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Last week I was in Fort Myers, Florida staying with Lanny, Mary and Lana.  DeeAnn, bless her heart, tended to Holly, Helen, Gracie, Raine and Keltie while I was gone.  Timing was perfect because after leaving sunshine and returning home yesterday a snowstorm has covered the area in typical March fashion.  The backyard has transcended from not one trace of snow to over six inches with another six plus expected.  Holly is loving the outdoors today (Helen, not so much).   Holly may have other motivation to ask for outside time – she seems to be looking for her dear playmate Keltie.  Holly hopes Keltie will magically appear each time she goes to the backyard, then after a thorough scan, she asks to come back in for an inside scan.   As a last resort, she finds a ball to toss in my lap with hopes to engage in something as fun as her time with Keltie.

My time away gave Holly a little vacation from the day to day routine and extended time with her best friends & DeeAnn.  I’m feeling I can relate.  My time in Fort Myers was awesome in everyway possible.  I couldn’t possibly describe all that we saw, list all that we did, and remember all the laughs we shared. In quick summary our week together included a Minnesota Twins preseason game, a Minnesota Twins preseason practice, shopping at the Twins Shop, shopping at the Outlet Mall, walking the Fort Myers beach, eating at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville,  miniature golf, the movie – Arthur the King,  visiting Palm City Brewing Company, visiting Fort Myers Brewery (twice!), working puzzles, watching Jeopardy, the movie – Nyad, playing cards (Golf), eating Mary’s amazing meals, taking walks in the gated community (seeing only one snake), finishing four puzzles, and I know I have forgotten something.  What is not forgotten is the joy I felt having time with family whom I adore so much, sharing fun and laughter – and building memories that we will refer back to often.

With the mild temperatures and dry roads and trails, I thought perhaps a break from this year’s Minnesota winter wasn’t that big of a deal.  Wrong.  Like Holly, the time away from the day to day routine and extended time with family was a boost to the mood and a lift of the heart.  I’m not handling the snowstorm with as much  exurberance as Holly but the high from the trip and her innocent playfulness in the snow is keeping me on a positive track.  Once the snow stops, it will get moved out of the way, life goes on – then it melts.   And in the meantime, we play and laugh.

Our Gracie Girl turned 10 years old today.  Her birthdate was randomly selected based on Animal Allies best guess.  I remember picking her up with Boden in the car.  When I loaded the crate, Bo’s tail was wagging faster than the engine fan.  Mom was equally as excited, she had bought a cat toy shortly after Glory passed knowing that I would somday have another cat.  Most everyone that knows Gracie has noticed that she is ‘mellowing’ out a bit. Gracie has always been one that loves hanging out with you, but isn’t that fond of being touched.  Her patience with affection seems to be increasing – perhaps due to her age or maybe because she competes with a pack of dogs for attention!   Whereas, Holly & Helen acted hardly any different with my return home last night, Gracie did.  She crawled in bed with me and snuggled into my armpit.  I was uncomfortable and exhausted from the long day of travel to get back home, but Gracie was liking that I was home and I didn’t want to miss one moment of her telling me so!  I did doze off and when I awoke, she had left – likely sound asleep in one of her eighteen sleeping spots feeling grateful that the day to day routine had returned to her world again.

I am feeling grateful that DeeAnn was there for all of them while I was away.  Having the peace of mind that my beloved pets are safe, loved and having their own little vacation is the lauching pad I need before I can let myself relax and enjoy myself.

The snow is deeper now and still coming down –  it’ll stop,  get moved out of the way, then melt!  We’ve had a nice break this winter and now are back on routine.  Energized and ready to go!