|Lavender Hill Farm|
We are all a year older, but knowing each other through our blogs means we are aware of much more about each other and how we have fared through the past year than most people do. I guess I'm the most prolific blogger, having two blogs and writing several times a week, while a couple of the others struggle to find time to write in their busy lives. Three are still working, all as teachers or school administrators, and they will be back at work tomorrow morning. They will leave first, while the other three of us will make our way back to our homes at a more leisurely rate. We will probably leave around noon to catch the ferry back to Seattle.
This is the only island I have ever visited where I think I could live here without feeling cut off from the rest of the world. According to this link, it's only 37 square miles with a population of around 10,000, with no bridges to connect it to the mainland. But it's certainly a thriving place, with a Farmers' Market and plenty of places to visit. We explored more of the island on this visit, and I'm hoping that next October we will return to discover even more of it. I would never want to live in a city as large as Seattle, but this nearby little island has won me over.
It's raining outside on this dark morning; we were very fortunate yesterday and during our travels here on Friday. It's nothing like the beautiful weather we had last year, with clear blue skies and views of Mt. Rainier, but it's been so nice to gather inside and share our lives with each other. Sometimes I marvel at how much my life has changed since I retired, although I certainly am busy. Two out of three of the last Sunday mornings I've been elsewhere than my own home to write this early morning meditation.
The other early morning riser, Deb, is sitting in one of the chairs across from me reading, while I write this post. We are in the living room with one of those gas fireplaces that looks so much like a real fire that I want to poke the embers. Last night I laughed as we sat around the room, each one of us with our tablet or laptop. Last year Jann was the only non-Apple person, and this year she showed up with a MacBook Air, just like mine! She loves hers almost as much as I do my own.
Everyone else is asleep and will make their way slowly into the common room, and Sandi will fix us a wonderful breakfast before we start packing up and heading home. Sally has the longest trip back, since she lives in Colorado and will stay in a hotel tonight before catching her plane in the morning. I'll be up at my usual time tomorrow, getting ready to head into town on the bus to visit with my coffee shop friends before going to my exercise class at the Y. And this weekend will become another wonderful memory.
Each of us will no doubt write about our experience on our various blogs, and I'll try to make sure that everyone who is interested can read what we all have to say. One very important lesson that I've learned is one I've learned (and forgotten) before: I cannot eat sugar and not suffer from it. Last night we went out for dinner, which was just right, but two diners decided to bring home desserts. Once we got back, the forks came out and we shared a chocolate brownie with ice cream and a piece of banana cream pie. Although it all tasted incredible, I woke in the middle of the night with my heart racing as if I'd run a marathon. My stomach was also upset, which continues right to the present moment. I didn't think I ate that much, but I don't usually eat this kind of food at all, so I was reminded that a clean diet, free of sugar and wheat, is what will keep me healthy.
Sometimes I think I'm lucky not to be able to indulge without paying a penalty, because it cannot be denied that what I eat has as much to do with my health as does my penchant for exercise. Yesterday Deb and I went much farther on the trail we explored than the others, as we are the only ones who exercise daily. We were like little kids rushing on ahead, afraid that the grownups might require us to return before we were ready. We didn't make it to the end of the trail before we turned around to join the others, but next year we will! Last year Deb was in quite a bit of pain from her hip, which has now been replaced and she is strong and vigorous. She said she must exercise daily to keep her hip working well. I exercise daily because I love the way it makes me feel.
My heart is full from having found this wonderful group of women and having the opportunity to become "skin friends" out of the blogosphere. Each one has mannerisms that have become dear to me and enhance the words they write on their blogs. As I read Sally's blog, I now think of her peering over her reading glasses and lifting her eyebrows the way she does. Jann's sense of humor is very present in her blog, but now I can see her face as she dissolves in laughter. Sandi, the quiet one, flashes her brilliant smile at me and I cannot help but smile too. Linda's mobile facial features punctuate her speech in a very unique way; she will purse her lips to make a salient point. Deb throws her head back as she laughs. As you can imagine, we've had some rollicking good times this weekend. I am always thrilled when one of them writes a new post, so I can get another "hit" of a Vashonista. But right now I'm in heaven. Tomorrow will come soon enough. I'm off to enjoy my friends.