Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Short-sheets and Lemonade

This past weekend I cruelly abandoned my cats yet again to gad off to the Montana Christian Women's Retreat in Red Lodge, MT. They are getting pretty disgusted with me. This was the THIRD time I've left them this summer.

Evidently they've decided I'm an inept, hairless cat with abominable luck at hunting, because they've been showering me with "presents" since my return. Rodents, still-warm song birds whose only crime was to attempt a migration through the killing zone---it's been grim.

But I have to say that the retreat was worth it.

To me.

Maybe not to the song bird population.

This was my first women's retreat and my first trip to Red Lodge. Both were very nice, and a relaxing change from my ordinary rushing about.

The speaker was Cheri Gatton, a proud mama and grandmama from Idaho. She spoke on God's amazing grace and love for all of us, broken as we are. A fiery dynamo contained in very small packaging, Cheri was feisty and funny while challenging her listeners to accept God's gift of grace.

The decorating committee did a beautiful job with the stage. They created a basic scene and then changed it up each day to represent different stages in a woman's life. It went all the way from babyhood to womanhood, ending with a wedding dress representing the white robe that Jesus clothes us in as beautiful daughters of God.

Noni is on the retreat committee, and one of her contributions was to bring the dressmaker's dummy that the wedding dress is hanging on in the above photo. This led to such amusing conversations as, "Are we bringing the dummy in?" "No, let's leave her in the car." "Where's the dummy?" "Oh, in the trunk." And leaving it sitting in the driver's seat overnight outside our motel. If only we had thought to bring a wig to drape over the truncated neck....

The retreat was located at the Rock Creek Resort, a very nice facility located by...Rock Creek. Go figure. I'm not a great connoisseur of resorts (Super 8 is about as fancy as I get), but I still think this one was pretty good. And they give you complimentary nasal strips in your room. I mean, who does that? Not Super 8, that's for sure!

All the meals were provided for us and the food was quite tasty. Of course, anything is tasty when you don't have to cook it yourself. However, the weekend was dogged by one terrible scandal---Broccoli-gate, caused when the kitchen ran out of broccoli three tables from the end.

And we were one of the three.

All except Noni, who happened to be eating at the committee table for that meal.

Which was dismissed early.

And got plenty of broccoli.

I, quite frankly, am a little suspicious of all those "coincidences"!

But, in the interest of family harmony, we elected to forgive her.  After we short-sheeted her bed.....Hey, the conference president's wife is the one that told us how to do it!

The centerpieces were flower pens so attendees could use them for note-taking. Each person was able to take one home with them at the end of the meetings. You could tell the retreat committee really put a lot of thought into the comfort and convenience of their guests.

And they gave out free notebooks. I'm a firm believer that you can NEVER have too many new notebooks.

The dining room/conference room overlooked Rock Creek through a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and you could hear the water tumbling past while you ate. It was very relaxing, but when you over-imbibed on the truly amazing lemonade, it wasn't exactly helpful to have an aquatic symphony ringing in your ears.

Thankfully, the restrooms were right across the hall.

Well, I'll post more about the retreat later, but for now I'm off to get my tetanus shot after a particularly wild birthday party last night.

More on that later, too.

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