Finally, I got to meet Elizabeth in person and she was exactly as I anticipated from our previous email
and phone communication. Her home was warm and inviting with so many touches I would have in my own including proximity to water that I could view through the window or relaxing outside. I was so ready to unload the car, take a shower and settle in. However, there was a catch. On both our ends, we had somewhat loose plans which we both understood. For my part, I wasn’t sure exactly which day I’d be embarking on my cross-country trek or how many days I would actually take. Elizabeth had a renter already who anticipated moving around the end of June. When I arrived, he was still there. Another Angel Friend in the area generously put me up for the night. I planned on sleeping in the next day for a much needed catch up, then drive to my beach and go for a morning run.
As I drove to the beach around 8:30, I glanced at the temperature….87 degrees…already?! While I love the heat, I do not run in it. Resigning myself to the fact it would now be a bikini stroll, there was no hurry to get to the beach. As such, I opted for the scenic route of Casey Key turning onto Blackburn Point. One after another, I reminisced about the story on this property and that…how I knew the owners here and tried to acquire the property there, how we almost rented here and such. Making a last minute decision turn into the parking lot of Gulfside Beach Club, I decided to say Hi to my friend Karen. Turns out I pulled into the parking lot just as she arrived. Surprised to see me, we exchange the short versions of our catch up stories. Karen informed me that she just received a call from a gentleman looking for a manager for his hotel and gave me his phone number.
Returning to the car, I made the phone call. The hotel owner seemed intrigued by me but needed to consult with his partner. I told him I was about to commit to renting a month with someone. So he asked if we could meet later in the afternoon. Between then and our actual meeting at one of his hotels (he recently purchased two), I had one synchronistic miracle after another both on the beach and around town. When we got together, the hotel owner and I seemed to click right away. It appeared our future visions had enough similarities to be valuable to each other. He was planning on renovating both places and having retreat/spa/self enhancement programs at his location on Casey Key. Now, he was looking for on-site help for the mile from the beach location but again, needed to speak with his partner about the details. He asked what I was going to pay in rent at the other place. When I told him, he asked if I would be willing to stay there for that rental amount the month. I agreed figuring that, while we were working out negotiations and specifics about the position, I’d be peacefully settling in, maybe do some Telephone Wellness Coaching, and re-connecting with my friends in the area. I was all but bursting with excitement!
Once again, the expected scenario didn’t happen. I hit the ground running almost literally. While I did run every morning on my beautiful beach, I also got up at 4:30 to do so and be back at the hotel helping out. Within days of my arrival, one of the 2 office gals went on vacation for a couple weeks. Two days after she returned the other left. So I was engaged in hotel work morning until night with breaks only to be on the beach early morning and late at night. Of course, I was also able to fit in fun volleyball for a couple hours M-W-F as well. On top of my day’s assistance, some nights I had phone duty which meant not getting enough uninterrupted sleep. That’s where I decided to draw the line. While I didn’t end up paying the rent, I was also not being paid to work all these hours. In addition, I wasn’t able to help them in the manner I uniquely can – namely coordinating, marketing, networking etc. Throughout it all for the most part, I maintained a sense of deep appreciation and wonder for all the delights I had here in Florida that I so enjoyed…..my playful dolphins, my ever-changing beach, impressive cloud formations, magnificent sunrises and sunsets, vibrant rainbows and……warmth!
At the end of July, I had my meeting with the owner. I presented my observations, concerns and proposals. I’m not sure if he understood the impact of me telling him 100s of people were waiting for the outcome of this meeting. If I could create a fraction of the retreat center I have in mind with him, there are many folks who would come to avail themselves of such. In the course of our meeting (out on the sand in beach chairs no less), I gained valuable insights about the owners, investors, property situations and such. Laying pretty much all my cards on the table, I let him know I could see myself assisting him and his businesses for years to come if we had an arrangement that honored all involved. Just as easily, I could bow out tomorrow if necessary. Interestingly, I even had folks contact me a few days before about a work exchange situation in the Florida Keys to which I had not yet responded. How freeing it is being so flexible! Again, he needed to discuss things with his partners and was also going on vacation the next day. The outcome of meeting left me not excited but peaceful and satisfied. I agreed to work with him for another month. This time not as office hour coverage and room cleaning but doing the professional things I am skilled at. While I do not know what the following month will hold, for now I absolutely know I am in the exact right place at the perfect time for me.
Daily I live in gratitude for all the beauty around me. This shows up in a myriad of ways through the wonders of nature, reconnecting with my friends, helping make a big positive difference in so many peoples’ lives here….wonderfully too many to count. Turtle magic is strong as I arrived back during “Turtle Season” in Florida – May through October. Every day mama turtles come up and make new nests. Every night hatchlings make their way out of the sand and continue on their first voyage to sea. It is a powerful process to be a part of!
Of course I will keep you posted. If things continue to evolve in a harmonious direction that involves retreat settings or just beautiful experiences by the sea, perhaps I will be able to host you here in the future. If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you will know that I have left this area a number of times. Like a magnet, I keep being drawn back for whatever reason. Perhaps we are finally getting that answer. Thank you for all your loving support along the way, energetic and otherwise! Stay Tuned :-)
contact me and we'll see how we might honor each other. Many Thanks!