Sometimes we just need to have fun!

As most Americans know, life can be very stressful right now. As a Southwest Florida businessman, I deal with challenges and opportunities every day. We see building code changes, rising insurance costs and changing government regulations. A little while ago, like a gift from above, my wife and I received an invitation to an art show in Matlacha. We decided to attend. On our way out to Matlacha we had a long overdue quality conversation. As we approached Bert’s Pine Bay Art Gallery the sky was changing from day to night. We were going to see our very favorite artist Mel Meo. I have known Mel for over 35 years and she is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. Her beauty is not just skin deep, but it is both inside and out as she has done so much for so many people.

As we walked, the view across the Matlacha Bridge was beautiful. The pelicans were diving for the last meal of the day while the dolphins played in the water below us. The sky erupted with a stream of colors that made us stop to admire the creation of nature’s pallet. The sea breeze was brisk and refreshing against our skin. The smell of the salt water was pleasing, unique and fresh. We were standing in and above paradise. Stress, what stress?

The art show was without disappointment. Mel’s use of color is unbelievable, warm and welcoming. The theme was “Home, Sweet Home” and featured paintings of coastal cottages, travel trailers, picket fences, sunsets, mangos and, my favorite, the mullet.

I grew up in the area and it was like a class reunion—from old friends to a past math teacher, family friends and other artists. The people were as much fun as the art. Fishing stories were told as appetizers were served. The rear deck of the gallery is on Matlacha pass, where most people stand and discuss life. There wasn’t any complaining about the government, the economy, or negative politics. There was much laughter and old stories. There was reflection of the good old days as well as positive discussion of the beauty that surrounded us and the bright future ahead of us. It was great fun and well worth the 30 minute drive from Ft. Myers. I asked my wife what she liked best about the art, she answered simply, “I love it because it makes me smile!”

When we left the gallery again we walked across the bridge. The Sky was now dark and the moon and Venus were bright and looked like it was right out of the Turkish flag. Hand in hand we walked while we laughed about the characters and the stories. We continued to walk, she squeezed my hand and I returned the favor. Life is too short for stress and we are so blessed to live here.

I suggest that if you are ever afforded the opportunity to attend a Mel Meo art show, or if you just want to drive to the Matlacha art galleries, do whatever you have to do to make it happen. You will not be disappointed. And remember, “Sometimes we just need to have fun!”

  • Michael Spreckelmeier, President & Owner Progressive Builders, Inc.