As I thought about life in G’da (Grenada) today after writing this morning, many more memories came to mind that I want to put on ‘paper’:
Walking the beach below the Cooke-Yarborough house, along Mosquito Bay; the swing from the tree behind the house that went out so high over the hill-side; the shack-shack tree in front of our house where I would sit in the breeze for hours; throwing darts and playing ping-pong for hours in the garage…with Andrew Minors, Peter Reeves, Gregor Phillips, Jackie Evans and more; making black-coral jewelry; ‘hunting’ with our modified air-rifles—shooting the few hapless doves…and then actually cleaning, cooking and eating them; catching fish for weeks on end…and finally three of us (Andrew M, Jeph and me) frying 67 fish and eating them all (well, some scraps we threw to our cat, Charlie); making kites; hearing “Oh What a Night” day after day on the Minor’s ‘new’ reel-to-reel player…at full-volume; finding the old single-car barge that washed up after a storm…outfitting it with a makeshift mast and a sail (one of Mom’s sheets); diving (snorkeling) around the rocks…and out at the reef; hanging out with Probie, Rachel and Gracie on their veranda; running over to Calivigny Island with the Minors for a picnic; moving from the Cooke-Yarborough House to the Barclay’s Bank house on the Lance-aux-Epines side….
Running in the mangrove swamps with my dog Ginger; hanging out with Richard Franco; riding my Honda CT-110 to school every day; practicing my self-taught karate in the front yard of our house; spying on Frances Taylor as she walked home from school; sitting out on the rocks at the end of Lance-aux-Epines beach…completely lost in space and time; befriending the bartender at the Calabash Hotel…and getting all the “left-overs” from the blender…learning what a “rum-punch” is the hard way; happy when the German tourists arrived…since they usually went topless!; going down to the boat yard to see the yachts; swimming around the bay and being invited on the yachts for a rest or a snack; the cows in the pasture…and how they moo-ed for days after Mr. Evans had the mamas and babies separated; the lizards that were in every room, watching with one eye my every move….
Foods like…flying fish, fresh tuna, fried plantain, oil-down, callaloo soup, Greek-style macaroni, cristophine with cheese sauce, bok-choy, cou-cou, fresh paw-paw, fresh mangos, stew-chicken, sorrel, lime-squash, fresh lime-aid from the tree in our yard, sugar-apples, damsels, marmi-apple, fresh coconut…and many more that I’ll remember later!
School at Berean Christian Academy; Mr. Bob and Ms. Brown…patient but firm; Mr. Thompson teaching us that it’s “better to give your wife a good blow than to take your anger to the car where you could die!”; Margaret coming and telling me she was ready to “blossom”; Bobby and I leaving school to run an errand for the principal…and coming back in time for the dismissal of classes; playing football down on Tanteen Playing Field; buy “snow ice” for snacks; Pastor Milton teaching us in great detail about the Israelites in Kadesh-Barnea (but I never understood why?); the other MK’s…and how we tired to “out-Grenadian” one another; Poo-Poo, Bampsy, Scribe, and all the great friends at BCA.
Singing at church…songs filled with joy and at full volume; Dad preaching…always a sermon that made sense and pulled us in; Terry, Louise and I sitting in the back during evening service…all squished together and loving it (Terry, she liked me more! ha, ha); youth outings to the beach below the Islander Hotel; lying in the hot sand…and feeling the stress just flow out; Impact 76, 77 and 78; helping with mission teams; ‘translating’ from Grenadian English to American English; swimming at Grande Anse Beach; sailing with Davo in Terry’s ‘mirror dinghy’; having youth in Davo’s apartment…and hearing Amy Grant for the very first time; doing puppet/muppet programs at the schools…and seeing the children absolutely fascinated; going to the Richmond Hill Prison with Dad for Bible study with the prisoners—seeing men who were physically locked away but whose spirit soared freely by faith; meeting Leon Edwards—the man who stared it all.
Amazingly, God has used all my foolishness, my experiences, my friendships and my growing moments to mold me into who I am today. There are few if any moments that I’d ask for a “do-over”—life was good…and my memories there carry me until this day.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for taking me there…for following God’s call in your lives, and in so doing, enriching my life beyond measure!! (Oh, sure, I’m a cultural mess now, but I’d like to think that’s a good thing!)
More to come….