Under The Sea (Part 2)

“The class starts at 2, so we’ll leave here at 1:30,” Michael told me. “Hon? We’re a two minute drive to the scuba place. We don’t need to leave that early.” But, of the two of us, Michael was the only one who could drive on the left side of the road, so at 1:00…

In Honor of Grandma Gallo’s 97th Birthday

Yesterday, my only living grandparent turned 97. With four children, sixteen grandchildren, and a dozen (I think) great-grandchildren, she is certainly the matriarch of my father’s side of the family. My siblings and cousins posted pictures on Facebook yesterday of themselves visiting Grandma on her special day. My sister Liz also posted an older picture…

Sea Horses

“Watch the horse, hon,” I said. “Where?” “Right there,” I said, pointing to the right side of the narrow road. We drove slowly by a man leading a dark brown horse with a rope. “Is he walking it to the beach?” Michael asked. “I guess so.” It was just after 7 am and Michael and…

Location, location, location (AKA The Path to Barbados, Part 2)

When Michael and I had talked about the possibility of me leaving my teaching job, and I fretted about what I’d do for income, Michael said, “We’ve got the AirBnB.” In February of 2020 we had finished converting our garage into a 500-square-foot apartment. Despite COVID, it had been successful beyond anything we could have…

A Peek Outside My Door

Yesterday I was given a reprieve. After almost five days of quarantine in my apartment here in Barbados, I was allowed leave to get my second COVID test. Michael met me outside our building and I dutifully followed him to the on-site doctor’s office. “It’s in there,” he said, pointing to an unlatched door in…

Watching The Sap Boil

“It’s gotten warmer here,” my mother told me the other day. “Forties during the day. I don’t think it’s going to get down to freezing tonight. I wonder if the sap will stop running?” For those of you that didn’t grow up in the mid-Hudson Valley, you may know what sap is, but have no…

The Not-So-Sunny Side of Life in Barbados

The photo showed four of my former colleagues in the hallway of one of the school buildings, heads tilted toward the imaginary center of the selfie, faces masked, two of them in front, two more trying to socially distance in the back. One of them had posted the pic to to my Facebook page with…

Untold Camino Stories: The Cherry Farmer

In the midst of charging up the hill ahead of me, Dad stopped, turned around, and yelled, “Hurry up and get up here before the tractor comes.” I looked up to my left and saw a tractor about to join us on the Camino de Santiago. I got over to the side of the trail…

Untold Camino Stories: The Interview

Since our public libraries have been closed since March 18, and I’m a minimalist who doesn’t have a single book in my home that I haven’t already read, I’ve resorted to something I’m finding quite delightful: reading my journals from past journeys on the Camino de Santiago. And guess what? There are lots of stories…

Merging

I was driving from my home in Arden, NC to our twice-yearly writers retreat–which now takes place on Norris Lake in Tennessee. I wound around the mountains, a light snow blowing about–the kind that just whirls on the road without sticking. As the cars ahead of me slowed, I glanced at my Waze app and…