On Sunday, we traveled to First Unity of St. Petersburg, where Suzanne spoke at two services and presented her workshop, "Awakened Living 301, The Advanced Course for Souls on the Earth Plane," to a large and enthusiastic audience. First Unity is one of our favorite places to visit because of the wonderful congregation, their fabulous Wings Bookstore (thank you, Sharon Jebens), and their inspirational minister, Rev. Temple Hayes. It was also nice being back in St. Pete/Tampa, a vibrant community with a somewhat younger population than The Villages, our home community in Central Florida.
We had driven our motor coach down for the weekend and "dry camped" at MacDill Air Force Base. That means we didn't have any services (water, electric, etc.), but simply parked in a field with about 50 other visitors in a variety of rigs. For some unknown reason, there were many other RVs down from the Boston area in particular. But the highlight for Rudy and Gretchen was getting to play with other Dachshunds, especially these two longhairs and a dapple. There aren't many other Doxies back in The Villages, and you can tell they were trading dog stories while sniffing each others' butts. Dogs seem to have no compunctions about getting down to basics; I'm glad people don't use that olfactory means of greeting. At least I was able to get a formal photo with everyone's head up.
On Monday, we drove to Bradenton to have lunch with artist and poet Patricia M. Bowers, an incredibly talented painter who specializes in mandalas. Not only are her works vibrantly colorful and amazingly intricate, but Patricia paints freehand. Suzanne was impressed by the beauty of her work and the sacred geometry which infuses Patricia's designs.
Suzanne is the proud owner of two of Patricia's Spirit-inspired prints, which she uses not just for the pleasure of gazing at them, but as a meditative tool. Suzanne and I were also very impressed by Patricia's book of art and poetry, Infinite Love; Love and Life Enraptured. You can see more of Patricia's work at www.patriciambowers.com.
Our good friend Bill Hammond, whose award-winning nautical fiction series has been praised in this blog previously, has a new book out, The Ultimate Gift: Embracing the Joy of Eternal Love. This is a very personal and touching book about the loss of his beloved wife Victoria, and the series of stunning soul-to-soul communications that Bill experienced that provide irrefutable evidence that life is eternal and that love never dies. You may recognize a couple of folks with whom you are familiar in the pages of this book, as it features several highly meaningful sessions with Suzanne and a special visit we enjoyed with Bill in Minnesnowta. You will find this well-written and heartfelt book hard to put down, and a confirmation that our consciousness lives on long after death. Click here to find out more.
Suzanne and I took the latest creative cactus contest winners, Connie England and John Henry, out to breakfast yesterday at First Watch, and Der Blogmeister sadly allowed them to escape without documenting the event with a photographic record. I had to ask Connie to send a selfie by email. Connie is a gifted poet from Maine (but you'd never know it by her accent... right....) and John is from North Dakota, where he has a house on a lake filled with fish that leap onto his hooks. Amazingly, this is one fisherman who actually catches fish. (No snide comments about my fishing prowess, please...)
Speaking of water sports, as I write this post, the wind is howling outside our lanai. A severe cold front with a line of strong thunderstorms is moving at 75 mph through the area, and the winds outside are already up to 45-50 mph. In fact, the wind woke me up a bit ago, and I murmured to Suzanne, "I'm getting up to let out more chain.", referring to the frequent routine aboard a sailboat of increasing the length of your anchor chain to prevent dragging during a storm. She replied without a beat, "Be careful out on deck." You can take the sailors off the sea, but you can't take the sea out of the sailors.
Finally, we had pizza recently with our good friend Gail Grossman, who is a lawyer and a public defender. (I have to admit that I must be mellowing a lot, because I rarely use friend and lawyer in the same sentence.) I was giving her a hard time about some of her clients (whom I generally refer to as "TGBs, those guilty b----- ... now what was that last word?") Gail has a real sense of humor, because she later sent me a note saying that she had alerted the P.D.'s office that I was looking for work, and they were awaiting my application and C.V. to join their staff to help get the miscreants out of jail and on the path to righteousness. (In the Navy, we called that "peeing up a rope". Don't hold your breath, Gail.) It is appropriate that just over Gail's shoulder is the logo "NYPD" and a sheriff's badge...