We are beginning to settle in and truly relax. It is very peaceful here, and after all the craziness of the Christmas festivities, it feels good. We had a great Christmas with our kids, their spouses, my parents, my sister, my niece, great-niece and great nephew staying with us, and we were honored to have a very special guest, Dramea, a delightful young man from Fiji! Dramea works with and shares an apartment with our son-in-law, Lance. Rachel and Lance bought a house up in the mountains at Lake Arrowhead, CA, so to avoid a daily 1-1/2 hour commute one-way to work, Lance got an apartment within 5 miles of his office where he stays Monday-Friday. Dramea is the adopted son of Lance's boss, sent to L.A. to learn the business, but unaccustomed to American ways. He needed a safe place to live, Lance needed a relatively inexpensive apartment (HA! this is L.A.!) near work and sharing it with Dramea was a great solution for both. Fortunately, they get along very well. Rachel and the dogs sometimes come down and stay at the apartment during the week, too.
Anyway, I digress. Our house was filled for days with laughter, conversation, music (thanks, Dramea!), singing, boisterous game-playing, and much noise. I loved every minute of it. When they all left, the silence was almost deafening. Fortunately, we didn't have time to dwell on it, so I didn't suffer the usual post-holiday letdown. I hate taking down the Christmas decorations and packing everything away. Ugh! We were blessed to have help with this formidable task this year from Rachel, Lance, and Dramea, the last ones to leave on New Year's Eve. After they left, we only had two days to clean-up the house, do mountains of laundry, eat up the leftovers, pack our bags and prepare ourselves for our 6 month hiatus on Roatan. Hence, the need for a little peace.
It is incredibly restful to sit out on our deck and watch the ocean, the beauty surrounding us, the sunsets. Here are a couple of interesting sunset pictures from last night. I love how the sun appears to be a big red ball sitting on the horizon in this photo.
Don gave me a new camera for Christmas, and I'm still experimenting with it. It does have a more powerful zoom, so that's been fun to play with.
Pink bougainvillea growing along south side of house.
Close-up of Pride of Barbados - see why I love it so much!
(If you double-click on these pictures, they should enlarge.) Hopefully, I'll get better at using this camera soon. Stay tuned.