We’ve been back in the Bahamas for a couple of weeks now from our sudden trip home to Huntsville following my father-in-law’s passing. Our visit home was successful but obviously also very bittersweet. We had a very nice memorial service at the Berry Hill Funeral home; just family and a few friends gathering to remember Jim’s life and loves. Afterwards we helped Cindy’s mother get the paperwork filed for Jim’s insurance and get all of their financial accounts transferred over into her name. Much of the rest of the time was spent packing up all of the things we had stored in my home office and moving it into a storage unit. Given my mother-in-law’s diabetes, we all made the decision that she should move into our house with our daughter and her grandkids.

If it were not for the diabetes, we’d all feel very comfortable with Janice staying in her house on her own, including her. She’s in great shape and has no problem taking care of herself or getting around. However, the disease raises the risk enough that we would all feel better if there were someone there to keep an eye on her in the event her blood sugar drops precipitously low.

That said, the move was fairly emotional for all involved. Janice loves the house her and Jim have lived in for almost 10 years. Packing up our stuff and moving it into storage felt to me and Cindy like we were giving up our home, and having her grandmother for a housemate will definitely impact our daughter’s life. Still, we all agreed it was the right move.

We stayed at Janice’s house during the month we were back home and Missy had an awesome time running around in the fenced-in backyard with her old buddy Dixie. Dixie is an older Black Lab that’s about 10 times Missy’s size and just as sweet and gentle as she can be. She and Missy played almost non-stop together. Watching the two of them tearing around the backyard, even in the snow, was a total hoot!

Our return to Nassau was blessedly uneventful, at least until we got to customs at the Nassau Airport. We had brought along three boxes full of items we got from home. Everything we’d read said that as long as it was marked as “boat parts” it could come into Bahamas duty-free. Well, apparently no one told the airport customs officials that. They insisted on receipts for everything. Well, most of the stuff came from our house and had been bought years ago and we didn’t bring receipts for the new items we had bought.

They finally settled on having us pull out the new items and write down what we paid. So there we were, sitting on the floor of the Nassau Airport, pulling stuff out of boxes and trying to remember what we paid for them. We finally came back to them with a list that was maybe 50% accurate. They looked it over briefly, decided we’d become more of a pain in the neck than we were worth and waved us on through.

We got back to the marina to find JOD in good shape. The marina staff had kept a good eye on her and we later brought them a coconut rum cake to thank them for their help. Missy took right up where she left off, patrolling the boat and barking at everyone on the dock and Cindy and I settled back in to life on the water.