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We Return to Being Us with In-Person Meetings

It’s finally happened. One of my writers groups, Sleuths’ Ink Mystery Writers, had an in-person meeting last weekend. It was wonderful! The meeting was held at The Library Center in Springfield, Missouri, which is usually about an hour and a half drive from my house. I lucked out this time because there was NO ROAD CONSTRUCTION on I-44. I’m not sure I’ve ever driven that stretch of road without at least one. I didn’t encounter a construction zone until I reached Springfield.

I would have been half an hour early for the meeting, but the road I usually take to the library was closed. I motored onto another street to turn around and ended up several miles out of my way thanks to a median and crazily heavy traffic that prevented a U-turn. As it was, I still arrived fifteen minutes early and was able to visit with my mystery writing friends who I haven’t seen in person for a year and a half.

The joy I felt at sitting next to someone, which gave me the ability to visit about life in general, was palpable. Everyone was excited about being together again, and the energy in the room sizzled with creativity. One of our own members was the speaker. She gave a presentation about dreams – the different kinds, how to interpret them, and how to learn from them. I learned a great deal and left the meeting with a new respect for my dreams.

After the meeting, several of us went out to lunch together where we sat at the same table. We lingered over our meal as we laughed and caught up with each other. I hated to leave, but we all had other things we needed to be doing. My list included a trip to a Springfield bookstore to use a $50.00 gift certificate I won in a contest last winter before my trek home.

It’s amazing what spending a little time with my writing friends does for me. I couldn’t control my grin on my long drive home. I was still energized when I walked into my house. I did a couple loads of laundry and washed the dished. Then I made the bed and sat down to check my email. After all of that was done, I started work on this blog post.

While I’ve saved a lot of time, money, and gas over the past year and change by Zooming from my couch, nothing replaces the magic of getting together with a group of talented individuals who share the same passion for writing as me. I will never take for granted the ability to lean over to the person next to me and whisper a comment or question again.

I’m so happy our world is returning to normal, so we can be us again.

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