I lost both parents several years ago to cancer, within a short few months, they were both gone. This loss created a painful empty space in my life.  Yes, they say time heals all wounds and things will get easier.  Well, it’s been 13 years and it doesn’t get easier, but  I’ve learned to cherish their memory, learn from their advice and live a full and happy life.

Growing up in the farm country of rural Arkansas, we lived a simple life.  Now that I’m older, I reflect on that simple country life and realize how fortunate we were.  As kids, we played outside all day and even after dark.  We weren’t consumed with video games.  We went fishing…hunting ….and chased lightening bugs at night.  On hot summer days, the garden hose was our sprinkler and an old tarp was our “slip an slide”.  We bailed hay, chopped cotton and rode down the old dusty farm roads on the tail gate of my daddys Ford pickup.  We were the luckiest kids in the world.


As most people from the south will agree, parents had favorite little sayings.  My mom always referred to getting settled as “building your nest”.  Whether we were cuddling on the couch watching TV, tucking us in at night, or searching for our own homes later in life.  “Building your nest” was her way of saying, get settled, get comfortable and relax.  Be happy with where you are and what you have.  It’s taken me a long time to truly understand what she was trying to instill in us as children.

Being in Belize I’m seeing a reflection of my simple country life as a child.  Although it’s a world away, the values and characteristics are so similar.  Kids walk home from school, they play in the park, ride their bikes and walk to the store.  They are happy with what they have and enjoy each day as it comes.  I’m loving this opportunity to experience this simple, calm lifestyle and feel “settled.”

I hope my mom would be proud, I think I have finally “built my nest” in Belize!


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