In the years that I’ve been keeping a blog, I have shared tidbits about the wonderful writers’ retreat that is held in Northern Idaho every July. The first year (2003), I arrived an acquaintance to two and a stranger to the rest. Five years later, God has knit us together into much more than friends. We are truly sisters. I can trust these women with my deepest darkest secrets. I can confess my sins and know I won’t be judged but loved anyway. I can be as silly as I want to be. I can laugh with them and cry with them.
This year, I decided to make a gift for each member of our group. I had to keep quiet — not easy because when I’m planning to surprise someone I’m just bubbling over with excitement. And since the surprise was for the women I can tell everything to, it’s been a rough few months. I innocently asked them what were their favorite colors to wear (way back in January or February). Once I had my answers, I set to work, buying novelty yarn and knitting each one of them scarves. As I knitted, I prayed for the person who would receive it and I was as blessed by the work as I wanted the recipients to be.
Here we are (minus the two friends who couldn’t come this year; they’re getting theirs via the mail):
These retreats are busy ones, yet relaxing ones. We brainstorm at least nine books over the course of the retreat (arrive on Thursday, depart on Monday). The rest of the time we eat and play, eat and laugh, eat and walk, eat and pray.
Did I mention we like to eat? (Today I begin a more regular exercise program!)
There was another gift given, this one from the group to our lovely hostess, suspense writer Brandilyn Collins. We gave her a knife set with an unusual “block” to keep them in. She loved it!
Gotta love her!