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New Villagers; Heart Gifts at Unity of The Villages; A Boat Show; Heart Gifts DVD

We recently enjoyed another dinner at our new favorite Italian place, Mezza Luna, with a delightful couple, new full-time Villagers Michelle and John, who had just finished moving here from Connecticut (after being part-timers for several years to make sure they liked it). They are former realtors, and are still winding down their business up north while getting settled here in sunny, warm Florida. It’s reassuring to see real estate professionals excited about moving here to The Villages. John and I had sailing in common, and swapped some spiritual sea stories over pasta while the girls discussed non-maritime spiritual topics. (Hey, if you’ve never been in a serious storm at sea, believe me, it will make you a spiritual person – prayers come quite readily when the wind is howling in the rigging and waves are breaking over your boat or ship!)

On Friday night, Suzanne gave her Heart Gifts presentation at Unity of The Villages. It was another amazing event – you know it’s been well-received when no one wants to leave at the end of the evening. Here are Ann, Suzanne, Bev and Barb at the ticket/book table just before the talk. It’s great having happy volunteers to help us with these big events.

Several of Suzanne’s slides were graphics of spiritual artist Barry Mack’s beautiful paintings. She also displayed two of his limited edition Heart Gifts prints, which also happened to be for sale. They were quickly snatched up by eager fans. We hope to have additional prints available at upcoming January events. You can see more of Barry’s exceptional work at

On Saturday we dropped off Rudy and Gretchen at their Uncle Bob and Aunt Jan’s house, and My Lovely Sailor Bride and I headed to the St Petersburg Boat Show. We have been boatless for almost 18 months, and just needed a “fix” to stave off the “don’t-have-a-boat blues”. At the wheel of this very nice trawler, I wanted to reach down, turn the ignition key, and get underway for Bimini on the spot, but the broker had his cell phone in hand in case I tried anything stupid… darn those guys!

We looked at everything from canoes to “flats fishermen” to small sailboats to big 48 footers, and only purchased lunch and a beer, which was truly amazing. The last boat show we attended cost us several hundred dollars, and that was just for some nautical tools and accessories for our sailboat. We also had forgotten that Suzanne’s two boating books are still very popular. We were having lunch and someone asked her if she was speaking at any of the seminars; in her previous life, she gave motivational talks for women interested in boating and was sponsored by the world’s largest sailboat builder, Beneteau, to speak at boat shows across the US.

The most unusual “vessel” there was this Heli-Cat, a combination of a helicopter cockpit and catamaran hulls. It doesn’t actually fly, but skims the wavetops at 50 knots. If nothing else, you’d certainly be noticed at your local marina in this thing.

We arrived back home that afternoon to find two boxes of DVDs at the front door. No, we hadn’t ordered a pile of Hollywood or Bollywood flicks. Rather, the boxes were filled with Suzanne’s new DVD, Heart Gifts, which was professionally filmed at the Lake Miona Recreation Center in November. You can find more information on her web site, It was especially nice to see My Lovely Daughter Elisabeth’s graphics work on the front and back covers of the DVD case. She is a fabulous graphics artist, and we were very grateful for her help in making this DVD a reality.

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