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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Retreat or Advance - Either way, I am HAPPY

What an amazing weekend I was given!

On Friday I drove to Redwood Glen Christian Camp (Redwoodglen.com) with a woman I sponsor in my 12 step program.  I had been invited to speak at a retreat for women held every year in this beautiful setting, the best part of which has to be that no cell phone or wifi internet service exists within 10 miles of the camp.  Because I do not camp, or even 'rough it' by most people's standards, I was staying in the lodge.  I had a beautiful room I shared with my sponsee, comfortable and quiet and close to the action - which meant I did not have far to walk to the hospitality room!

The weekend was structured around meetings and walks in the woods and sharing and eating.  I love that.  I love the whole atmosphere of smiling and giggling and outright belly laughs.  I shared on Saturday night and was rewarded with gales of laughter from like minded women.  How wonderful, how refreshing, how invigorating it is to be in a room of beautiful, sober women all laughing from their gut.

An former sponsor of mine holds these kinds of get-togethers every year for her girls.  She calls them Advances (rather than Retreats)  and I can understand why.  I like the idea, however, of a Retreat from the regular world - a world of dinging cell phones and email and lots and lots of busy stuff going on all the time.  That is what this past weekend felt like for me, a real retreat.  I loved it.

I also loved it that I came down off the mountain and got home in time to do two things - watch the Niners kill Buffalo and go to Mass Sunday night.  What a GREAT way to end the weekend!

Today is my Mom's 91st birthday.  As broken as our family is today, I still get a kick out of the fact that she is out living everyone left and right.  The joke is, of course, that Bernini women live forever.  I believe it.  She is 91, looks like she is in her 80's and sounds like she is in her 60's when she is on the phone.  I can only hope I look like her when I am that age, though I have a feeling the years of wild living might have left my genetics a bit worse for wear.

Marla and I will take her to dinner tonight.  We will eat Chinese food and laugh about our silly family and we will spend a wonderful evening together.  Mom will miss her grandkids and her son, but she will dress up and look fabulous and we will have a blast.

Thank you, Jesus.  I am so appreciative of what I have, even when what I have to learn is painful.  I appreciate the life I have been given, even though the life I have is not smooth.  I am appreciative of the Church You founded that allows me to live a Sacramental and Liturgical life, one day at a time.

Most of all?  I am grateful for the Love of good, strong, sober women, one day at a time.

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