Seems as if recent climatic events and other disasters seen on TV news reports, have triggered a multitude of residual emotions in me which I thought I had gotten rid of during Irma/Maria Recovery.

The following is an excerpt from my published Hurricane journal “TWO RUDE SISTERS- IRMA & MARIA. A thought occurred to me that many of you women have experienced some or all of the same feelings I had and continue to have up to now. Feel free to post your comments.

Here it is “Simple Joys Of Life After The Storms”( originally written 9/24/2017)

After surviving two category five hurricanes within two weeks, I’ve come to realize the simple, basic things which now give me reasons to rejoice.

Waking up from sleeping in my very own bed again is a pure joy. And what added elation to see my husband wake up and open our front door before sun up. We go out to our porch and experience the sun’s rising together. Then, after days of dreary rain, wind, thunder and lightning, we’re watching the sunshine return. Even at times when it’s hot and blinding us, it’s such a treat!

Sitting on my tiny front porch, waving to neighbors, and greeting passers-by is also quite a precious way to pass the time.

Watching the movements of our island’s birds, observing the lizards and iguanas, seeing how the chickens interact with each other. I marvel at so many daily examples of  science right before my eyes.

But suddenly, I’m struck with a slight pang of sadness as I reflect briefly on how we all could’ve perished in either devastating storm. Looking around at all of the destruction, remembering countless good times shared with friends, the happy celebrations and ceremonies once held at those places which are now badly damaged or totally demolished. As we wait for the power lines, internet services, and cable TV to be restored, and as troublesome and harassing being without these conveniences is at this time, I can still give thanks and praise for sparing our lives.

While I sit today on my wee little porch of my teeny tiny apartment, I feel extremely blessed to be able to enjoy the simple joys of just being alive.

Current Rock of Residence:

St. Thomas, USVI

Island Girl Since:

August 1984

Originally Hails From:

Baltimore, Maryland

Thirty-five years ago, this short and sassy senior citizen, having had enough of harsh, bitter cold winters, as well as the hustle and bustle of big city life in her hometown, decided at the ripe age of 32 years that she would kiss life in Baltimore goodbye and become an Island Girl. After a few visits to St.Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands, applying for work each time, this nearly emotionally burnt-out Caseworker was offered a job that would totally change her life forever.

So, on the bright sunny morning of August 23, 1984, she flew away from home and arrived on the island with nothing but four suitcases of summer clothes, another tote bag full of swimsuits, and enough money to live on until she would get paid from her brand new job. Changing professions from Caseworker to Pre-School Instructor proved to be a true blessing!

Working with the island’s children from 1984 – May, 2019 has put Mrs. Saunders in touch with hundreds of the island’s children who filled her days with true delight.

For her first few years on St.Thomas (also known as Rock City), Mrs. Saunders explored the mores and traditions of island life as a young adventurous bachelorette until July 11, 1992 when she surrendered her heart to St.Thomian Anthony H. Saunders. They are still completely inseparable to this very day. With this marriage comes a rather comical dilemma for JoAnne at times. Having taught and cared for the island’s children for the past three and a half decades, many times now Mrs. Saunders has gotten opportunities to meet back up with former students who knew her as “Ms. Matthews.” But, these students’ children only know her as Mrs. Saunders. And there have been several occasions when JoAnne has had to settle family disputes, because the children insist that their parents are mistaken when they call her by “the wrong name.”

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