Coming Home to St. Croix
It was only 9:30 when we got to St. Croix but the sun was unfamiliar in the sky and it seemed like 4:30 in the afternoon. Stewart drove us “home.” It had been what seemed like a long time since having our own home.
Living in Stewart’s parent’s house was like a vacation. We rarely cooked our own meals. Our laundry occasionally magically showed up clean. We always had someone with which to chat. It was wonderful…and it wasn’t ours. There is something to say about having your own space.
I had seen our home in pictures and videos but I had never seen it in real life. Walking into the home was somewhat a surreal experience. It was bigger than I expected. The home did not come with any appliances and Stewart had spent the previous day purchasing and arranging delivery of a fridge, range/oven, and a dining room table. All of our other possessions would be arriving on our 20’ container in 3 short (but really long) days. He had also set up air mattresses. Our boys were not really looking forward to that part as they had been sleeping on air mattresses since January 12th. They were (and continue to be) very patient with us.
When Exhaustion Hits
On Sunday, after we had wandered the house for a bit, we went grocery shopping so we could have some food in the house. The two main grocery stores by our house have all similar things to Utah. It was somewhat surprising. It was very surprising to see a small bag of Cutie Oranges for $19.99!
We were also happy to see some familiar items from Costco. Besides Cutie Oranges, the item that seemed to be the most expensive and surprising were chocolate chips! Super expensive!
After grocery shopping and a quick lunch, I decided to lie down on the air mattress and apparently before I knew it I was fast asleep. Stewart took the following (extremely flattering) pictures of us after we had passed out for the afternoon.
An Unexpected Friend
Rewind to Saturday, when in an effort to find a good place to purchase appliances, I had called a store called Carlos Furniture to ask about their location and was told that they were closed for lunch. I neglected to offer that information to Stewart before he headed there. Therefore he was stuck waiting in the parking lot for a while. While waiting in the parking lot, he met a woman named Sherry. They struck up a conversation about having to wait for the store to open and Stewart shared our story. Sherry shared that she was a Christian woman who was looking for other good Christians and that she would love to cook a meal for our family and take us to the beach when the boys and I arrived.
After our impromptu naps, we were headed to meet Sherry and her daughters. We were headed to meet a complete stranger in a completely foreign place. Sounds like fun? Especially when you are completely exhausted! Really though…I was excited! We were creating this life that we wanted. Meeting new people and experiencing new things!
Rainbow Beach – Frederiksted
We were supposed to meet Sherry at a “shanty.” As it would turn out, neither Stewart nor I really knew what a “shanty” was but we went to the general location of where we were supposed to go. It just so happens, a “shanty” is a bus stop and we had missed the one where we were supposed to meet. When we finally connected with Sherry, we were able to follow her to the beach. We went to Rainbow Beach near Frederiksted. The water was warm and we had a great time. The boys were SO happy to finally be on the beach. Little Man (aka my 9-year-old) had told us prior to moving, that the first thing he wanted to do when we got here was to go to the beach. We fulfilled that wish all thanks to our new friend, Sherry and her daughters.
Sherry cooked us the MOST wonderful meal. BBQ chicken legs to die for! A magical combination of beans, amazing sauce, green olives, and pumpkin….I couldn’t get enough of this. She also made corn on the cob, coleslaw, and rice. It was wonderful! Not just because I didn’t have to cook on our first night here but because she had spent so much time doing this for us. We ended the evening watching a magnificent sunset with our new friends.
Sherry wanted to make us feel welcome. She kept saying how happy she was that we were enjoying the food she had worked so hard to prepare. It helped me to feel once again the tender mercy that we had made the right choice. God was watching out for us and brought Sherry to meet Stewart in the parking lot. He knew we needed that experience. It truly felt like coming home.
Have you ever had a similar experience?
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