I just got back from another retreat at Delta Lake, but with a different group of gals and obviously at a different time of year. Packing for this retreat was nearly impossible because I had to be somewhere practically every day and ended up doing it in bits and pieces. All I knew for sure was that unlike last time when I failed to bring complete sets of any one project because I assumed we would go to a quilt shop, I filled my bin with enough projects to see me through and even a bag of scraps for just in case I got crazy. 

I put the big bin in the kitchen and kept adding to it … a ruler here, a pattern there — knowing it wouldn’t be complete until I dropped my iPad in at the last minute. Meanwhile I filled the mud room with everything else: sewing machine, bag of gadgets, three different tables, my suitcase, and an egg crate I had recently purchased because while I love everything else about Delta Lake, the mattresses are impossible if you are older than 12.   

Originally I was supposed to drive but I could hardly fit all my stuff into my little Nissan, let alone my girlfriend’s so at the last minute we decided we would be stuffing it all into her Equinox. I dragged everything out of the mudroom and put it in the driveway, then sat by the window in the living room playing on my iPad while I waited for her to arrive. I looked up and there she was loading my stuff. I slipped my iPad into the bin and ran out to help her. She was running late, as the plan was to get there an hour early so we could claim “our spot” in the corner, so I did my best to pack fast and lock up. 

We were making real good time and when we were about two thirds of the way there I got thinking about looking up something on my iPad, startling myself with “did I pack it?” and remembered that yes I slipped it into the bin. Then my heart stopped! 

 “Pull over!!”


“Did you pack my bin?” 

“I packed everything you had in the driveway.”

A quick inspection proved we had not packed the bin and I would be useless without it.

“We have to go back!” (In other words, “Retreat!”)

“We’ll lose our spot! Let’s just go set up and I’ll drive you back,” she pleaded.

But I was already on the phone to the hubby. “I need you to save me! Start driving, I’ll meet you in the middle.” 

And he did! — With red cape, blue suit, and curly lock on his forehead he came to my rescue. 

Of course the whole time we were heading back toward home, my friend was sweating out the claiming of our spot so I called one of the other girls (the only one I had a phone number for) and asked if she would save it for us but she said no, it wouldn’t be fair. Trying to keep things light I assured my friend that there was a reason for this and that we would sew wherever we had to. It would work out.

And it did! Our corner was totally empty. Even of tables, but no worries, we bring our own. 

It took a while for it to sink in, the emptiness of our corner. At first I thought it was pure luck, because this being a different group of gals it wasn’t likely they were respecting our spot. No, the reason is most likely because we are the farthest away from the cafeteria and, more importantly, furthest from the room with the irons. No one is allowed to have them at their tables because it might blow a fuse, so they put four of them in one smaller room. I should think that would blow a fuse faster but whatever. We consider it “getting out steps in.”

As always, Sunday came too soon and we sadly packed up and headed home to our everyday responsibilities, our fingers itching to complete all the things we had started. But this year’s homecoming was different because when I got here the hubby admitted that he hadn’t realized how much he would miss me and was glad I was home. And suddenly I was glad to be home, too. 



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