Sipping from a mug of black coffee while gently rocking on the front porch of The Idlewyld Bed and Breakfast up in Lakeside, I was just mulling over the weekend of workshops and enjoying the fresh air when a disgruntled Mary came out of the house mumbling about all of the commotion in the kitchen area where she had been trying to work at her laptop. I met Mary some years back in the Skyline writers group and we have subsequently found each other again at these Word Lovers Retreats run by Claudia, who once led the Skyline writer’s group but is now focused on novels she has published and one she is working on, while also having smaller writing groups.
It has always been easy for me to talk with Mary. One time we were roommates and spent the better part of the night comparing notes. It was not so easy being at the breakfast table by 8:30 the next morning.
As we were quietly talking and laughing, Linda, also a long time retreatant, joined us and mentioned that when her husband mows their five acres of grass he intentionally goes around a large patch of milkweed because they love to see the Monarch butterflies that the plant feeds. When I got back to my own computer and looked for milkweed I found that there are several varieties with lovely flowers of many colors.
A general buzz from the kitchen as well as the aroma of breakfast called us back into the house where we helped ourselves to the delicious assortment of foods on the buffet table, and took seats in the adjoining room. We always mingle and sit with different people so we get the most benefits possible through associations and exchanging information and ideas, laughter and experiences.
At noon on Sunday the gathering was finished and the remaining people rolled their bags out to their cars and waved each other off already looking forward to the next meeting in the autumn, when the tourist season is over.