UU Women's Connection

Making Memories at the Fall Retreat

This year I drove up to Racine alone. As I pulled into the drive I felt tensions, anxieties, and outside worries melt away. Soon I was greeting old friends and setting up this year’s raffle. All events this year were held in the main meeting place, it makes it a more intimate event with everyone being in the same place all weekend.

Dinner Friday is the first time we all get together and say hello. As always the food at the DeKoven Center was very tasty, especially the dessert.

After dinner we all gathered together to call the directions. This fall the guiding element was Spirit. We were led in this by Pat Hyams. We had brought items to put on the altar to represent our own spirit.

Almost everyone brought items to put in this year’s raffle and I had fun setting up the tables and selling raffle tickets. A special thank you to Pat for donating the drum.

Friday night Tori asked if I would like to get up to see the sunrise. “Yes,” I said, “I even have a winter coat this year.” “And socks,” said Tori. Yes I did have socks, but this is one of the reasons I love coming to these conferences, we have such history with each other.

So off to bed early to get up the next morning before dawn and go down to the beach with Tori, Sue, Nicole, and Pat. We watched a beautiful sunrise and the young ones helped the older ones get on and off the rocks at the beach’s edge.

This year’s keynote was Kayte, a wonderful woman that Karin and Pat had met last year on their trip to Crete. Kayte spoke to us about finding the feminine goddess in all of us. Looking back and with everything that has happened, I remember her telling us to honor the goddess of humor and laughter in all of us.

In the afternoon there were four workshops offered in two time slots. I ran a workshop on “Altered Books”, an art medium I myself am exploring at this time. Kayte lead another workshop. In the second time slot Tracy lead a workshop on Kindness. Sue ran a workshop on “The Phases of the Moon”. I took an independent workshop called “Nap.”

In the evening after dinner we held the raffle. Where one of those do-you-remember-when incidents happened. I pulled the raffle ticket for a very nice purse Diana won. “Do you know who donated the purse?” I asked. “No,” she said. “Marissa,” I said. “It’s okay Mom, you didn’t give it to me,” said Marissa. We go a few items, to a hairclip, and I say to Marissa, “Are you going to win this?” and we can tell by the look on her face, yes she had put tickets into the bag for an item her mother has donated, and yes, she did win it. From Springfield to Racine so they can exchange items and give the Women Connection’s coffers money.

After the raffle we had an open mic, where many women sang, read poetry, played didgeridoo, and other talents were shown off. The evening, of course, was far from over: drumming, game playing, coloring and other activities took place into late night and early morning.

Heather P. lead early risers in a Gong Mediation, as Janet on Saturday morning had lead a group in Yoga.

After breakfast we opened the circle and did our final drumming, Heather M. playing the drum she had happily won in the raffle.

I mention meal time because this is where I find I have the most interesting conversations with women I know and women that are joining us for the first time. This year I had a very interesting conversation with Karin about her childhood in Germany right after World War II. I also learned about Mena who has just moved to Wisconsin but has been involved with other UU women’s group; Starhawk once stayed at her house!

As always DeKoven provided bag lunches to get us on our way back to our various homes. Since we had nice day some of us gathered at a picnic table to enjoy our lunch before driving off.

Please join us in the Spring with our keynote Molly Remer and in the Fall when the keynote will be Kellianna.