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.
Those of you who know me through my writing know that I love gardening. This love of gardening comes partly from my historic/geographic gene pool – I’m a Brit and we’re almost all gardening mad! The other part is still from my gene pool but from a more intimate and personal section – the family. Both my parents loved the garden, but my Dad had an absolute passion for his garden.
I’m not a very organized gardener as I’ve already mentioned in other postings. I’m not a very organized anything because I’m a real “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal”. My garden is a veritable hodge-podge of flowers and plants and I’m never quite sure what’s going to pop up where. I throw seeds all over the place and plant bulbs here and there, then I sit back and wait for the wonder of nature.
I love the growing process. Taking a seed and watching it peep up through the soil with it’s first tip of green is a most exciting adventure for me. It fascinates me that from that tiny little thing a whole flower or plant or bush or even a tree can come forth.
Sometimes I stand in my back yard with a seed in my hand and I look at everything that’s growing around me, and I am in absolute awe as I think it all started with a few seeds. The hand of God is most definitely present in such a miracle.
Gardening brings me great joy and I consider it to be wonderful therapy for the soul. Gardening takes me out of myself and is one of the few activities through which I feel a real connection with God. Gardening makes my heart happy.
But today I realized another benefit that comes from my hard work out there in the garden. Of late my husband has started taking series of photos of my garden. At first he was taking general all-around shots so that we could share them with the rest of the family that is flung around the world.
More recently he began taking close-ups of single blooms and flowers. Such works of art each and every one in itself. He also took one set that was all leaves and they turned out to be very interesting and beautiful. But here’s the kicker.
Richard is also this “computer geekie/techie guy”. He works a lot with Windows 7 and it allows him to create themes. These are a series of images that you can put together as desktop wallpaper. Well he has taken my garden as his inspiration for creating beautiful themes that are available for free download if you work with Windows 7.
If you’re a garden fanatic and you’d like to check out more shots of my garden, you can visit our Summer Garden shots album. I hope you get as much enjoyment from this as I do.