Monday, November 15, 2004

Retreat Bliss and Back To Reality...

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting away from it all, especially if your are going to a wonderful location with other women you admire, great food, laughter and a whole weekend in which to stitch!!! For those of you who have never been to a Stitching Retreat, I highly recommend it... you will be hooked!

This time, I brought a new friend along. Terri is a diehard stitcher and has helped me in Nashville before, but she’d never been to Retreat, so I coaxed her into coming. We drove up at supper time on Friday and discovered that most of the people were already there, set up and stitching away! We found some space on the stage and set up our stitching nooks then made our way down to one of the cabins to claim some bunk space. I always take a mattress from one of the top bunks and just sleep on the floor because for some strange reason, bunk beds aren’t made long enough! Once we got our gear into the cabin and our bed space staked out, we trudged back up to the main lodge with the last of our stitching accessories and snacks in time for the 7:00 pm registration.

The rest of the weekend went by in an absolute blur. From late night snacks and silly jokes to the Saturday morning craft sale at a nearby church, from Silent Auctions and raffles raising over $700.00 for charity to an ornament exchange, there was never a dull moment. I even got plenty of stitching done!! With the peace and quiet of someone else cooking all the meals and no small children or husband to interrupt, I was able to spread out all my floss, braid and overdyeds to get the border of my new dragon just the way I wanted it at last. I stitched up the whole top band, including the beads, so I am hoping that “Dragon of the Deeps” will be ready for Nashville. I also worked on stitching up one of my Dragon Doorstop painted canvases and finished knitting a scarf.

One of the other cool things about Retreat is that some of the stitchers form little circles and give themselves names or themes for each retreat. The group from Fredericton took the ornament I designed for this year’s Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue and each made up their own version using my design and Tracy’s button (she is part of their group). It was such fun to see a dozen versions of the ornament hanging from people’s lights!!

Saturday was made even cozier by the fact that the snow began to fall early in the morning and kept up all day. Many of us stayed up late on Saturday night because you just don’t want that Retreat magic to be over. We found out on Sunday morning that Nova Scotia had been blanketed by more than 35 cm (more than a foot!) of the white stuff, but Moncton got less than 15 cm (approx. 6 inches). We were all so cozy and warm that it made us feel very much in the holiday spirit for the ornament exchange.

After lunch on Sunday, everyone packed up and headed home much refreshed (except those heading home to Nova Scotia). Terri dropped me off at St. Pat’s where Erin was having her swimming lesson and then it was off to church for the taping of the Sunbeam Choir’s two songs for a CD that our church is putting out. Erin was very proud to have a solo verse but found it strange to listen to her own voice when played back. Having worked in radio for many years, I am used to how different my voice sounds on tape to my own ears, but this was her first time hearing how she sounds to others. We finished just in time to head to the movie theater to see The Incredibles (though we missed the trailers and the first 2 minutes of the movie) and we laughed ourselves silly as a family.

Nick was wonderful and took both of the girls to choir tonight so that I could finally get to my blog and recapture some of that peaceful feeling that tried to evaporate at bedtime last night when they were both grumpy. I think I can handle reality now... at least for a little while!

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