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…

Processing (AKA The Path to Barbados: Part 4)

“So do you want to go out to breakfast?” Michael asked me one Saturday morning a few years ago. I paused. I had just gotten back from my morning walk. It was 9:30 am.I thought about all the things I had planned to do. If we went out to breakfast, we wouldn’t be back until…

Brainstorming (The Path to Barbados: Part 3)

Michael and I have long dreamed of living abroad. Michael had attempted it once, in his 20’s, but just before he moved to Paris, he fell in love. And that love prompted him to leave Paris just five months into what was supposed to be a one-year stint in the City of Lights.  I spent…

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…

Unreasonable 2020 Goals (AKA The Path to Barbados, Part 1)

Sarah loved her Passion Planner. She showed us the color-coded calendar, the monthly reflection pages. I decided to buy one. In January. Of 2020. The opening activity asks one to list things they’d like to accomplish in three months, one year, three years, and a lifetime. So I dutifully dreamed. In three months I wanted…

A Morning Walk (Barbados Style)

“Ready?” Michael said as he opened the door to my bedroom. His voice roused my from my slumber. “Ready? For what? Huh?” “We’re driving to a new beach today. Remember?” Oh. Yeah. That. I’d been naturally waking up at 6:20 each morning, not too long after the sun lights up the ocean outside my window….

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…