Friday, October 31, 2008

Church-Ladies in the Wild Woods

Or is that wild church-ladies in the woods?

Every year at about this time, the women of my congregation take a much-needed getaway: Women's Retreat. We go out to a retreat center north of here, and from Saturday morning to Sunday noon we hike, talk, reflect, do handwork, worship, sing, and enjoy one another's company and the break from the day-to-day.

Last year Joy came down with a 24-hour tummy-bug, not a week before the retreat. I was up all night holding her as she retched. "I mustn't catch this," I told myself sternly. "I want to go to women's retreat!"

Then a day or two later, Rose caught the bug. Again I was up all night with her, positioning the bucket at 45-minute intervals. "I won't catch this," I promised myself. "I'm going to go to women's retreat!"

Friday came around and I packed up my things for the next morning's departure, still feeling fine. And then...

JoyDad started feeling rumbly in the tummy.

Hadn't even thought of that! But there went the daughter-care for the weekend. I stayed home and took care of the girls (and him, though he didn't let me hold the bucket) while he retched, and missed the retreat. And then, insult to injury, came down with a mild version of the bug myself the following Monday.

This year? I'm fighting a cold, and so is JoyDad. Plus, Joy has discovered how to keep herself from falling asleep, for hours at a time. She stims on her blankets or stuffed animals, and vocalizes loudly. This applies to nap, to bedtime, and lately to wake-ups in the middle of the night too. Rose sleeps through it, but JoyDad and I are missing big chunks of sleep (as we try to fight our colds).

I'm still planning to go to women's retreat, though! The theme this year is "The Power to Lift Up." I'm expecting a beautiful, uplifting time -- our pastor (yes, a woman) always does such a lovely Sunday-morning worship at retreat, and the setting is idyllic, and the company is fantastic. And the craft project is related to the uplifting theme as well...

Wild church-ladies in the northwoods. Can't wait. Think good "sleepy-Joy" and "cold-B-gone" thoughts for us.

Pumpkin photos when I get back!


Anonymous said...

I am sending you all the positive vibes I can! I hope you all feel better and Joy rediscovers the "joy" of sleeping quietly and for long times! You certainly need to take care of your physical health, but this retreat also takes care of your spiritual and mental health! So, I hope you get to go, and will come home refreshed and calmed and strengthened to jump right back into parenting and living your day to day life of spinning plates.

Niksmom said...

Load up on vitamin C and zinc to fend off the cold cooties! And have a lovely time!

Anonymous said...

and echinechia! have a wonderful time! you so deserve it.

Andrea said...

Have fun! Those times of refreshment are so critical. I thought I could never peel myself away or switch gears from the overwhelming responsibility...but it is wiser in the long term. You know what the stewardesses say about putting your own oxygen mask on first.

Anonymous said...

Thinking hard for Joy's family!!

I covet your women's group - tried to start one myself once, but people are BUSY! Sigh.

I'm off to see Older Teen at college this afternoon! after a rough week at home. Explanation coming, Sunday, planned, so probably.

I heard of a group of women, in their 80's who met annually at a cabin, and traditionally went out at night to howl at the moon. I like that concept, not thinking it conflicts with any other spirit-lifting techniques. Do the other women know you are a fire-eater?

Anonymous said...

I hope you have a wonderful time at the retreat and come back refreshed!

mama edge said...

How was the retreat? Did you do anything so wild that you can't report it here? Will you tell us anyway?