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Wait. It’s February already?

We have been so busy that I haven’t written a thing in almost two months. Antigua with the Salty Dawgs is a non-stop party. And I seem to be the hostess. Because of our late start this year things were all moved around and rescheduled and then I added events to calendar as we went along. This year included a tour to swim with the stingrays and pet the land tortoises, a cook-out at the brewery, a pig roast at one of the restaurants, as well as introducing Mexican Train Dominos to a whole bunch of new players and Salty Dawgs.

And then in the middle of it all, we go to go to Michigan for the holidays! It was great. The Kaplans got there December 16, we came the 19, and the Overmyers arrived the 21. On the 22 the blizzard came and we had two feet of snow so there was sledding and snowball fights as well as watching River run into the almost-frozen lake (Ann went in too - after the lake really did have ice on it. My family is crazy.)

We played board games and family games, we ate great food (and drank a fair bit too), gifts were exchanged, and Santa even brought a Purple Space Banana to Bruce*. We had a gang in for New Year’s Eve and even stayed awake till midnight. Then the snow melted, the kids went home, and we flew back to Antigua. I couldn’t have planned it better!

*What is a Purple Space Banana? You don’t know?? Well, in early December Ren told us that Bruce wanted

Santa to bring him a Purple Space Banana. She didn’t know what that was exactly, and had been unsuccessful finding any reference to one anywhere on the net, so she had purchased a squishy purple banana. But it really wasn’t at all “spacey”. So I volunteered to create something. I crocheted a purple banana and put rocket fins on it, so that it could fly into space. Then I received and URGENT phone call from Ren telling me that she had learned that a space banana was a kind of communications satellite. Off came the fins, on went satellite receiving dishes and antennas. On December 24, I was very happy to place my creation on the top of his stocking. In the morning Bruce sat down with his stocking, picked it up and said “Oh, a Purple Space Banana” and set it down. As far as I know, that’s the last he has done anything with it, but at least I succeeded in my efforts - he knew what it was and he received what he had requested.

Just before we flew to the States in December we picked up an additional solar panel for Roxy. We left it with the welder/metal smith in Antigua with the understanding that he would create an arch to mount the panel on the back of the boat above our dinghy davits and that the project would be done, or nearly so, when we got back in January. Well, of course it wasn’t done. It wasn’t even begun. So we were told that he would start on it in 10 days and it would take about 4 days to finish so that we would be done by the end of the third week of January. Okay, we can deal with that. We continued our Salty Dawg ways and did a little sailing around the island and visited different anchorages before returning to the shop 10 days later when he finally told us that there was no way he was going to get to this project, he had too many other things to do. WTF??? So we picked up the panel, stowed it aboard, cleared out of Antigua, and left for Guadaloupe. Now, with the help of Bob and Brenda of Pandora, we are eating our way through town, one great restaurant after another, snorkeling the okay reefs and rocks, visiting the beach, and going to the Botanical Gardens. (We go there as much for their great restaurant as for the flora and fauna.) This visit the flamingos were especially fun.

And tonight I did something I’ve only done maybe two or three times since we are back from the holidays - I cooked dinner aboard! I think I did a pretty good job - even if it did take almost all my pots and pans.

We hope that your winter weather is treating you kindly, that you are keeping to all your New Years’ resolutions, are mostly done preparing your taxes, and that 2023 is a year of good health, much happiness, and great fun.

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