Wool’s Happenin’

Caring for Cats, Rug Hooking, Cooking, & Updating Our Home

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A Report on My Weekend (Two Weeks Later)

March 20th, 2010 · 4 Comments · chatting away

Two weeks ago, I had a wonderful opportunity to spend a couple of days at one of my favorite places in the world, Waycross Retreat & Conference Center in Brown County, Indiana. 

For those of you who know me well, you’ll recall that last June, I had a bit of an epiphany during my first visit to Waycross.  See, it’s a magical and beautiful place where the food’s delicious (especially the Waycross Cookies) and all you really have to worry about is what enjoyable activity you’re going to do next.

There’s also only one teeny spot in the parking lot where there’s any cellular reception, and there are no phones in the rooms.  This is a place where you can really hear your innermost self if you take the time to listen.  For me, it is the place where I took the time and used the relative silence to start really asking myself hard questions about how I was spending my days.  My visit there last June was the start of my great reawakening and the beginning of this next chapter that I’ve started the last few months.

And the weekend before last, it was again a place that nurtured me and reminded me that my purpose in this life is to seek out the Makers in the world and also encourage people to find the Maker in themselves.  In this day and age of megastores where you can walk in and buy a package of socks, a  tomato plant, laundry detergent, and a greeting card, we’ve gotten away from making stuff ourselves.  We’ve become disconnected from the empowerment that comes from self-sufficiency and the creativity required of inventiveness.  Afterall, why make it if you can buy it quicker and cheaper, right?

The answer for me is that I feel powerful and clever and joyful when I make things with my hands– when I am a Maker.  And I feel extremely happy when I meet other Makers or those who are open to rediscovering the Maker inside.  That’s exactly what happened when I attended the first of what I hope is many crafting retreats at Waycross.

This is Natalie, and she’s an extremely bright and talented young woman.  She recently joined the Waycross staff as an intern and was offered the opportunity to work with this crazy, opinionated woman who’s a parishioner at St. Paul’s Indianapolis (me) to organize this inaugural crafting weekend.

Among other things, Natalie is now a knitter, as evidenced by the photo above.  And I know that she’s going to be a very successful knitter because she has a knack for rolling with it.  Did she panic when I called on Thursday morning before guests were arriving on Friday to tell her that our chaplain for the weekend was hit with a nasty virus?  Nope.  She worked through it.  Did she fret when she learned that the jewelry instructor was also sick and wouldn’t be attending?  Nah.  And did she pull the plug on the weekend when far fewer people registered than we’d hoped for?  No.  She said it would be even better because it would be a more intimate group.

And did the attendees put their unhappy faces on when faced with these disappointments?  No, they didn’t, which I attribute to the fact that they are all Makers.

Marilynn led our devotional time and taught the rest of us how to make a beaded bracelet. 

Jackie and Lynn taught us iris paper folding.

We swapped gardening tips.  We completed a little needle punch project. 

We talked cooking.  We helped each other through the scrapbooking class.

We wove some baskets. 

We learned that several among us were widows (one very recently), and that some of us and our loved ones are facing very serious medical concerns.  And we ate Waycross Cookies.

We all left with new friends, new skills, and many lovely memories because we are Makers who don’t shy away from adventure and meeting new people and trying new things and sharing our knowledge with others.  I appreciate very much that these ladies decided to be part of this first crafting retreat, and I hope to see them for many years to come.

It is also my sincere hope that Makers everywhere take the time to find their own Waycross and take the time to get away, meet new friends, learn new things, and recharge their creative batteries.  Oh, and eat delicious cookies, too!


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Ragged

    I am touched, moved and delighted by your description of your discovery of purpose. I am also jealous. . . what a wonderful place to be, what a wonderful atmosphere and what wonderful relationships. To be a Maker. . . I can’t think of anything better.

  • madebymegs

    I have to tell you…those cookies look divine!!

  • Kay

    What a wonderful opportunity to gather with other “Makers” in your crafty community! I would so love to attend a crafting retreat like this in my own regional area. And using a location that particularly is removed from the intrusiveness of technology…

  • Liz

    Thaks I got on to this too and I agree with you it is great to be a Maker. Liz.

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