Welcome to March. I think I owe my faithful readers (all 6 of them) an explanation for my month-long hiatus from blogging. The short version is that it was my birthday and I took a whirlwind trip back to Virginia Beach to celebrate with friends. In some ways it felt like an endless celebration, with lots of food, flowers, cards, and most importantly, good friends.That’s the short version; here is the longer version:
January 29 — Birthday dinner and Gershwin with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Unforgettable.
February 1 — Dinner with Former Attorney General and Mrs. Ashcroft at their Virginia Beach home. The Ashcrofts made from-scratch venison spaghetti from a deer that the General had shot (Caught? Shot sounds so brutal …) and served it to the students, faculty and staff of Regent’s School of Government. Very relaxed and fun. Lots of singing around the piano as the General played.
January 31 – February 10 — Stayed at the home of one of my very best friends (and former roommate) Renelle and her husband Casey. I tried to find a picture of Renelle and me from this trip but realized that I had none. That’s probably because we just sat around in our PJs, ate, talked and did absolutely nothing. It was great! Just like old times. In fact, because Casey is working on his Ph.D. and spends most of his time studying at the library, it did feel just like old times — except in a bigger house, with better furniture. Renelle is the Hospitality Queen. Thanks for the beautiful bday flowers!
February 3 — My 35th birthday. Celebrated with breakfast at my favorite restaurant, Swan Terrace, with two of my favorite people, Renelle and Michelle. Later in the day shifted gears for the Speakers Dinner, the inaugural event of the 6th annual Ronald Reagan Symposium. As the dinner organizer, I got to pick the menu and bien sur chose a French theme. Had coq au vin. Delicieux. I tried to keep the birthday thing a secret but of course Dr. Dunn told everyone and they were gracious enough to sing to me. Thanks, Dr. Dunn.
February 4 — 6th Annual Ronald Reagan Symposium. Terrific event with some really top-notch speakers. One of my favorite parts of organizing and implementing this event is getting to be behind the scenes while the “show” is going on. Oh, okay, and eating the leftover snacks in the Green Room when the speakers go back on stage!
February 6 — For most people this was Superbowl Sunday. For me, this was the day for a chocolate fondue birthday celebration with my cousin Michelle (whose bday was a week before mine) and Michelle’s family.
The weather was fabulous and crazy. Vintage Virginia Beach weather ranging from 72 degrees one day to several inches of snow the next. It was great being at the office again (particularly being in my office again — see photo and you’ll understand!). Had great times, mostly over food, with friends old and new and many memorable conversations. When it finally came time to say goodbye, the sadness I felt was overwhelmed by a deep sense of gratitude for the Lord’s goodness at having brought me “home” to Virginia Beach once again.
One person I really must thank in this blog is my faithful friend and assistant, Natascha. More than my right arm, she feels like an actual part of my brain! An improved version. Natascha, thanks for filling my days in VBeach with birthday flowers and cards, and that most important ingredient … Dunkin’ Donuts coffee!!
Now I am back at home in Ozark and happy to be here! I’m ready to run in the paths of God’s commands, for He has set my heart free (see Psalm 119:32). I’m ready to get back into blogging and writing, and I have plans to make great strides on my manuscript for PrayerWalk London. After all, the 2012 London Olympics are just around the corner!