God how we get our fingers in each other's clay. That's friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of each other. - Ray Bradbury :: Something Wicked This Way Comes
|an Orenburg shawl made by Sirkku ~ sent to a daughter in Europe to wear in her wedding and now back in the states for another daughter to wear|
|a pillowcase stitched by Diane at eight years old...|
|and a sampler also worked by Diane, some 50 years later, and finished at retreat|
|Kristi working on a Sue Spargo quilt...|
|an applique stitched square being worked by Kristi|
|needlepoint worked by Sandi, my new football buddy|
|the view from our outing to the country club to watch Sunday football|
|there is so much beauty in pattern and order|
I was minutes away from cancelling my part in the retreat this year. My husband did a bit of arm twisting and insisted that I needed to go. He's a smart man. I was feeling low and unsociable and I was running on empty. I spent 3 days listening to stories and laughing like I've not laughed in months. Laughter to that point of tears where you don't feel like you can take another breathe. I did need this weekend, much more than I knew.
I watched a group of amazing women interacting with each other while they stitched and appliqued, knitted and crocheted, and there was even a spinning wheel whirring this year.
There was an auction, our sixth I believe, to raise money for Friendship House. We donated our unwanted stash as well as some handcrafts (there were beaded shawls, hand woven baskets, handmade wooden needle holders and holiday ornaments) and then purchased each other's donations...new treasures for everyone and a final tally of $2,265.75 to donate. An incredible gift from an incredible group of ladies.
We celebrated a birthday with specialty chocolates, saw a grandpa sweater for a first child completed, and took walks in the damp autumn woods. I came upon a sleeping doe that I did not see until I was right upon her. She stood startled, so close I could see my amazed reflection in her eye. We stared at each other for what seemed like days, until she decided that I was of no consequence and folded her legs back under her, lowered herself back to the ground and returned to slumber. I stood statue still for a lifetime in disbelief. I almost felt that I could have touched her if I had been brave enough.
There were stories told of cruises and castles and far away places, grand hotels and lego kingdoms, grandchildren and new puppies, basket caskets and wee bears, jackalopes and shouts of HEIDI-HO! There were twice told tales ~ where's mother? ~ and brand new ~ Joanne, what's new pussycat? Notes were compared by type A personalities ~ yes, there is a right way to eat m & m's ~ with affirmation that we must be sane if there are so many of us!
I cannot wait for next year and I'm so glad that I went since I'll have these memories and many more to get me by until then. And yes, Fran, you may have the cot next year...I won't fight you for it.
Thanks to everyone who was there this year for making the weekend such a special time. Thank you, Linda, for being the organizer-extraordinaire once again. I feel so lucky to be counted among this incredible group of women. Thank you all so much for including me in this amazing fellowship.
See you all next October!
(and yes, if you're wondering, there was some knitting done by me...I finished my Jared Flood 'Shale Baby Blanket' (ravelry link here)...pictures soon to follow!)