Summer Birthdays

I know, I know, I haven’t been posting as much as I used to. And I REALLY do want to get back to it. I’ve just been having too much fun!! :)

Most notably, I just came off of a week/end of delightful birthday festivities. But before we talk about that, I’ll fill you in on the biggest birthday bash of the summer . . .

Beau turned 50! In the midst of a hectic time, we threw a weekend-long party last month. As you know, our tiny island is home to fewer than 100 full-timers, plus the many visitors that travel through on boats and in rental cottages. But for this weekend, close to 300 people converged at the parties – all the locals, friends from neighboring islands, family and friends from Nassau and elsewhere!

Family started to arrive on that Thursday while Beau and the guys were out diving (free-diving and spear-fishing) to get fish for the parties. By Friday, all of us were in full party-prepping mode: cleaning fish, seasoning fish/chicken/mutton, making a variety of salads and side dishes, etc.

A friend in my kitchen making conch chowder.

Beau’s family at his dock, cleaning fish.

Friday evening, the party kicked off at the main dock in the center of town. It was a low-key, very native-style cookout. The buffet-style menu included — all home-caught and home-made — conch chowder, mutton souse, chicken souse, boiled wilks and fried fish. Beau had a bar set-up, and friends and family mingled over drinks and good island food.

Bellies full, the crowd mingles.

Birthday Beau and I with friends.

Saturday brought the next phase of party/food prep. It was a lot of work – no catering in these parts, all DIY! – but we had so many family and friends pitching in. One person made conch salad, another green salad, another lobster salad, another macaroni-n-cheese, another conch fritters, another deviled eggs, another seasoned and slow-roasted the pork, etc. I made multiple runs to the little food stores for last minute items people needed, helped coordinate it all, made rum punch with Beau, and worked on cleaning up the party area, setting up chairs and tables and decorating.

Finally, after a really quick rainshower that gave us a momentary scare, but amounted to nothing more, the party began! And oh. what fun it was!

Friends and family volunteering as servers to the giant buffet line. Great food!

After a truly scrumptious meal, we surprised Beau with a presentation that the local children and I had been planning. I recited a poem I’d written, the children performed hand motions along with it, and then – one by one – each child went up to Beau with a handmade card, a hug and proclaimed to the crowd the reason why they loved him. It was so heartfelt and moving – love those kids!

The children and I on the platform, about to start the presentation.

After that, the band played good ol’ Bahamian rake-n-scrape music all night, people danced, we ate cake and cupcakes, the kids played down on the beach and away from the “adult party,” and a great time was had by all!

The dancing begins!

The band came in from Nassau for the party.

The bar.

Birthday Beau and I with good friends, having fun!

After that big bash, and a whirlwind trip to the States that included a friend’s birthday bash, I was happy to be home on the island during this quieter end-of-summer time. (Well, quiet except for the occasional tropical storm, that is!)

So imagine my delighted surprise when Beau mentioned in passing that he was putting together a little birthday BBQ for me! We had dinner out for my actual birthday during the week, and then we celebrated with island friends this past weekend with a BBQ on the beach Saturday evening. It was low-key, relaxed and simply perfect.

With my beautiful neighbor and friend.

With friends, against the backdrop of a pink sunset sky.

Our dear cousin/friend mans the grill.

Beau and the grill masters: chicken, ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs.

Milo hanging out with us. Angel happily ensconced at home, away from the crowd.

I enjoyed a happy, happy, happy birthday!

And that gives you a peek into our parties – island style! This birthday season, I remain so incredibly thankful for a wonderful year and my own Better Life!

Have a wonderful week, and Happy Labor Day to all of you American readers!

7 Responses to Summer Birthdays

  • Rita-Kay says:

    Wonderful post and a very happy birthday to you and your Beau. Enjoyed all the pictures!!! The better life is glowing in your face and smiles!!

  • Sarah says:

    Great post, Neighbor! I feel like I'm living the parties all over again. It was so nice to celebrate with you and the rest of the community. Can I just say how much I LOVE those rare public expressions of affection between you and Beau! I know you guys stay low-key, but it warms both my and Hubby's heart when you guys are a little bit "lovey".

  • Dawn says:

    Thanks, Rita-Kay, so glad you liked it! And I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I look forward to seeing you back in the islands one of these days.

  • Dawn says:

    LOL. Thanks, Sarah! Thanks, too, for joining us in the celebrations – it wouldn't be the same without you and Hubby. I appreciate that you made a special effort to work in this last one around other plans. Island busy! 😉

  • Look like the birthdays were fantastic!!! You must pinch yourself every now and again, knowing this is your life now – you're in a place you love, surrounded by wonderful new friends and filled with love. What a wonderful celebration of LIFE. Awesome to see. Happy belated birthday and congratulations on choosing your better life!! 🙂

  • Dawn says:

    Christine, thanks for your warm and heartfelt comment! Cheers to your brighter side of life, too. 🙂

  • Pingback: A Mother’s Love (or, How to Not Kill Your Dog) | Choosing The Better Life

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