Posted in Blog, Religion

Celebrating Easter in Jamaica

It is well known that Easter is very important in many Countries around the world. But in Jamaica? Easter is celebrated with a four-day weekend, where most businesses and all schools are closed. Everyone looks forward to this weekend if only to rest. But there are those who have traditions, that are still carried out today. There are staple foods that are ‘mandatory’ at certain holidays or times of the year. Easter is a big one.

Hey, my Sno Flakes! Welcome back! Come sit down and get this tea. Allow me to refill your glass. Hopefully, you have been following along with the latest posts. So recently, I updated you on my move to Jamaica. That was challenging, but I did it successfully.

Little Dunns River, is now closed to the public.

Now back to Easter. Easter is a very important holiday. After all, it is the rising of our Lord Jesus Christ. But here, the entire weekend is important, not only for Christians but for everyone. From Friday to Monday is a National Holiday, and is celebrated among the entire Island with activities and traditions.

We start with Holy Thursday with the start of Lent, which is well known and celebrated as representing the withdrawal and sacrifice of Christ. Traditionally, they will abstain from meat on Friday and fish is eaten instead. Thursday evening, the cooking of fish and Bun is done. No cooking is allowed on Good Friday, so it is all done the night before.

The term “Good” in response to Good Friday is an Old English expression meaning holy. On Friday, the fish n bun is wrapped in foil, and carried with them on the road, everywhere to eat all weekend. Believers go as far as to bring a snack of fish n bun wrapped in foil to Church with cheese. The church is attended on Good Friday, as well as Sunday.

Spiced bun with cheese

Bun is referred to as ‘spiced bun’. It is eaten with a slice of cheese all weekend. ‘Easter bun’ is the main tradition in Jamaica at this time of year. Jamaican bun is made of spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, Guinness, (yes beer), brown sugar, honey, molasses, and egg. It has a deep, rich flavor and it is normally made in a loaf pan and served as slices and with cheese. You may see home baked in aluminum foil, or it can be purchased at the local markets. You might see ‘Easter bun’ or at other times of the year, ‘Spice bun’. Although I prefer it without cheese, it is really good!

Among many other, older traditions in the Carribean is ‘egg in wata’. I am actually not sure if this is still practiced here in Jamaica. However, I am told at midday, around noon, an egg white (only) is placed into a bowl and set in the sun to ‘dry’. Depending on what shape it takes, it can predict your future. For example, a cross or a church means you will soon find marriage. The shape of a fetus, you will have children, and so on.

It is said in Jamaica, that the crucifying of Jesus was done on a cross made from the Physic nut tree. On Good Friday alone, (as told by an elder Rasta), the nut tree bleeds at exactly twelve o’clock. The sap oozes a red liquid known to represent the blood of Jesus Christ. He says any other time of year, the tree looks ‘nawmal.’ I would have loved to see this for myself.

We all know that everyone, believers or not attends Church on Easter. It is believed that Easter is the best time of year for anyone in the clothing retail industry. The same goes here in Jamaica. People who never attend church all year, show up in the best outfits, in all white on Easter.

The most fun of activities, for many, is the Celebration of Carnival. Carnival is celebrated in honor of freedom from slavery. There are parades, exquisite costumes, food, dancing, and parties around the Island. The costumes in itself are something to see. They can range from simple to exotic. Some with masks, dressed as ancient spirits. Depending on your budget, regular attendees have special custom-made outfits for Carnival. Although it is a local celebration, people from all over the world attend Carnival, not just in Jamaica, but Canada, Africa, the UK and so many more places.

The last day of this four-day weekend, the day after Easter, Monday. Most families pack coolers and picnic baskets and go to the beach. Here in Montego Bay, it will be Harmony Park, which is free, or Dr. Cave Beach. Dr. Cave is $1100 jmd for entrance and the same for a chair. So if you are planning a beach day, Monday may be busy so go early.

This picture is older but represents local Jamaicans in dance, celebrating the Yam festival. Credit to:

Pre-pandemic, there was also the annual Yam Festival in Trelawney. 60% of the island’s yams are grown here. They are a huge part of the economy of rural Trelawny. The festival began in 1997 to raise money for local farmers. You will see yam wine, punch, pudding, and anything you may think of yam. There is also a parade, various entertainment, contests among the locals, and so much more. One thing is for sure, expect good food, music, dancing, and making new friends!

Being that I am foreign, I am excited to see what Easter brings this year. I love to learn about culture and education of how people around the world are different. Hopefully, being the pandemic is over, everyone can go back to celebrating their long-awaited weekend, and National holiday.

Thank you for following me on this adventurous holiday weekend. I send love to you and your family. No matter how you choose to celebrate, (or not), make sure to choose to celebrate in the way best for you and your family. Until next time, I will have the tea ready. Keep your glass half full, sweet and southern.

Posted in Blog

Living My Best Jamaican Life!

Hey my Sno Flakes! It’s been a minute. I swear, I intend on writing to you more than once a year, and each time I say I am going to do better, I don’t. We have a lot to talk about. A lot has happened. This past year has had its ups and downs. The last three years have been rough in itself, but that’s for another time. I got some tea for you. Well, come on in, take a seat. 

So let’s get into it. The last time we talked, I relocated to Jamaica after Freddie, my husband passed away. (Go back and read the last three blogs.) Since January of 2022, I have been occupied between getting situated, helping a local tour company, and I started a cleaning service. I am exhausted just thinking about it. It took a little effort, and sometimes disappointment, but it all worked out in the end. 

Sea Castle by the Sea, Montego Bay Jamaica

Upon arriving in 2021, with a little help, I found a great place to live, Sea Castle by the Sea. A nice one bedroom, with a pool, nice landscaping, directly on the sea. However, it was rather expensive for Jamaica. Most one and two bedroom apartments only run $300 – $600 a month. There are luxury options, but I have never been a luxury girl. I like comfort on a budget. When I returned to JA after Christmas vacay in February of 2022, I finally found the perfect apartment, through a friend’s suggestion with amazing views and cheap rent. It’s only a bedroom, with my own private bath, inside an elderly man’s home. But it is immaculate, furnished with all utilities included. A natural born Jamaican, he has dual citizenship with America, and Jamaica. Most of his time is spent in New York, with his family, which leaves me with the entire house to myself. I love it! On the plus side, there is a huge garden in the back, with every Jamaican fruit and vegetable you can imagine! There is also a pool in front, with a view of the sea. Although it was very comfortable, I had to share the (extremely) large kitchen, and living room. There wasn’t any wifi in my bedroom, so I had to watch tv and social media on the veranda. At this point, the tenant downstairs moved out. I now have an entire one bedroom apartment, same location, same view, with the same responsibility to watch his home when he is away. I am excited to be able to just relax in my own living quarters, cook in my own space, and just do me. God was truly looking out for me!

The view from my veranda. Beautiful.

Adjusting to the Jamaican culture itself was not that hard for me. Because I come from a larger city, Birmingham Alabama, it wasn’t much of an adjustment. Birmingham is known as the ghetto to some people, or, as those who live there call it, ‘the hood’, short for neighborhood. Jamaica is one big ghetto. You must remember that this is a third world country. Although for me, it feels like home. The people of each community know each other personally, and they look out for one another. When I walk out to catch a taxi the guys on the corner all know my name and make sure I get home safely if it’s after dark. It can be scary for those who are unfamiliar with this kind of living. Especially if you watch the media and the News telling you that everyone in Jamaica is a scammer, a robber or a murderer. But that’s just simply not the case. If you’re friendly with them and open your heart and your mind up to accept them and their culture, they will look out for you and you’ve made lifelong friends. Of course there are those out there just like anywhere else in the world, who don’t mean any good to anyone but themselves. We can’t go around worrying about other people. As long as we keep ourselves in safe situations, pay attention to your surroundings, and be respectful and kind, we can enjoy the world around us.

White river with the locals. I was s o scared. Lol

So once I got settled into Jamaica, I started going around business to business, handing out my business cards for a cleaning service. Snow White Cleaning Services offer services to airbnb, residential, and Commercial offices. The biggest hurdle in opening a business was getting people to not only trust me in their space, as a white ‘foreign’ but also being able to charge what I need to cover the overhead and pay myself at the same time. Because so many Jamaicans are struggling, and looking for work, trying to make a dollar just to survive, they’re willing to work for little to nothing in order to feed their family. Most people here would rather hire someone from Jamaica and give them an opportunity to make a dollar than to pay the higher prices that I would have to charge. So my cleaning services only lasted about 6 months. When I had to leave Jamaica to go home to America, because of immigration in July, my clients hired locals to take over the job and stuck with them because of the price difference. It wasn’t about who did the better job, it was about saving the dollar and helping someone in need. And I get it.

The other business I started was a tour company. I named it after this blog, Snows Adventure Tours. I got the idea from what I love to do. I love to tour the island, and I love to show other people paradise, it’s Beauty, the waterfalls, just everything about Jamaica. What better way to do that then to get paid to do what I love? The obstacle, again, is that when foreigners come to Jamaica on vacation they don’t want to see a white female. And it never occurred to me, rather funny now that I think about it, what was I thinking? Most people who come to Jamaica on vacation desire an authentic Jamaican experience with a Jamaican driver or tour guide. So I reached out to a few local tour companies. I now offer my recommendation to these tour companies and help them get business. In return, they give me a commission for each time they get a booking and it follows through. It works out for both of us in the long run. The money is still staying in the Jamaican community, but I’m still making a living enough to build a life here.

My point to all this is, that if you have something you want to do or that you dream about, just do it! You’ve thought about it long enough, you’ve planned it out  in your head. “What if it doesn’t work? What if this goes wrong? What if …..” But what if it all goes right. What if everything you’ve planned turns out exactly how you wanted? Oh sure, it’s going to be a little bit of work. Maybe even a struggle. But my mother always told me, anything worth having you have to work for. Life isn’t easy no matter which road we choose. But life is short and you only have one. So live it to your best ability. Don’t worry about what anyone has to say, or about what you should or shouldn’t do. Don’t worry about leaving people behind. Those that truly support you will go with you, if not physically, in spirit. Believe me when I say, if those people that are feeding you negative energy had the money or resources to do what their dream was, they wouldn’t think twice about you. They would just do it. It’s time to get up and put your plans in motion. What are you waiting on? it’s time to think about you and put yourself first for once. It’s not being selfish, it’s about self-preservation. 

Moving to Jamaica was the best thing I’ve ever done physically, mentally, emotionally. I lost over 60 pounds, naturally, just by the food alone, and touring the island. Of course I struggled at times, I had roadblocks. but I did what I came to do. I lived in Jamaica for a year and a half and I’m still standing. Successfully. 

Until my next adventure, love yourself a little bit more. Be blessed, stay southern sweet, and I’ll have the tea waiting for you.

Guests taken to Blue Hole Mineral Springs, Ocho Rios Jamaica

All Photos Taken By Me, Snow Wilson.

Copyright © 2016

Posted in Blog

I Followed My Dream, & Moved to Jamaica!

Have you ever done something major in your life, and then immediately thought, “what the hell did I do?!”. Yep. I did it. I sold everything I have, and moved to Jamaica!

Hey, my Sno Flakes! Come sit down and get this tea. So, let me back up just a moment. If you follow my posts, you know that one of my dreams was to sell everything and travel the country with my husband across the U.S. My heart desire, however, was to move to jamaica. Well, now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever mentioned Jamaica on this platform. But, anyone who has known me personally within the last 40 years, knows that’s all I talk about. I have been planning to move to Jamaica since I was sixteen. Life just got in the way. Wasn’t I cute?

When I was about 22, I met my first husband. I was a troubled child. Very curious, hardheaded, my mother couldn’t tell me anything. I thought I knew it all. Men were a weakness. I was an ugly child, braces and all. Grew up without a father. It is no excuse, but anytime a man told me I was beautiful, I was smitten. So I met this person, who promised me the world, and I believed him. (I will write more about him in another post). Turns out, he was of Jamaican descent, (or so he said). But he was very abusive in the long run. I was stuck with him for ten years of physical, verbal, and mental abuse. Once we divorced, I said, “I am back on track, I’m going to Jamaica”. But life…

I took three years to plan, and save money. I was a bartender at numerous spots around the state of Illinois. I was a mess, trying to deal with all the years of abuse on my own. My curious nature carried me to Alabama. That is where my life changed, and I met Freddie. I was traveling south bartending, (meeting men), and whatever other jobs I could do to get to Jamaica. I had a plan, to get to Miami, and fly from there. Then one day, out of nowhere, he walks into my bar. I won’t go into details. I speak of Freddie, how we met, and our life together in a previous post. But needless to say, I was in love at first sight. He was different. We started dating, we fell in love, and here I am 18 years later. Yea, yea, Jamaica didn’t happen.

Until now. A year and a half ago, the love of my life passed away with no warning. Freddie changed my entire world. I was never the same person after meeting him. When he passed, I was so afraid of becoming that young girl again. But I didn’t. I held on to us, to our memory. I started traveling again, but I was missing something. Him, of course, but there was a void. So, a year after his death, I planned a girl’s trip to Jamaica.

Now, when I planned this trip, it was just that. A small vacation, seven days of paradise at the RIU Resort, Montego Bay. We had the time of our life. We celebrated Kim’s birthday, went rafting, Dunns River Falls, horseback riding, night swimming. We did it all. I was so excited when we stepped off the plane, I thought I was dreaming. I mean, I am finally here. But then that last day, I was not ready to go. My heart sank, I actually got sick. When I got home, I couldn’t focus. Jamaica was on my mind.

So, what did I do? I told my family I was moving to Jamaica, next month. Then I sold everything, my house, furniture, anything not important, or that I couldn’t bring, purchased a flight, and moved to Jamaica. Was it easy? No. Did my family think I was nuts? Yes. And if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Kim (L) and Angie (R) Me (Center)

Mind you, coming to Jamaica with no plan, was the craziest idea ever. But I felt like I have spent my entire life trying to get here! I was not going to allow any more time to pass me by. The first two weeks, I spent crazy money at a resort, the cheapest I could find, and touring the island like I was crazy. I had to pull my head together. What is my rush? I am here for a while. Then I made a reservation at an Air BnB at Sea Castle, Montego Bay. I stayed two nights before finding out they offered a monthly rate. That was what I needed. There was a pool, a private beach, a restaurant. Everything is looking up.

Ocho Rios

I bought a van from a friend. Someone I knew way before moving here. Two weeks later, the transmission went out. More money is down the drain. But you know what? I am in Jamaica! I am not going to complain.

It is now 3 months later, and I am in LOVE! I love Jamaica. I love the country, the culture, the music, the people. OMG, they are so friendly, and love to see someone enjoying their Island! The men are gorgeous too, easy on the eyes. I do have to leave, due to Immigration regulations. Americans can only stay three months at a time, per the visa stamp from arrival. If you have a business, retired, or a work permit, you can be granted an extension of up to six months. I haven’t seen my family, so I will return home for Christmas. But don’t fret. By the end of January, I will be back home. I said it, home. In Jamaica.

Snorkeling in Negril

This was the best thing I could have ever done for myself, mentally and physically, I have never felt as good as I do now. And I lost weight naturally! That is a bonus. The air is so pure here, I haven’t had a cold, sinus infections nothing since arriving. In the states, I have back-to-back sinus problems all year. My knees, I couldn’t hardly walk. I was told I would need a knee replacement. Not here. In Jamaica, I have been perfectly fine no pain. I have jumped off cliffs, swam in waterfalls, hiked up hills and rocks. The sky is the limit for me. Did I say how much I love it here?

I have gotten settled in, started a tour company, Snow White Adventures. Things are looking up. But now, the time has come for me to go. But I will be back. But before I do, I want to leave you with this. Whatever it is in life that you dream about, just do it! Don’t wait another day. Tomorrow may not come. Tell those you care about what they mean to you. Be kind to each other.

Right now I am headed to show some other tourists around MY Island. I like the sound of that. My Island. Until my next adventure, stay blessed, stay southern sweet, and I will have your tea waiting.

All Photos Taken By Me, Snow Wilson.

Copyright © 2016

Posted in Blog

10 Things to Know About Moving to Jamaica. (or Anywhere Internationally for that matter.)

Hey Sno Flakes! Nice to meet up again for some tea. Today, I have some knowledge I want to drop on you. If you read some of my latest posts, you will know I came to Jamaica to live among the locals for three months. Needless to say, during my first month, the experience had a rough start, but after two months, nothing but amazing. I love it here. It was the best decision I have made in my life personally. I decided after my last visit for 10 days this past August, that I wanted to live here. So I went back home to the States, sold most of my things, packed up, and came to Jamaica a month later. So I thought I would help someone by posting the TOP 10 things to prepare for your move to Jamaica, or anywhere abroad for that matter.

Don’t forget to purchase a souvenir from any one of the hundreds of shops throughout Jamaica.
  1. Research the Country. Let me start by saying DO YOUR RESEARCH. I googled everything from money exchange, the language, the culture, immigration requirements, rent, neighborhoods & crime. You name it, I researched it. I was prepared, or so I thought.

2. Arriving. When you arrive at the airport, come in as a tourist or a Retiree, just staying 3 months, and then if you need it, get an extension. It will make your arrival so much easier. If you are bringing gifts, tell them just that, gifts for your neighborhood locals. You are NOT bringing anything to sell.

3. Plan ahead. I came, thinking I could just find a rental after I got here. Oh, you can, but I don’t suggest it. I spent way too much money at resorts & hotels while looking for an apartment I could afford. Look at the Gleaner, the mirror, jamaica classifieds, google, or ask someone. Gated communities are best for foreigners, in my opinion. I found a great apartment, with a view of the sea at Sea Castle, Montego Bay, or Sand Castle, Ocho Rios between $500-$700 usd a month. St Mary Parrish has adorable homes for only $400usd a month and it is furnished in a gated community. If you want a home or an apartment not furnished, you can find rent even cheaper.

One-bedroom apartment, Sea Castle, RoseHall Montego Bay

4. Money. Learn how to count the money. Being a foreigner, (especially white) and single, there’s a flag on your forehead that every local sees but you. They see money. Learn the prices of everything. A Taxi is $1.50 unless you use a tour taxi like Juta. If you go shopping, take a friend, a local with you! Otherwise, you will be overcharged every time. But again, once you learn the prices and stand your ground, & they begin to see your face more than 2-3 times, you will become a local.

Cozy, with wifi and cable, a small kitchen to cook and save money.

5. Be friendly. Speak. Learn the language & the culture. You don’t have to speak Patwa, but try to learn the definition of terms. If you act scared and unfriendly, you will not be accepted well. But if you speak, and show yourself as kind, locals love tourists! They love it, even more, when they hear how much you love their country & culture. If you don’t want what someone is offering, like the hustlers at Seven Mile beach, just respond, “I’m good man” they will usually walk away. Sometimes you may have to use a little more bass in your voice and be more aggressive. They will walk away. Or act like you don’t hear them. But I prefer to speak.

Horseback riding at Chukka Tours was an experience for sure.

6. Employment. No, you can not come here expecting to get a job. As a Country, it is a requirement that employers hire Locals first. So unless you have a job or career arrangement, have enough cash stashed away to support you for your entire stay. I would say around $10k at minimum for a couple of months. If you are frugal, you might be ok for 3-4 months. If you have a stash to hold you, you could start a business. I suggest looking for a need and going from there. I started a cleaning business for residential, Air BnB’s, & after-hour commercial offices. It hasn’t paid off yet, but it will.

7. Buy your car & furniture from other ex-pats, who need to leave Jamaica quickly. You will find amazing rates on a great car! (I learned this too late) I bought a van from a local, was overcharged, and 3 weeks, had to put in a transmission. It runs great now, but I learned from this too late, I could have purchased a nicer van from a family going back to the UK for way less.

At many of the beaches along the Jamaican coast, you will find sea life.
Don’t forget to return them to their habitat.

8. TRUST NO ONE. Mind you everyone is kind & friendly for the most part. They are super excited we are here, however, even the most sincere, who wants to teach you about everything Jamaica, has an agenda. I am not saying don’t make friends, but never let your guard down. You must feel your way, and learn thru trial and error, who can be trusted.

9. Relationships. If you are a single woman or man. Beware. Most of the men, if not all have a woman stashed somewhere. Be it a girlfriend, a wife, baby mama, or another foreigner. They will smooth talk, maybe even wine & dine you to gain their trust. Their women know about you. Trust me. (Didn’t happen to me, but a friend I met from the UK) Their women know if he dates a foreigner, it will benefit them both in the long run. They are patient. My friend dated him for two years. His wife knew everything about her & her personal business. If you are going to marry, do your research on them. It is the goal of most locals, to meet someone, get money, marry and move out of the country.

Ocho Rios is well known for the clearest water, the cleanest beaches, and sailing to Dunns River Falls.

—- IF you are going to have sex, (we are all adults here) USE PROTECTION! I can’t stress this enough. It is an honor among the local men, that if they get so much P***** that they catch a disease. (I know, I don’t get it either. But hey what do I know.) Especially don’t get pregnant.

10. Definitely do NOT share any personal business with anyone. NO ONE. Don’t make yourself a target. If it doesn’t work with that man, (or woman) they have friends. They will tell a friend to have a go at you. Live like a Local. Live minimally, if you can. Unless you’re wealthy enough to live among other wealthy, do not show off what you have. Remember, most of the people here are barely making it. Don’t set yourself up for danger.

Finally, ENJOY the Island! (ok that’s technically 11, but we won’t tell anyone.) We are in Paradise! Take time to explore. You do not have to hire a tour guide, although it helps, and makes you feel safer. There are a million and one things to do here. Rivers, waterfalls, mountains, atv, countryside, old ruins, cliffs, eateries! (next post). Don’t let the stress of work, money, and trust detour you from enjoying your time here.

A Negril sunset can be seen 365 days a year.

I pray this helps someone. I have learned from most of these experiences personally, or I have spoken to others and received the information first hand With all the research and the time I have spent over the last few months, I feel like an expert at what NOT to do. I got a quick lesson in being a JA-merican. (Yes, that is an actual term.)

Until the next time, I want you to remember this. Life is not guaranteed to bring tomorrow. Enjoy it while you can.

Stay sweet, stay blessed, I’ll have your Tea waiting.

Credits: All photos were taken by Snow Wilson on a Samsung Galaxy 21 Note Ultra.

Copyright © 2016

Posted in Blog

Prayer and Family Saved My Life.

Written March 2021

Hey Sno Flakes! I’m back. How is life treating you? Me? Glad you asked. It has been a long two years. You ready for some more tea? Here we go.

Recently, if you are following along, I had a major trauma happen in my family. Well, a few actually, but one in particular. Go back and read my blog post “The Comedy of Life”. Long story short? We lost someone very dear to us, specifically my husband of 17 years. I won’t go into detail. You can go read it for yourself.

If you follow my blog, you will hear me brag often about my husband, and the love we have for each other.

Basically, after Freddie passed, I went into a slump. A really low place I didn’t think I could pull myself out of. After months of depression, no more family gatherings, Friday night dates, snuggling on the couch. Even breakfast was different. When I was struggling to now pay bills that my husband took care of, it was then I realized, my entire world is gone. No one is calling, stopping by, no one cared. At least that is how I felt. I am ashamed to say, I thought about taking pills numerous times. A lot of them. But God had another plan. Ok, I am going with God. I will not give up. Freddie would not be happy. I can hear him now, “get ya’self up and stop it! Sugar, we don’t do suicide. I’m waiting on you. I’ll see you later sugar!”

So I re-evaluated what was left of my life. I prayed and cried, and cried some more and prayed. Then one day, as I was sitting on the beach at night, I heard clear as day, “move. Go home to your family.” It was then I decided to sell everything, and move back home to Illinois. Mind you I have not lived among them for over 30+ years. I visit often, but after two or three days, I can’t take it and go home. You must remember, I have lived in Birmingham Alabama for over 20 years. My family is as country as you can get. I’m talking about a town of only 1400 people, no fast food, farms, horses, and of course southern sweet tea every day. We use so much sugar, it is ordered at restaurants as “southern sweet”. Hence, the basis of my blog.

Anyhow, I sold everything. My husband’s motorcycle, the house, his truck, and took a Uhaul with all my things, and went North. (Thanks to Karen & Edward) for driving me. That was the hardest trip I ever had to take. It felt like I was leaving Freddie behind. Technically no, as I had his ashes with me. But mentally, I was distraught.

I found a cute little house an hour away from Mom, in Paducah Kentucky. Button and I were going to be ok. It had a cute little yard, close to everything, and I could afford it. My brother, Dale just lives right around the corner. After what seemed like the longest year in my life, I finally got settled in. After the emotional roller coaster of days to pass, things started looking up. Oh, it took a minute to adjust to country life. But I wouldn’t have done it any different. I love it here. (Check back in 3 months.)

Now, Button and I are okay. There are days when I still get really down. Grief takes time. But I now have more good days than bad. I can talk about Freddie without crying. When I do feel an episode coming on, I pack my bags, load up the car, and Button and I drive an hour North to Eldorado and spend a couple of days on my bestie’s farm. It is just what the doctor ordered. Peace, tranquility, and lots of cats. 32 to be exact. It’s a joke among us. “How many cats are there today?” (That’s another post.)

I am telling you all this for a reason. No matter how bad you may think life is, there is always someone worse. It may not seem like it now. But life will get better if you just hold on, fight, and get around people who can encourage you. Having a support system is major important. I thank God every day that I didn’t give in to impure thoughts from an enemy trying to take my life! I thank God for my mother, my family, and everyone who has ever called and checked on me.

Until next time, remember, Jesus loves you. I love you. Call someone. Don’t attempt whatever it is you may be dealing with alone. Life is too short to be so sad. I will have some fresh tea waiting. See you later sugar.

If you or someone you know is dealing with depression, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.

All photos taken by Snow Wilson.

Copyright © 2016

Posted in Blog

The Comedy of Life

Hey SnoFlakes! So yet again, it has been a year since I have written. This seems to be the norm with me. I promise I am going to try and do better. Grab yourself a glass of tea and let’s get to it. Although I warn you, get some tissue. CRY Post alert!

I hear people say all the time, “Life is a funny thing”. It truly is. I feel as if life is a game, and if you play it right, you can win! But what if it isn’t in our control? What if you just have to play with the cards dealt? What if no matter how much you plan, make wise decisions, be kind to others, even show unconditional love, no matter all those things, life can throw a punch in the gut that can take the wind out of you. Let me explain.

If you follow my blogs, you know that the last two years, I have had one turmoil after the other. 2018 was going great, everything had aligned with the stars, life was good. Then, BLAM! November, my mother became ill. Long story short, I ended up missing every holiday through Valentine’s day, at the hospital. I brought her to Alabama, and she loved it there, for a while anyway. After she got back to her stubborn, and healthy self, (now I know where I get it from), she wanted to go home. Home to the town where I and my brothers were all born and raised. She had never left in 46 years. Mom didn’t care for the big city of Birmingham, so I took her home.

Jump ahead to 2020. Life is back to normal, I am working my real estate, Life is good. I am telling you all this to get to a point, I promise. Just keep reading!

Our Last picture together Dec 2019

On January 12, three days before his 54th birthday, Freddie says he didn’t feel well. Now this man is NEVER sick. Mind you he had minor blood pressure issues, but it is under control. Or so we thought. So he proceeds to go lie down, being he has to work tonight. Freddie works in the coal mines 15 hour days, 7 days a week. He’s done that for at least 6 years. Oh, every now and then he will take a two or three-week vacation. So, my film family and I are downstairs, filming a short movie. They were there all the time, always a house full of the film crew, just hanging around, swimming in the pool, or like today, “let’s make a movie!” as Bill would say.

Afterward, everyone has cleaned up, and gone home, except a couple of close friends. “Has Freddie gone to work?” I asked. No one has seen him. I get a funny feeling, I go upstairs, and there he is lying face down, across the bed, in the same position as earlier. He hasn’t moved. Button and Jasper is laying by his head. I touch his leg to wake him up, and he is cold. COLD COLD. Now let me tell you, all the emotions going through your body at a time like this. Even now, a year and a half later, I am tearing up. Immediately, I lost all my senses, began screaming for help at the top of my lungs. Chad runs up, we call 911, but it’s too late. By the time they arrive, he is gone.

In a split second, my whole world, my best friend, my husband has left me behind. What do I do with that? How do I breathe? Our kids! How will I tell them? He will not see his grandsons grow up to be just like him.

Our Family Christmas 2012

The next two weeks, hell, the next year is all a blur. I don’t remember the funeral, who was there, who sat where, or even what was said by Pastor. The funeral was filmed, (why I did that I have no idea), but I watched it over and over for months on dvd. I blamed myself. If only. If only I had checked on him. Did he go in his sleep? Or did he call my name? Did he suffer? So many questions. I never got to say goodbye. I guess the funeral was a way to keep him here, if for at least a little while. It finalized it. Then, one day my best friend found me watching it, and took it from me. Thank you. I was keeping myself in a state of depression. I had to move on she said. At my own pace, but I have to.

Remember at the beginning when I said what if you can’t control the cards dealt? Perfect example. What do I do now? Do I just stay in bed, and never decide to go out in the world, and enjoy what is left with the rest of my life? No, I think not. When a person gets dealt something of this magnitude, you turn to God. At least for me, that is what brought me out. I got up, went to church, and cried all the way home. All I saw was Freddie standing at the door. I went to a friend’s birthday party, they were playing music, couples everywhere. I saw Freddie. He was a bluesman at heart. A dj of blues, known for his skills. The point is, everywhere I look, I see him. And even though I was sad, it was also comforting to know, he will always be with me. There is a permanent imprint on my heart that will never go away.

Positive Quotes about life, Your life and Quote life – inspirational quotes

I am doing well now. That’s another story, but I have made it through the hardest part. Learning to love my own company. Learning to move on, and carry Freddie with me.

So I told you all this, not to make you cry. But to Encourage you. Your situation may be worse, or not as bad. But when life punches you, it’s ok. Take a deep breath, stop, think, pray, and move forward. It looks bad now, but we can’t see what God sees.

So get up, put on your big girl (or boy) pants, and let’s enjoy this crazy, wonderful, short life we are given! If I can do it, so can you. I am here if anyone ever needs to talk. YOU GOT THIS!

Dedicated to Freddie Lee Wilson 1/16/1966 – 1/12/2020

If you or someone you know is dealing with depression or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States.

No copyright infringement is intended in the use of Photographs.

Copyright © 2016

Posted in Blog

What is really Important to You?

Written December 2019 – posted October 2020

Hello Sno Flakes! Have you ever been in a place in life where everything fits? It seems you are on the right road, life seems perfect. But then out of nowhere, something comes along that throws a rock in your path. A quick detour wouldn’t hurt, right? You look up and your off track. You ask yourself, “how did I get here?”. That is my life right now.

My oldest grandson Josiah.

I was on track, my life planned out, going along great. A great husband, a huge family, great career. Since we talked last, I have passed the Real Estate Board in Alabama! You are looking at a Real Estate Agent of Keller Williams Realty Metro South, Alabaster Alabama. With hard work and long hours, I finally got my Business up and going strong. Not fantastic, but promising. I also am still pursuing my career in the Film Industry. It has really picked up. There is a steady flow of work happening in Alabama, that keeps me busy in between Real Estate clients. After hard work,I have made a name for myself, to climb the ladder, and be trusted with important decisions on set. Life, as it may, was perfect!

Then, one day out of nowhere, like a mac truck hitting a bump in the road, I get a phone call. November 14, 2019. My mother, of 71 years old, has taken ill. Not only is she in the hospital, but she is being flown to a better hospital two hours away from her home, for emergency surgery. My mother lives six hours north of me, in a little country town in Southern Illinois. A town of 14,000 people, one grocery store, literally two police officers, and everyone know each other.

So, now after speaking with the doctors, I have packed a few bags, and am on the road, leaving my family behind, two weeks before Thanksgiving. Long story short, mother stayed in the hospital two weeks, and then was released to rehab. Where, she refused to stay, and after only five days, checked herself out. Now, if anyone knows my mother, you know she is hard-headed. Once her mind is made up, that’s it! There is no changing it. So I stay with her at her home for three weeks, and once she is stable, I head back home to Alabama. Great! Mom is good, now I can get back to my life, and get back to work. Nope. Too good to be true. Four days later, Mom was found in bed unresponsive. The ambulance came, they flew her back to the big hospital, and I hit the highway. 

So, here I sit, two days before Christmas, in the dark, writing to you. Oh, mom will be fine. After a whole lot of convincing and a little bit of fear of being alone, she is coming to Alabama to live with me. I sit here and think how I miss my family, my husband, my fur babies. How I long to sleep in a bed, and not on this rubber couch. As I listen to the lull of the IV machine, and the sound of her breathing, I realize how tired I am. For almost two months, we have been in and out of hospitals, with doctors and nurses coming in and out of the room every hour it seems. Oh, how I long for a full night’s sleep. But with all that, I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I am where I need to be at this moment.

Hubby loves playing Santa for our family every year

As I sit here, I think of Christmas carols, and baking cookies, and tree hunting. I think of my husband on the roof of the house trying to hang Christmas lights. And ask if, of a sudden, none of that seems important. I realize at this moment, the only thing important is family and those we love. Saying, “I love you”. Make sure every moment counts. That is what is important. Not things.

Yes, I miss my family. Yes, I have cried to God many a night. I am not ready for her to go yet. But I also know that each new day is a blessing to be shared with those we love. So the next time you feel the urge to fuss, or complain about something, stop and think first. Is this really a deal-breaker? Is this that important that I need to waste words or time to give it any energy? I think not. Tomorrow is not a promise.

Until the next pitcher of tea, stay blessed, stay southern sweet.  

Copyright © 2016

Posted in Blog

Listening to Silence of Darkness

There is always something about the waves of the ocean that has a calm, a peace about them. I love hearing the crash, the sound as they break on the sand. But have you ever gone at night, and just sat under a full moon? Don’t say anything, just listen.

Hello Sno Flakes! Come on in, grab a cup of tea and let’s chat! I realize it has been a long time since I have written. Four years, to be exact. I apologize. There has been a lot of changes in my life, and I know you want to hear about them. But first I want to talk about peace.

As I sat here tonight, in the dark on a blanket, on Pompano beach just outside my Hotel the Residence Inn, I felt a peace come over me. No one there but me, and family, I thought back over the last 6 months of my year 2020, with everything that happened.

My husband of 17 years, passed away on January 12th. Right after the New Year. My whole world changed. If you follow my posts, you know we loved each other up until the day he passed. I still do. I was now alone and didn’t know if I could get through this. Of course, I had his children, our friends. But you must understand when you’re in love with someone that long, you become best friends. You do everything together. Everything. Then one day in a split second, they are gone.

Then came along covid, so now I had to be alone in my home, just me and Button, to grieve and quarantine. (Thank God for good friends.) I eventually had to sell the house we bought together. I couldn’t ride his motorcycle, so I sold it to his best friend. We bought that Harley together and rode it all over the country for over 15 years. That was difficult. Then his truck, little by little his things were getting sold off.

Button says don’t leave her

Now I am at a point, where God is telling me to relocate near my family. My mother needs me, but even more, I need them. But, I felt sad about leaving the only home I’ve known for a long time. Is this the right move? Second-guessing myself.

So as I sit here in the dark, listening to the waves in the moonlight, I can hear my brother Dale, (mentioned in another post) and his son a little down the beach, making a sandcastle. Two grown men enjoying the simplest piece of life. I had to smile. I reflected on my life, and the changes I have just endured. I realized at that moment, just how strong I am.

I realized I can do this. With God, anything is possible. I never heard God more clearly than I did tonight. “Go. Move to Kentucky, and be near family. Be still. I have plans for you, only I can see.”

If there is anyone in your life, that is remotely your heart, let them know it! Don’t waste one second in negativity, in arguing over things that don’t matter. Tell each other, SHOW each other at every chance, just how much they would be missed if they left you. I never got the chance to say goodbye. But I know Freddie is with me every day.

Take the time to listen. Listen when someone is speaking to you. Most importantly, listen when God is speaking. Yes, we pray for guidance, for things, for others, but we must also listen. Be quiet for a moment and listen to the darkness.

Until next time. I’ll have your tea waiting.

Photos taken by me, Snow @ Pompano Beach, Florida.
Staying at the Residence Inn by Marriott, Pompano Beach.

Copyright © 2016

Posted in About Me, Blog, Family, Travel

Get-a-way not far away

Railroad Park, Birmingham Alabama

Hey there! Come on in! Have I got some tea for you! When is the last time you’ve been on vacation? I need one, maybe two back to back. I really need to getaway. But there isn’t any time for that! It is an everyday struggle to get a moment to myself, let alone a couple of days. I have way too much going on to leave the City.

Speaking of which, have you ever researched your City to see what is hiding within the concrete? There are always places to run away and hide for a couple of days. If you are anything like me and my family, it is crazy around home, all the time. There is hardly ever any peace and quiet, and when there is, it’s very minimal. My husband and I, as you know from previous posts, have been together for almost fourteen years. We have a huge family. People are always coming and going at the family home.

Turkey Creek, Pinson Alabama

Every now and again, just to get away, Hubby will call on Friday from work, and tell me to pack us a weekend bag. I get all excited! I know we going on a get-a-way, not far away. You know, the hotel across town, or over in the next town an hour away. We disappear all the time. It gives us time to be alone, and be on vacation, while still close to home in case of an emergency. I love our getaways! The alone time in the rooftop pool, the room service at two am, the nightclub downstairs. Just a couple of days, one night even can be so rejuvenating. 

I especially love the one-day trips, to explore the city. I hear people say all the time, “There is nothing to do in Birmingham!” That is so not true. Birmingham has so much to do. There is such a thing as Google, and the internet. That search thing, it works wonders! We have a Zoo, Museums, dozens of Parks. The nightlife is awesome too. I love my city.

I especially love this place outside the city, Turkey Creek. I found this place from an elderly lady at the gas station in Pinson. I told her I needed a place to go swimming. She ultimately told me of Turkey Creek. She told me of how she enjoyed it as a child. Intrigued, I researched it. Located in Pinson, Alabama, only 15 miles north of Birmingham, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is a great place for couples, or families, to get away and go for a picnic on the grass, swimming in the creek, or tube down the natural falls. Go bike riding,  hiking, fishing and so much more. We have been going here for years. We never knew it existed before that conversation. After a day here, I always feel like I’ve been away on vacation when I get back home. Even though it is technically near the city, it feels as if you are so far away.


I want to challenge you. Take a few moments, and research your city. Open your mind to the millions of possibilities that your city has to offer. Find places that interest you, and take a day away from it all. Just disappear. And it doesn’t always take money. Most of our museums are free. Make precious moments with those you love, your children, your spouse. Plan a date with hubby, let him pick you up at the door, and go on a real date! How awesome that sounds.

Take the time to enjoy life. Oftentimes, we can go through life day to day, in and out of time, just like robots. There is no excitement, no joy. Make a point to enjoy your loved ones while they are here. If you can’t do a whole day, start small. Surprise hubby for a picnic on the grass at his job. It’s amazing what one hour of conversation and alone time can do. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us! Enjoy life, enjoy your city. Enjoy each other. A relationship can only withstand the time put into it. It takes effort and attention.


Speaking of attention, my glass is empty again. Must refill! Until the next glass of Tea, stay blessed, stay southern sweet.

COPYRIGHT © 2016 SnoSouthernLife