Another Christmas has come and gone and, as usual, being so far from family we celebrated with our friends in order to share the joy of the Season!
For a few years we have all gathered at Manati to celebrate Christmas (among other festivities) and this year was no exception. The day started as normal Christmas Days do; cloudy, rain and rough traveling. In 14 years I think we have had 4 sun-filled Christmas days with possibly two of them beginning and ending with rain but in the middle there was sun! Dec. 25th this year was no exception, it rained off and on all day and some people managed to miss the downpour to arrive high and dry while others got caught and came in drenched! Needless to say, everyone was in good spirits.
We usually have turkey and this year was no exception except this year we had two humongous birds! Everyone was instructed to bring a dish to share and we had a variety of salads, vegetables and deserts to fill our stomachs.
Claus took on the responsibility of cooking the turkeys in his outdoor grill. This huge oven was built a couple of years back to celebrate Hansito’s 50th birthday and has been providing the island with wonderful meals ever since. Today was no exception as Claus tended to the two turkeys. As usual, he did an outstanding job and our thanks to him and his wife, Annette, for all their hard work! Great meal guys!!
Of course we all caught up on the latest news which was that of Dick Monroe falling off a ladder last week and breaking his hip. It was doubly sad as the whole family; wife, Jennifer, two sons, Seth and Ben, and Robin, Ben’s girlfriend, managed to make it to the island for the first Island Christmas celebration. They had all come to Manati the previous Saturday to see everyone but between then and Dec. 25th, Dick, while tending to the trimming of some trees near his house, unfortunately chose to use an old wooden ladder which had weaken and broke while he was on it.
For those of you who know Dick, he is a large man and getting him off the island really presented a challenge. But, as ever, the islanders were up to the task and with the help of the people from Wilmont Bay and the family, Dick was loaded onto a reclining porch chair, loaded into a boat and taken to the airport where Lahnsa had a plane waiting to take him on to San Pedro Sula. From there he was transported to Hospital Cemesa via an ambulance (which Jennifer had to fill with gas!) and about two days later he had a total hip replacement surgery. Doctors are reporting that the surgery went well and Dick should be able to leave Honduras on January 7th to return to the States to recuperate. We wish you well Dick and are so sorry you could not spend Christmas with your family.
Meanwhile, back on Guanaja we all prepared to partake of the feast spread out before us. With my husband offering to carve the birds, in no time there was food on the table, people assembled and it was almost all gone within an hour or two!
As an added attraction, once again we celebrated Capt. Al’s birthday. He turned 83 and we all cheered and sang Happy Birthday to a colorful character that has been an “attraction” of the island for many, many years. Happy Birthday Capt. Al!
There was a huge blue iced chocolate birthday cake (I guess that is his favorite color and favorite flavor) and was sufficient to feed the crowd of over 50 people present. Of course there was some funny colored tongues and teeth because of the food dye in the frosting - but, hey, makes for more laughter!
I also have some pleasant news to report: Joan and David Cobb who unfortunately could not be here this year as they were in Alaska with their son, McCrea and his wife, Michelle, were informed that they are to be Grandparents for the first time next June! Congratulations to the proud parents and Grandparents.
There was a sad note to the season however with the passing of Diane and Terry Conlee’s good friend, Susan Moelling who succumbed to a sudden unknown illness and died after 36 hours in the hospital. Our condolences to Diane and Terry and the family of Mrs. Moelling. Also, Jack’s Mom, Jackie, fell a few weeks ago but has returned to her home and is reported to doing well. Go Jackie!
For the rest of my friends, I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season and look forward to a bright, healthy, happy New Year.