Spotting my first bluebonnet of the year is always exciting. I know that the drab winter days are giving way to longer, warmer days of spring, wearing wildflowers of every color.
Full disclosure: these photos are from years past. While I've enjoyed the sight of bluebonnets decorating the roadsides this year, I haven't had a chance to stop somewhere safe and snap any photos.
But the photo above is new, and so was my dress. When I was growing up, I always looked forward to buying a new outfit for Easter. I haven't outgrown that, apparently. I found that dress over a month ago, but resisted wearing it until Easter Sunday.
Another Easter sweet... having all of my kids (even Josie, my grandpuppy) at our house for Easter dinner yesterday. It was lusciously chaotic with everyone gathered in, or close to, the kitchen, chopping, mixing, cooking, chatting...
But now for a few more sweet!s since I last posted...
Discovering Lily Trotters. I'm in a midlife writers Facebook group with Lois Alter Mark, who shared a link to an article she had published in Forbes magazine. Boom! Just what I needed! I love it when that happens.
It happened again just the other night. I turned on the television for a few minutes before getting in bed, just in time to catch poet Rudy Francisco reciting his poem "Complainers". Reciting is really too tame a word for such a powerful poem.
If, like me, you've managed to go the past few years without hearing of him, please click HERE. (But then come back!)
A weekend that started with two closings and a new contract, before moving on to a baby shower for my beautiful daughter-in-law and grandbaby; a dear friend driving in from Houston to be there and another dear friend hosting a gathering afterward in her honor; and then finishing with a combination birthday party/belated St. Patrick's Day party for a client - friend's son. (Too pooped for photos by then!)
The Austin bombings finally came to an end. My heart aches for the bomber's family, along with the victims, and wonders how someone can go down that road and hurting others like that. But what a relief and blessing that the authorities were able to track him down. God bless all of them who worked tirelessly to solve the case!
Last year a sweet friend gave me some hyacinth bulbs for my birthday. When they stopped blooming, I planted them. To my surprise... despite the odds and my ignorance... two of them bloomed this spring!
Springtime is the season of extremes. The drama and conflict of cold vs. hot equates into some amazing sunsets! My office window faces southwest and I'm so grateful when I look up in time to savor skies like the one above from our back porch.
Shake Russell has been one of my favorite singer/songwriters for about 40 years. It just seems surreal that we've become friends and that he's friends with my friends. The world really isn't that big.
Last month Shake, Michael Hearne, and Mike Roberts were back in Lago Vista for a friend's birthday party. It was a gorgeous day in the Texas Hill Country, with the perfect backdrop of Lake Travis and a horizon of hills.
It's such a joy to live in a place long enough to watch kids grow up, help them buy houses, and witness their marriage. I'm so happy I was able to do that with Hannah, and have enjoyed getting to know Ezekiel. And how cool that two of my past clients were also at the wedding, as well as two current clients. I love helping the people I know and love.
I'm always amazed at the heart-shaped things friends have found. It makes me happy when they think of me and share them. Just recently a friend showed me photos of a heart-shaped potato chip! But as amazing as it was just for my daughter to spot this large crystal geode on the side of our dirt road, to have it be heart-shaped was just a pure blessing.
I can finally say I've been to California.
I've even dipped my toes into the Pacific Ocean, thanks to another agent who rented a car while at our annual Keller Williams Family Reunion in Anaheim. She agreed to play hooky from one of the morning sessions and drive me to Long Beach so I could feel I had actually visited California, not just another convention center.
We walked out onto a pier, and then, despite the chilly wind and frigid water, I walked barefoot into the Pacific Ocean. Before heading back for the afternoon sessions, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch overlooking the water.
Another friend of mine recently moved to that area to care for her dad. I was so grateful she could get away to see me. I've never been to any of the Disney parks, so she suggested lunch at Downtown Disney, so I could at least get a little taste of it. Perfect!
Other highlights of the week.. becoming a redhead (temporarily) for the traditional Red Bash and meeting up with Mary Coutu, a high school classmate and longtime Realtor, who now lives in Rhode Island.
I can't wait for next year, when we get to connect in New Orleans!
While learning from the best of the best, wearing a red wig, and dipping my toes into the Pacific were all fabulous, one of the true highlights of my California adventure didn't even happen in California, but on the short plane hop between Austin and Houston.
I was fortunate enough to sit next to Fernando Salmeron, a writer who (I found out by being nosy) was on his way to Peru to promote his book at a book festival there. In the one to two hours between Austin and Houston, we talked nonstop, about writing, time management, and life. His book is loosely based on his life. It's a story about overcoming challenges and staying positive. A theme I really like.
(I just wish I read Spanish so I could read it! If you can read Spanish, go HERE to order it. And then tell me about it.)
During the conversation, I mentioned I'd had some essays published. He earnestly encouraged me to keep writing, and asked if I'd read Montaigne. (No.) So he said he'd send me a collection of them, since Montaigne was the father of essays.
And guess what? He did.
He sent the book AND he encouraged me to not give up on my writing.
You just never know where your next friend is going to turn up. All I know is, it pays to say hi to the person in the seat beside you.
In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
P. S. Next week is my 59th birthday. I've decided to created a 60 by 60 list of things to do in the next year. I'll post it next week... or at least what I've come up with so far. I'm hoping to knock some of them out this weekend!
If you have suggestions, please send them on! Low budget, of course.
P.S.S. I hope your spring has been filled with sweet! moments, too. If you can't think of any right now, concentrate and think of one (you're alive and breathing and apparently have your eyesight!) and I guarantee you'll think of more and more and more. Please share them in the comments!