Tag: Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma

Seeing Clearly: A St. John Love Story

 Steve appreciated art, but was never a collector, certainly not an art connoisseur. But when he looked online at items listed for the silent auction at the Annual 31st Gifft Hill School Auction on St. John where we spend winters, he was captivated and rushed to show me.            The portrait of who we guessed was a young adolescent West Indian girl was small yet compelling. Her eyes were turned to her right where she stared with pursed lips and slightly flared nares. She held her head high. I saw vigilance in her gaze. I wanted to protect her. The painting was titled, “Seeing Clearly.”            Steve returned to the portrait several times before the auction, which was to benefit a private school on St. John we had witnessed during the past thirty years grow from tiny seeds to a full campus for children of all ages on island.    The school and its students are as generous to the community as the community is to it. A real love story about children, community, learning, and a tiny island.            The painting was the work of Kimberly Boulon, who donated it and several other larger paintings. “Kim” is an impressive artist whose own […]

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The Day After

     I hope you will understand why I am writing about Hurricane Irma two days in a row.  St. John in the U.S. Virgins Islands, an island I know and love, was smacked hard yesterday by a hurricane considered to be the most powerful in history. The calamity known as Irma didn’t spare other islands. The tiny nearby island of Barbuda barely exists in the aftermath. St. Martin and nearby sister island, St. Thomas, is suffering badly.            Photos of the damage in St. John are trickling in and not pretty. So far, there has been no report of serious injury or death. There are audible sighs of relief on Facebook as people report in on persons they have learned are safe.             But there is also a thundering silence. No word from anyone who lives in Coral Bay, where the cottage we spend winters in is located. Fish Bay, on the other side of St. John where I vacationed for decades and set my two mysteries, has yet to report in. With power out, trees and lines down, and roads impassable, this is understandable, yet torturing for those waiting to hear from loved ones.            The human response to a natural tragedy is […]

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A Love Letter to St. John While Waiting for Irma

   Everyone knows the Caribbean and then Florida are bracing for the beast now known as Irma to hit. This Category five hurricane is arriving on the heels of Harvey demolishing Houston. Even acknowledging how the media hypes storms, no one is denying Irma is one of the largest storms ever with 185 mph winds. You don’t need to be a meteorologist when looking at the eye of the storm to predict massive destruction to property and to fear the toll on human lives.            Long before I began writing the Sabrina Salter series, I fell in love with an island. Lush with tree-covered hills, abundant with endless beaches, I happened onto St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands when I was on a cruise more than thirty years ago. Riding under a shady tree canopy over roads with perpendicular hills and switchbacks more terrifying than a rollercoaster, I arrived at Trunk Bay where the beach with warm silky turquoise water and talcum powder sand enchanted me. My husband and I vowed to return. Within six months, we did. Again and again, as often as three times a year over the next three decades. Now we spend half of the year on […]

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