Rolling with the Punches

Friday, November 2, 2012

We woke up to another beautiful morning in Barbados and started off with Janel joining us for coffee and computer-ing. Our windows were opened to allow the soothing sounds of the garden stream and the birds making their morning songs.


As usual, when we open our door (we are upstairs) the aroma of something delicious for breakfast wafts up to meet us.  Evadney is busily preparing a beautiful table for our morning meal.

Flowers from the garden for our breakfast table

Today is a special day all around.  Rich and Betsy are going to take Marty to visit Woodland Plantation where her grandmother was born.  She has been in contact with the owners and they are eagerly expecting them for coffee today.  We are also planning have Marty’s 80th Birthday celebration tonight (unbeknownst to her) and the staff are already buzzing about making the preparations for the shindig.

After breakfast Marty, Rich and Bets take off for the SouthEast side of the island to try and find Woodland. I am only going to show a few pics here.  It is an absolutely stunning place and we will dedicate a subsequent photopost to Woodland Plantation.

Entering the grounds at Woodland

John, Janel, Kori, Abby and myself find ourselves lounging at the pool all morning.  There is plenty of shade around even in the water, but Kori is trying to “even out” her tan.  She convinces Johnny to sit for a little while in the sun.

Who are these hooded creatures?
Janel coaxes Abby into the pool (and Abby loves it!)

While we are chillin’ at the pool we receive a phone call at the poolhouse from Malcolm back at the villa.  He informs us that Rich called to say the 3 would not be returning in time for lunch.  Apparently Marty has taken a fall while at the Plantation. Rich relays that she is doing ok, but that they have called a doctor in just to be sure. We try to remain optimistic back at the villa.

Soon we are called to lunch and make our way back from the pool for roast beef and/or chicken sandwiches and home cut sweet potato fries.

Walking back for lunch

Waiting for the return of our 3 is tough.  They are gone most of the afternoon.  None of us have cell phones that operate here and we are not in contact with Rich. I anxiously keep watch out my window for them to pull up.  When I hear a vehicle pull into the driveway I expect that it is our car.  It is not.

Marty is delivered in an ambulance

An ambulance pulls up with Marty and Betsy in the back.  Marty is in serious pain.  She has been fully examined and x-rayed.  Nothing is broken, but even to sit in the wheelchair is excruciating for her.  They wheel her into the closest cottage and get her on the bed. The staff go into high gear.  They are all both curious and concerned and are willing to help in any way.  Since Betsy is a nurse, she runs the show.  She likes the doc and says he told Marty that the best thing for her would be to get up an move as soon as possible. We let her rest.

Rich finally pulls in after about 30 minutes.  He was following the ambulance (driving regularly through “rush hour” because this was not really an emergency, just a transport).  But then suddenly, the ambulance got tired of sitting in traffic and went into full siren mode, flying past all the traffic.  Poor Rich was stuck.

Meanwhile, the staff is putting the finishing touches on Marty’s birthday celebration.  We all decide to get out of their hair and go for sunset at the beach house while Marty dozes.  Janel and Koriel want to go to the grocery (Janel call it “grocery tourism”) so Rich dumps Abby and me at the beach and takes the rest to the store.

Tourism highlight

Abby and I have a great time together picking sea glass and writing letters in the sand.  The waves are MUCH calmer than yesterday.

“Huh?”



Eventually the others join us at the beach where we have written a “sand card” for Marty.

We enjoy watching the sunset from here – it is so beautiful and appears different every day.  It is a great way to wind up the day.

My boys

When we get back to the villa we check on Marty.  It quickly becomes obvious that she will not be getting up to join her party tonight. We are all very upset, but decide to go on with the plans since everything is in place.  Marty agrees.

The staff have turned the grounds into a truly magical setting with tiki torches around the yard and candles and balloons in the gazebo where the table is elegantly set for dinner.  Malcolm has the grill already fired up with chicken and fish.

Rosemary decorates the table
The gazebo is elegantly set for dinner

Malcolm also cranked up a special CD of Barbadian “Spouge” music that we told him we wanted to hear. A bit of dancing and whooping commence. The villa looks amazing.

Ready to party?

Evadney cracks open the second bottle of special cava that Janel brought from Spain.  We had the first one upon her arrival and this one was saved for Marty’s birthday party.

Malcolm has his grill timing down perfect.  When the chicken is almost done, it is time to lay down the steaks.  He shows the steaks to me and I am stunned by the cost! Of course so many items must be imported and are extremely expensive.  I guess that is the price you pay for living in paradise.

About $36/lb US dollars!!

Time for dinner!

A gorgeous birthday cake has been prepared for Marty and we all decide to traipse into her room singing Happy Birthday!

Malcolm ran back to the kitchen to bring a makeshift “drum”
“Happy Birthday, Dear Marty/Mama/Amah”


The cake is presented and Marty blows out her candles.

Make a wish!

It is Malcolm’s last evening with us since he is off work tomorrow. He has been such a pleasure to be around – we hate to say goodbye.  His talents and warm personality have been enjoyed by all of us.  BEST chef on the island!

Thanks, Malcolm!

As the evening winds down we gather in Marty’s room to read letters from Marty’s friends/family that have been lovingly collected by Betsy.  Marty guesses each author sometimes after only a sentence or two.  She has certainly touched many lives in her 80 years!

Reading memories

Time to let Marty get some rest.  One of the housekeepers (Rosemary) whom Marty had befriended earlier has been silently coming and going in Marty’s room and it completely taking care of her.  She is a Godsend. Bets will sleep in Marty’s room and keep watch tonight.

We all know we will sleep fitfully tonight and will have Marty in our thoughts.  This accident has definitely affected everyone, but we are a strong family and will do whatever needs to be done.  We love you, Marty – Happy Birthday.

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