pieces are small, and green or brown, but there were a few special ones. Im also collecting little shells and coral, thinking that someday I may want to create a “sailor’s valentine.”
Our Christmas Eve became a little busier than we expected – busy in a very, very nice way! Deanna and Sara, who live in Sea House, invited us to a spur of the moment holiday open house. Sara and Deanna are two remarkable women and their home reflects their personalities, warm and inviting. Sea House sits above north beach with a view that is almost heaven. We enjoyed socializing with our new friends and meeting even more charming people. Thank you, Sara and Deanna, for a delightful holiday party!
Our little water family of Cutting Class and Kindred Spirit planned a Christmas Eve dinner together. We feasted on Dan’s freshly caught Caribbean lobster, which Marcia transformed into lobster/wahoo coconut curry. I brought a cabbage/kale/carrot salad and my home-made applesauce (from CT, not made on the boat!)
With our tummies full, we hopped into the dinghy and headed into the settlement for the candlelight Christmas Eve service at St. James Methodist Church. St. James, a charming little church, overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and has been rebuilt four times since it began its work in Hope Town in 1820.
The service was just right – lots of carols, Christmas Bible readings, a good sermon, and overflowing with people, about 150 adults and children. The altar was adorned with natural greens and plants from the island. The service ended with only the glow of the light from the candles held by each person. I am so glad the four of us went to the service.
Christmas morning brought a change in the weather – windy and cloudy with a shower as well. But no snow. 😉 We ate peach pancakes with sausage,followed by skyping with our friends on Magnolia, Anthony and Annette. Later, after dinner, we skyped against that we could also wish Frank and Mary Marie a Merry Christmas. Magnolia and Eleanor Q are together in Fort Lauderdale and hope to cross to the Exumas sometime next week.
The internet allowed us to “Face Time” with our family, closing the many miles between us for just a short time. It really helped to make the day a little brighter.
We had carefully planned our Christmas eating and activities with Cutting Class to spread it out over the two days. For Christmas Day we made reservations at the Abaco Inn for an early dinner. Holidays are about the food, right? So here is another food photo collage – dinner was delicious and very filling.
Just like all years, Christmas ends too quickly. Each Christmas becomes a memory that joins the ones that have come before. All together these memories create a glow that warms us, filling us with joyful memories of times spent with family and friends.
OK, “children” — next year, it’s back to our house in Connecticut for Christmas Eve dinner!!