Dear Sisters –
What a year this has been. I know we all feel as though we have been put through a wringer. Our hearts and love go out to Carol on her loss of Jim, Bunny in her loss of Dick and Lisa for her courage in just staying alive while fighting for her life with cancer – a battle she, fortunately, is winning. We are also deeply saddened by the events of this crazy planet and hope that during this new millennium we will, in some way, shed the skin of male war, greed and pillage and enter into a new peaceful relationship with the earth and all who dwell thereon.
2001 will be remembered as a very tumultuous time in the islands. Dave and I (on Tortola) and my sons Michael and Gregory (in Hawaii) were all double whammied by world events. Tourism fell to an all time low, an event, which financially affected the Terrell family drastically as we are all in businesses that depend on tourists. Business is now picking up for all of us but it was a long hard season.
Dave and I successfully moved onto our classic trawler, Swan Song, in May of 2001. This is an abrupt change from condo living as we now live at a marina. We have had no TV since we moved aboard – a true blessing in disguise. We still live on a relatively small island (a population of only 14,000) with no stoplights, fast food chains, super highways or shopping malls. It seems that the only options available to us are natural – which is just fine with me.
Because of the stress financially that 911 put on all of us, I decided that the only way for my body to fight back was to adopt a regime of total health. I have been a vegetarian (no mammals) for many years so a diet adjustment was no problem but I felt that, even though I am an active sailor, I needed a daily workout. I now arise early and have my coffee and spiritual readings. I then bike to the pool, six docks away, and swim for 30 minutes. The pool is gorgeous and looks over the Sir Francis Drake Channel and the Caribbean Sea with nothing manmade in view. I then shower, wash my “bangs” (my hair is quite long, way past my bra line so I only do a complete wash about once a week) and apply an all day lotion.
I then return to a chaise at the pool and meditate, looking out over the sea, for a half hour. No one is ever there during the early morning and I have found that this time is the key to my serenity. If I miss it I’m out for the day so I, therefore, never miss it. I then bike back to the boat, fix Dave’s and my breakfast and begin my day. It works like a charm. When we travel, which we have done a lot this year due to our heavy race schedule and yacht club events, I substitute yoga when a pool is unavailable. The time is the same – I really need an early hour+, completely to myself, every single morning.
Other than this, life moves on. We love living on our boat and have accepted the delays to our cruising schedule with optimistic resignation. Dave still works long hours as a broker but as he works at the marina we are able to enjoy lunch and dinner together. We normally lunch out, at one of the many restaurants around, and have a salad for dinner getting to bed quite early. I sometimes watch a video or DVD, for we have that access aboard, and am an avid reader.
I am delighted to be receiving my social security. As planned, I receive the maximum benefits available because I was married to Bud (who paid in the max) for over 10 years and have never remarried. One of the perks of the system and a difference, in my favor, of well over $200,000 should I live the lifetime expectancy for women. Please tell your friends about this advantage if they are older and considering remarriage.
My office is lovely, just 500 yards from the boat. It looks out, over the sea, is air-conditioned and has ADSL. In the islands this means that you pay $100 a month to be on-line 24 hours a day. Dave has a wireless system that feeds off mine, to the boat, so we actually have two hook-ups. The Internet is my library as I am still a professional writer. As senior writer (both literally and figuratively ) I get to choose the subject of my articles. I no longer write about the sailing world and racing but rather feature articles within that field – a piece of cake with my interest people. I have added several web sites to my monthly deadlines. If you are interested in one please check out www.bvitouristboard.com and look in the magazine section for which I am responsible.
I am also totally addicted to my natal family’s genealogy and have now finished almost three complete years of research. You may remember that I was born in Richmond, Virginia, where I lived during my early years before moving on to Bethesda, Md, (at 8) Dallas, Texas (at 11) and then Evansville (at 15) where I finished the last two years of high school and attended DePauw. All of the Terrells on my side of the family have been born in Virginia since the early 1600s, when they immigrated from England, so the research was not very difficult. The fun has been in tracing it back through the generations in England. Another relatively simple task as over 5,000 family lines are listed on the Internet - it is just a matter of locating yours. Once I found the English Tyrrels, I then traced the lineage on all sides – Scotland, Wales, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Hebrew and Egypt. There was much intermarrying back then so each time a Tyrrel married outside of their family it, obviously, brought in another branch and lineage. There were also lots of children. It was not uncommon to have six or more per family.
You are probably asking – what is the point of all of this? My feeling is that the world is very disruptive today. Few of us have a real sense of belonging. I am writing a book for my four grandchildren that relates, not only their lineage, but of the events that happened during each generation. In this way I hope to teach them the history of the western world as well as following of the mitochondrial DNA that is passed on through the female gene. I must say that Laurence Gardner’s three books have been extremely helpful in this. He has many genealogies throughout. My older grandchildren – Lauren (13) and Taylor (12) are following this along with keen interest. They are both extremely computer literate and have files going on the lines that I send them. Lots of fun for us all.
Because of this interest I will spend a few weeks in Virginia this summer, visiting with relatives I have not seen in years. Dave and I will be returning for his grandson’s graduation in New Hampshire. We will then go on to Maine where we will have a reunion with Dave’s friends and former co-workers in the computer industry. This all came about when I discovered that my first cousin, Henry Kerr, was Dave’s best friend at Adage in the early 80s. Talk about a small world. At any rate, all are sailors and as we will be staying at cottages on the shore I expect a delightful time of clambakes on the beach, lobstering and long afternoon sails on the classic sloops that we all so love. Dave continues in his role of Commodore of the West End Yacht Club, the host for all of the classic regattas in the northern Caribbean, so I know he will enjoy this as much as I.
Well, dears, this is about it. I am really looking forward to hearing all of your individual news this year. In closing, I can only wish each of you, and your families, total health and happiness and pass on my love and hopes of peace and serenity for each of us and for the world in which we live.
Be sure and let me know if you’re travelling this way. Lots of thanks to Suzy for doing the newsletter – we all really appreciate it