Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Memories-Suncadia Retreat 2009

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I first met Deb when I was looking for paper to cover booklets for a class I was teaching at an education week. We stood in the back room of her scrapbooking store and innocently enough began talking about paper, copies, and patterns. When I left the store that afternoon, we'd shared more than paper stories and she kindly offered to sell my booklets when they were finished.

A few years later I ran into Deb again. Our conversation picked up where we’d left off and we talked about our current happenings and goals. We were both looking for an opportunity to make money by providing a service that would help women. Our goals were similar—help women to: share their creative ideas and learn new ones, make new friends, preserve memories and leave (whatever it was we were going to do) reenergized and feeling better about themselves. Deb, being an avid scrapbooker, suggested we do scrapbook retreats to accomplish our goals. Though I didn't scrapbook or have nice pictures to scrapbook, I saw a niche I could fill and so we started planning.

Six months later Deb and I hosted our first scrapbook retreat. Deb had attended a scrapbook retreat before and helped us get a skeleton schedule. Then we divvied up the responsibilities. Though Deb had closed her scrapbooking store she still had all the ins, so Deb’s job was to order supplies and take care of the correspondence and hundreds of minute to minute details (including scrapbooked name tags for the women and their motel room doors). My job was to organize the motel, meals and money. Two weeks before our first retreat the caterer backed out, so we cooked seven meals for 30 women in crock pots, a mini-microwave, and the back of a horse trailer. (Calvin brought a grill up one evening to cook steaks for us, and then spent the night and cooked pancakes and bacon out in the rain and snow the next morning.) We did our dishes in a bathtub. Simply put, our facilities and methods would not have passed health code and the mouse in Darla’s bed didn’t help. However, even with the less than perfect conditions when we finished that first retreat and the women asked us when we’d be doing another, Deb and I knew we’d accomplished our goal. A dozen retreats later, we just finished our most recent at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington.

While preserving memories is the bulk of what we do at those retreats, we do make new ones.

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We sleep.

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We eat.

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We see.

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We feel.

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We work.

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And then we do it all over again for three days, because some way, somehow there is a special energy and friendship that builds among women who love to cut and glue paper, pictures and memories. And so next November, you’ll find us at the same place doing the same thing. You’re welcome to join us to make and preserve memories, too.

10 comments:

Becky said...

It's on my list for next year! Somehow I am going to make it happen :) I haven't had a weekend like that in a very, very, very long time...

Beautiful pictures, Jane!

deidra said...

Suncadia looks like quite an improvement over the first year's accommodations. What a beautiful place to have such a good time!

Miller Family said...

Love your pictures! I get teary-eyed thinking of the retreat because I just feel so blessed when I am there and looking back at the pictures reminds me of that! I am looking forward to next year and already have earned/saved my deposit for April. Thank you for all that you do!!

hennchix said...

Oh Jane, that was the best weekend! Suncadia is beautiful, and the snow made it even more so. You and Deb did such a fantastic job; I am amazed at all the details you included!! Getting a gift each morning was so fun!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

PS: Gorgeous pics!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh dear. I must give credit where credit is due. Deb took the pictures. I'm just posting them. Photography--that's another one of her details that she's so good at.

Becka said...

ok, i have to ask. What are those yummy looking treats with the stars on top? Those look scruptious and beautiful!

Anita said...

I've made lots of memories and lots of scrapbook pages and can't wait for next year! You and Deb always do such a great job. You know we'll never let you quit, don't you?! Love you guys!

Donna Chapin said...

I am so glad that you and Deb had the instant connection and were able to reconnect.
The retreats are a highlight of my year.
I will be forever grateful for the friendships that I have made at the retreats.
Thank you and I appreciate all that you and Deb to do to make a wonderful memorable weekend.

Suncadia Dad said...

Where in Suncadia did you host this fantasic party? Is this at the Lodge?

michelle said...

Oh! These photos are fabulous!! What a great event.