Twinkle lights shimmered in the trees lining the circle drive leading to the Broadmoor Resort and Hotel, a statement of elegance built in Colorado in 1918.
It’s one of my very favorite places, and for years I’ve dreamed of staying there overnight with Jerry. It seems the One Who Loves wanted Jerry and me to have a special Valentine’s Day present, complete with all the trappings.
Hubby agreed to attend with me, and I eagerly anticipated enjoying the Broadmoor’s ambiance as well as learning more about this new opportunity in the publishing world. I became even more excited as I learned that two of my favorite authors, Angela Hunt and Brandilyn Collins would talk about their latest books, published by the elite Jerry B. Jenkins line of Believers Press. There are few ladies in the business I respect more. (The lighting wasn’t good, but decided to share the photo anyway.)
All of that would have been wonderful enough, but then I got a beautiful little email offering Jerry and me a night at the Broadmoor as guests of the Christian Writers Guild! Talk about over-joyed!
I convinced Jerry (who doesn’t especially like dressing up) to wear his new purple shirt and black slacks, and off we went. He also doesn’t like his picture taken, but I talked him into posing on the Broadmoor’s marble staircase. I think I got my way a lot during our special time away. ;o)
Since the Broadmoor opened in 1918, I couldn’t help but compare it with descriptions I’d read of the RMS Titanic, which sailed in 1912. Most of you know I wrote Titanic: Legacy of Betrayal with my friend and fellow author Kathleen E Kovach. Part of my research for this book included delving into the opulence of the wealthy in the early 1900s. (If you’d like to talk about our novel on your blog, contact me about a review copy!)
I love the historic refinement of the Broadmoor. The huge bouquets that grace antique tables in the lobby never disappoint, full of fragrant beauty (no fake flowers here!).
I always slip into the ballroom to twirl just a bit on the glowing wooden floor (complete with springs underneath for cushy dancing in those heels!). Since I actually had hubby with me on this visit, I slipped into his arms and we waltzed a few steps to our own music.
The Broadmoor maintains its historical tenor, and our room came complete with this beautiful chandelier and gorgeous topper above our feather-pillowed bed.
Classical music completed the ambiance as it sang from the device next to my bed, which had already been prepared with turn-down service. This included chocolates and fluffy white robes laid across mounds of pristine sheets, comforters, and layers of white pillows. Our bellman, Joseph, carried our bags into the room and made sure we were settled in. Watching him serve us with such genuine kindness made me wonder what his life is like, what type of people he has met, and what stories he could share. I hope he feels satisfaction in his gift of service. I hope he is appreciated and knows that he is.
After Joseph left Jerry and I then embraced the elegance with white wine, dark chocolates with salted caramel, and candle light.
As I put these memories to words I am at home in my very normal house in a very normal suburb, far away from anything opulent. And yet life is full of beauty here, too. Our married daughter popped in unexpectedly, and I just happened to have planned a big evening meal, so she stayed awhile and her husband joined us. We sat around the table eating off my hand-me-down plates, the rich greens and reds of the salad and the deep orange of sweet potatoes providing specks of color. In the middle of the table a flame flickered in my snowman candle.
Sarah told stories of her new job, of the precious people she serves, and I cried at the sheer beauty of what can happen when people love each other and reach for the Divine. The boys told jokes. Jerry sent me a secret smile, thanking me for sweet potatoes he loves. David and Stephen planned a taxing hiking adventure. I made after dinner tea.
During our lean years I fought to discover (or create) beauty that had no price tag. Sometimes life felt so barren I thought I would dry up, curling brown at the edges, crusty with thirst.
And then there would be a blue sky. A flower. An unexpected abundance of food. A book. A simple family meal where everyone seemed filled-up with the sheer goodness of being together.
Whispers of love.
My great delight at our Broadmoor experience will long remain with me, a brush of refinement, an immersion of beauty. And I will be grateful. A bit breathless.
But I’m learning that these moments don’t only come in the abundant times. Sometimes I am immersed in beauty in the simple pleasures of daily life. And I am grateful. A bit breathless.
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