It has been almost twice as long since my last writing as it was since the one before that!! My Muse has been battling a myriad of obstacles to claw her way out from the cold, the grey and gloomy weather, and dealing with pain. Although I find myself in “grey and gloomy” Bellevue, WA and I left behind the now warmer climes of Florida, here she comes pushing and pulling the words with her, in her first attempt in almost two months to put words on the page.
Perhaps it is because there is nothing else to get in the way. I am out of my normal environment, my usual routine. Nothing is clamoring for my attention: no commitments, appointments, or general household chores. I am free to do what I want, when I want. But there is more to it than that. There is a fizz and excitement within me that is quietly bubbling up from my heart like magma from the inner core of a volcano.
However, I must also acknowledge, that just like returning to exercise, I struggle to return to my writing. The weather back home in Florida over the last two weeks has steadily been improving. I have been able to enjoy my quiet time on the lanai almost every morning. I have been enticed out into the garden to begin springtime preparation, and several times have been able to wear shorts and tank tops. But I have been slow to take the laptop out there, and I am well aware that I have made many excuses not to do so. At least I have enough honesty with myself not to declare “reasons”.
So, back to the “bubbling excitement”. And why am I here in Bellevue? Those of you who follow my postings (and a huge apology here for such a prolonged silence), all know that my husband Richard is a techie-geeky type. Well he has been invited by Microsoft, as one of their Most Valued Professionals (MVP), to attend their annual MVP Summit. (He’s like a kid in a toy shop at the moment as he soaks up the techie-geeky air and worships at the Microsoft shrine.) Well, he invited me to accompany him, and as he had plenty of frequent-flyer miles to cover the air fare and as I had never visited this part of the USA before, I said what the heck.
But it was more than the fact that I had never visited this part of the States before that had me saying yes. Coming to Bellevue put me within striking distance of a very dear old friend who I have not seen in twenty five years. George and I met at the same time as I met Richard and within the same Naples Little Theater group. In fact, George directed me in my very first play with that group, “Goodbye Charlie”. That was back in 1983. George left Naples, Italy in either late 1985 or early 1986, and we haven’t seen each other since then!!!!!!! I love George very much and he’s also Godfather to our daughter Melissa, and in just an hour or so I get to hug him and plant a big sloppy wet one on him.
So forgive me if I’m a little excited and somewhat nervous. But, oh what joy that this is the cataclysm that is unleashing the reticent Muse!!
My husband, Richard,is a geekie-techie kind of guy and this helps to create a good balance in our relationship because I’m more of the arty-crafty type who, as already mentioned in several of my postings, tends to fly by the seat of her pants. Even though my husband’s attachment to his computer and all things technological sometimes drives me a little crazy, I have to admit that I’m very blessed to have him in my life. After all, I have a resident expert computer-problem-fixer.
For about fifteen years now Richard has created and maintained a web site about techie things, mainly connected to Windows related stuff. In fact his web site domain name is WindowsObserver.com just in case any of you other techies want to check it out. Over the last few years he has developed a strong relationship with Microsoft and has been involved in their Beta testing, has written a few articles for them, and has been nominated a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional).
Because of this latter status, he was approached and asked to sit on a panel at a Customer Support conference to be held in Orlando, Florida this week. When we looked at our planners and saw that I would be attending my Audire program in Winter Park from Friday to Sunday, we decided to combine our trips so that we would not spend five days apart. Consequently I find myself in the lovely complex called The Villas of Grand Cypress (Golf Resort). The accommodations are absolutely lovely, surrounded as we are by golf greens and trees, although I’m a little disappointed that a resort of this caliber does not provide a small mini refrigerator in each suite (I carry supplements and fresh juiced produce that need to stay cold).
So this morning as I woke up and came to, I opened the drapes to be met by a stunning scene. Right outside my French doors is a small patio that over looks a retention pond, and swimming across the middle was a group of ducks. The far side of the pond is flanked by the rolling dunes of the golf greens. On the other sides of the pond I see lots of trees and plants through which I can make out other villas.
About fifteen yards from my end of the pond there is a small island, no bigger than twenty feet in diameter, on which there are five or six large trees, a couple of saplings, a few bushes and some small sego palms. The sky was a clear blue, not a cloud in sight, and squirrels were scampering across the porch and chasing each other up and down the trees immediately beyond the porch. When I opened the French doors, a flock of white egrets (I think they were egrets – white with long, skinny, curved yellow beaks), appeared out of nowhere and walked right onto the porch, obviously looking for a handout.
Although it was not warm-warm, it was warm enough to sit outside for my quiet time with God. It was so peaceful and so lovely that the first thought was of gratitude. I read my morning reflections and then just sat back and took in the beauty of God’s creation and suddenly felt so blessed. Today is Veteran’s Day, and I think of all those men and women in far-flung and dangerous war zones around the globe, separated from their families and everything familiar and comfortable. My gratitude levels soar as I compare where I am right now and where they are.
I continued to contemplate and meditate and watched a small blue heron approach my edge of the pond and swiftly dip his beak into the water, drawing it out a second later with a tiny wriggling fish which he quickly devoured. The air is clear and fresh with a hint of wood smoke, that unique smell that permeates everything during the Fall. Then suddenly I see a small movement on the island. There, perfectly camouflaged in the shadows, was a “Big Blue”. He stood perfectly still keeping a watchful eye on the water, waiting for the slightest movement which would indicate breakfast!!
As I took this all in, I was overcome with emotion. My throat filled up and I felt tears spill down my cheeks. I am so blessed, my life is so rich in many ways. I may not be rich in the conventional meaning of that word. I don’t have lots of money, nor do I have a luxury car or a boat or any of those high-ticket items. But I do have the money that I need, a car that is more than functional, the possibility of being in this place at this time. I have an amazing, loving husband, and so many good friends. God has filled my life with so many gifts and I am truly grateful.