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Happy new year!

By Anne Clement

While I usually write about the good life out here, some things are not great. Here is the flip side:

Recently we needed to do some errands in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas (I spell it British style because they do). First of all, the wind was quite strong so the salt water splashed over the dinghy bow and we got ourselves and our clean, dry clothes thoroughly soaked. Then the dock was crowded because so much of this harbour was destroyed in the recent hurricanes, it is hard to find any place to tie up. A drunk was weaving around speaking about something. Then my foot has been hurting for a while and it was a long walk to the store and a longer walk back carrying heavy bags of groceries. Bless the nice Black man who joked that "It's gonna snow!" because it was so cold and windy. And so much is still not cleared away after the hurricane damage, it is frightening to see it and imagine such a wind. The eye went right through here. Docks are smashed and useless, buildings flood damaged several feet above the floor and their contents ruined, no laundry machines working in town because the electric motors got wet, no water or fuel available in most of the smashed marinas of this major settlement - serious damage and disruption every where you look. Outside the Bahamas Telephone Company the three phone booths have been re installed. One with an old corroded phone not working just like last year and another with obvious salt water damage mixing up the computer brain so it had gibberish instead of instructions on the screen. The third worked on the eighth try - just like last year. (Just like every year.) You get tired fingers just pushing the buttons. Expensive beyond belief too, even for two minutes of pocketmail sending and receiving. Returning to the boat, my whole body felt tired. We both got a second, more thorough soaking in the dinghy on the return trip and it was a strain just keeping the bread dry with so much water sloshing about. Prices were only just this side of breathtaking so that was some little bit better than last year.

I miss my kids, worry about them constantly, and even knowing that it is foolish, does not help.

Finances are tight. It looks like we will be ok, but only just.

The scum line below the water now has lots of tiny shell life slowing us up more and more. The lack of antifouling on the bottom is disgraceful and embarassing out here with so many fine, distance cruising boats all around us. The cost of a haul out is prohibitive and scrubbing and scraping is hard work for old folks.

I got too much sun the other day because I forgot the sun screen again.

So, ok. What are the warts and pimples in your life? Money tight? Snow getting harder to shovel? Roof needing to be redone? Pipes frozen? Getting sore feet in your old age? Need to paint the kitchen? Icy roads? Worried about the kids? (Isn't that what parenthood is all about?) California earthquakes, Oregon brush fires, Louisiana floods, Vermont blizzards, New York terror attacks, Kansas drought, and whatever else? Bills, bills, bills. Hills of bills!

Seems like our warts and pimples are just about the same as everybody else's, but we got ours here! And that makes all the difference to us.

Happy New Year!

Love, Ann and Nev

Peace Four

© Anne and Neville Clement, 2005