Beach, Birds, and Books

Last year, I celebrated a milestone birthday with a big dance party with 80 of my closest family and friends – at least those who could travel to Osprey, Florida. It was a memorable occasion for everyone!

Ospreys at Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island (2018)

This year – another milestone as far as I’m concerned — I found that I craved solitude and some soul care. Those of you who know me know that Sanibel Island would be just the perfect environment. We have another month of adult faith enrichment classes at my church, so it’s not yet vacation time. Still, I was able to plan two days of beach, birds, and books to celebrate my birthday.

My heart is full of gratitude. In particular, I am grateful to God for

  • Safe travel to and from Sanibel Island
  • A driving tour of Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. I have taken this self-driving tour several times without seeing any wildlife. This time there were birds everywhere, including two ospreys in their nest. What a treat to see them up close!
  • The homey Seahorse Cottages on the quiet “Old Florida” end of the island. There are only four units and in the four years that I have been going there, I have now stayed in all four units! There was only one cottage available for only one night – on my birthday. Hand-picked for me, wouldn’t you say?
  • A swim each day in the Gulf
The water was a bit chilly and I think he was having second thoughts about plunging in! I, on the other hand, had no hesitation about jumping around in the surf!
  • Bright sunshine and a beach umbrella so that I could stay on the beach for a couple hours
  • A good book to kick off my summer reading list
  • A gorgeous sunset over San Carlos Bay (the north side of the island). The sun was a huge orange ball – despite the fact that the images show a big yellow ball.
Sunset over San Carlos Bay (2018)
  • Brown pelicans everywhere. The wind was quite strong so they flew by at great speed.
  • A leisurely start and breakfast on the porch on the second day
  • Friends and family who sent birthday wishes by postal mail, email, and Messenger.

In the past week, we heard more than once in the Gospel of John the words of Jesus:

If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it. (John 14:14)

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)

Anything? Whatever I want? I have a hard time believing these words. After this mini-Sanibel-retreat, I am beginning to believe.

4 thoughts on “Beach, Birds, and Books

  1. Hiya dear Doris, and, happy, happy year ahead. Forgot it was time for you to go down there. And, quite honestly I did forget your day of days. Feel like some lunch in a couple of weeks? Seems like you had a sweet time of it this year.

    Hugs, and xoxo’s


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda, my “escape” was earlier this year; I usually go to Sanibel in early June. It was a sweet time, for sure. I’m still in the midst of classes at church, but let’s try to make time for lunch.


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