Dear Buddies,

It’s been a wild ride the past three weeks and now our work really begins. I want to thank everyone for their patience through this ordeal and especially the 600 or so kind souls who braved the BHI floodwaters and marsh smells to check out their houses this weekend. The true hero of the weekend is Chad Paul who coordinated all of the ferries and trams. Everything ran so smoothly; it makes you wish we NEVER had luggage/bins of food/etc. to take over. WOW. I also want to personally thank Elizabeth Kinney. She is the best friend anyone could ever have. She was up before dawn Saturday and Sunday to help with the ticket distribution and she brought compassion, concern, and a huge smile with her. So many people brought us fabulous treats: doughnuts, bagels, sweet tea, thank YOU! I’m going to echo Kit Adcock and say that I’m going to detox from Facebook for awhile. We have tried to keep up with communication, mostly first thing in the morning and last thing at night, giving us very short nights of sleep. I actually work full-time (!) so I need to pay attention to my real job again. It’s been wonderful “meeting” all of you through this time. I am terrible with names, so if you see me wandering through the market or on the island, please re-introduce yourselves. I met 600 new friends Saturday/Sunday so it’s all a sea of faces and names at this point. I hope to return to the island on Wednesday and will hopefully stay at the home of friends as my house is uninhabitable. Ideally I will be able to move HOME in mid-November but none of us will know until the work is done. I still love the idea of an island-wide party. Maybe we’ll have two: a BHI Thanksgiving party and then let’s ring out 2018 in some BHI Fashion. So far in 2018 I have had frozen pipes in the ice storm (and I was living in my house & the pipes still froze!), a lightning strike on July 19 that knocked out my golf cart and electric garage door opener, and then of course the hurricane. We could say are the locusts next but I think it will be the mosquitoes…Anyway, we may all wish to ring out 2018! This all has been a team effort and the Village Staff continue to work tirelessly. The infrastructure is still holding together on a wing and a prayer so let’s hope it continues to hold. There is much work ahead for everyone and for homeowners, our real work is ahead. Council will find a time, space, place, and hopefully in a virtual manner to gather all your comments, thoughts, etc. There were mistakes made, yes, things could have been done better, communicated more clearly. We want to learn from our mistakes. It’s been a huge team effort on many fronts. For Buddies, Kit and Andrea Huppert Pitera led the communications; and we need to give a shout out to Susan Susan Faulkenberry Panousis and Mark Panousis for manning the BHB site. It’s been a difficult time for Susan and Mark, too, as some tempers have flared but in the end we are all one community. If I can be of help on the island: meeting your adjuster or anything, let me know, and I’m bringing my partner’s very strong 26-year old son with me who could help move outdoor furniture back out for you, etc. Please be well and travel safely as you return to the island, and even more careful when you are on the island as conditions remain primitive. I just want to thank everyone again, even those I’ve angered, I ask your forgiveness. See you ’round the island.