Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Faith Chapel, brunch at The Club, etc.

Sunday morning, John took us on a tour and we saw many historic buildings on the grounds of Jekyll Island, of which he is curator. We got to see Faith Chapel.


It has beautiful stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany (one of the two signed Tiffany windows in the country, if I remember correctly) and the father/daughter team of Maitland and Helen Armstrong (who worked with L.C. Tiffany and in many ways improved upon his techniques). It's really hard to get a GOOD picture of a stained glass window like this, but I was impressed that Darrell captured this one extremely well.


These are two grotesques, or indoor gargoyles; each grotesque was represented by a different animal.

Below, this window's details are lost a little, but it was done by the Armstrongs and was the most beautiful by far, in my opinion (which is saying a lot, since all the windows were fabulous). Darrell, Anna Kate, and me in front. This was a tremendously gorgeous window - John pointed out that all of the light coming through the chapel windows is pure sunlight.

After our tour, we went to the Jekyll Island Club for brunch. It was awesome, and everybody had a great time! :) L to R: Nita, Doc Mary, Jan, Lynne L., Gail, Siri, Amy J.


Anna Kate by fountain at The Club, and a pretty view sans child

OK, I'm into stained glass. Here is a beautiful window where we had brunch.



Neely, Brenna, and Anna Kate in one of the Red Bugs.

Amy J Report

Hi all! I'm sorting out myriad pics from Wretreat and wanted to share. Here are some from the first of the week.

~ Anna Kate and me after getting to Jekyll on Sat. We were so glad to get there after 2 days of driving! ~



~ Moss Cottage. We were so lucky to have John taking us around, and he has the coolest job! ~




~ Cutting board at Moss Cottage . . . one piece of wood . . . it doesn't really look it in the pic, but it was at least a couple of feet across and waist-hugh in height. ~


~ Anna Kate and "Granny Sheila" on the tram (for those who don't know, Sheila is my Rogue great-granny); they were fast buddies on the trip! ~



~ Spanish moss on Jekyll. There's something extremely cool about it to me. Of course, I think Donette's drawings of the moss-covered trees are the best!! ~



Well, Darrell is wanting to play a golf game on the computer, so I'm being booted off for the time being. I'll post more pics in a bit!

Finalizing the Resolution


The resolution could not be finalized until Zippy approved. President Kym Gore helps Zippy with the big words.

Zippy goes to Wretreat!





































Zippy, the wonderful zebra that was a gift from Sudie, went to Wretreat too. Zippy had a wonderful time and wants to share her photo album with you.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jekyll Island or Bust Take Two

Getting our week pass for Jekyll


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Jekyll Island or Bust Take One

Here we are arriving at Jekyll for some Wren fun!


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Where Did It All Come From

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Stormy Catches a Wave

Here it is the long awaited video of Del's Stormy catching a wave!
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

My WRen Wretreat Wreport

I am back home...safely...and yet somewhat sadly. I viscerally miss my Wren friends and the times we just shared together on Jekyll. I just watched the Good Morning America piece on Jekyll and John' Hunter's most excellent narrative. What a perfect time to view it.

Each of us who were there will have a little different filter on our experience.

My first concern was...how will the second Wretreat be...how will it compare to the original...will there be a different set of dynamics at work? In other words, "can we go home again?"

The answer is definitively...Yes! It was wonderful in every way. The bonding and love were just as deep and intense.

It really is hard to describe for those not there what the experience was like. The flow of each day was relaxed. We came and went...sometimes together...sometimes alone. We read, and slept, and walked the beach looking for shells and soaking the rays, we shopped and ate incredible meals, and played games, and blogged We prayed together at sunset on the beach (The Rev. Teague led the service), played with the child Wrens, entertained each other with stories and songs and classic videos or 1957 graduation and a Copy Cats routine, we dined elegantly at the Jekyll Island club, and breakfasted in our jammies, we toodled around from house to house in wonderful little Red Bug superduper golf carts, we blogged and took pictures and hugged each other a lot, and we devoted an evening to talking about the elephant in the room (in terms of the Name Change Issue), discussing whether to write a Resolution opposing the name change now...and other strategic options for moving forward.

There was unanimous support for the Association taking a position on the name change...and a suggestion that a separate entity be created to act independently of the Association.

In addition to all the things we did collectively, we each spent a lot of time "doing our own thing." Donette, rose early and went to the beach and made some beautiful sketches. Del gave Misty and Stormy lots of beach time. One group played golf. And I, along with Daryl and Doc Mary and Jan went shark fishing.

That was my #1 agenda activity for the trip. We had a great Captain and mate, beautiful weather and success. We follow along behind a Shrimp boat dragging its nets and leaving in its wake lots of chum bait to attract the sharks and dolphins. (At any given time there were a dozen or so dolphins swimming behind the shrimp boat rolling and leaping and blowing.)

I caught four sharks...the largest a blackfin shark weighing about 70 pounds. The captain said we could boat one shark and that blackfin is great grilled like swordfish and mahi, so we all came back with a load of shark steaks. Daryl asked where we could buy fresh seafood and the captain called a friend of his on a shrimp boat and we went over and watched them pull up their nets and they sold us HUGE FRESH SHRIMP ($15 quality shrimp...heads off..for $6.50 per pound) and some whiting for Daryl.

FOOD: One of my most favorite things at Wretreat is the community meals. We have some AWESOME cooks. Highlights included: Mexican night...Del did fajitas, I did tacos, Jim Mozingo made three kinds of tamles and sauces, Amy J made scrumptious guacamole and salsa.

(I also took some pole beans out of my garden along with tomatoes and cucumbers and silver queen corn. I cooked a pot of beans and made some corn bread or Mary Libby and Bob who hankered for some less spicy food.)

One night DEl made her magic gumbo. It is truly THE BEST gumbo I have ever had anywhere in my life. One morning I at it for breakfast. That night I made bread pudding with Bourbon sauce for dessert.

As accumulated so much food that we had left overs a couple of times and I made a fruit cobbler (blue berries, strawberries, and peaches) for dessert then.

Lydia's friend Buzz Goggins made Thai/Vietnamese rolls for appetizers one night that were out of this world good. Thin rice wrappers filled with shrimp and chicken and pork and vermicelli and herbs and sauces.)

Thanks to Del's traveling bar, we were well supplied with drinks. Her Fuzzy Navels were perfect, and I brought makings for mojitos and made them for all who wanted them. There was always plenty to drink, but most imbibed in moderation.

Most of us there were return Wretreaters, but there were lots of newbies too. For one thing there were more husbands and children this year, enhancing the family feel of our get- togethers.

One of the things that most impressed me was just how wonderful the Wren husbands are. John Hunter, Jim Mozingo, Mr. Bob, Terry Goggins, Daryl Davis were with us not just physically, but emotionally and in spirit as well. They get it and they support their wives and the Wrens...which reminds me that the same can be said for the other Wren husbands I have come to know...J.W, and Chance and Lilian's Bob. I have to note specially that I just loved Amy J.'s Daryll from the gitgo. He and I are fishing buddies of the first order.

We've said it over and over and over in many ways...that what we have is extraordinary and very hard, if not impossible to explain to others. It manifests itself daily here on the list...and it really comes alive when we are all together.

There is nothing better than getting together and remembering where we were while at the same time creating great memories for tomorrow.

Wren love to all,

Jiminy

Settled back in at home...

So I have just now read Del's comments about rolling me out of bed to go beachcombing. Ha! I am a champion sleeper, aren't I? Even took a nap on the couch this afternoon.

I will post the Zippy Chronicles soon. Some of you know that Sudie Lockridge sent me a precious stuffed zebra last year and he traveled with me to Jekyll. Zippy had a great time and go to do all sorts of things. Carla has seen the Zippy pictures and has serious doubts about my sanity.

It's hard to imagine Wretreat anywhere but Jekyll. I know that Neely needs a break (Del is constitutionally unable to take a break) so we'll have to pick on someone else next year.

Some of y'all post some more pictures!

Sketchbook, continued



As a very new blogger, I am learning what works and doesn't work. Apparently, only a few pictures can be added to each post. So here are the rest of the sketches.

Wretreat Sketchbook






Some of you asked that I post pictures of the sketches that I made during Wretreat. These are intended to capture just an impression of some of the things I saw, but they help me remember the feelings that these scenes invoked.


Thanks to all of you who wanted to view my sketches and were so affirming with your comments. That is wonderful motivation for continuing to make these little books.


Donette

Beachcombing at its best!

First I apologize for adding these updates after we got back but I honestly had little time to do this before now.

I finally managed to convince a couple people to join me early in the morning for a little beach combing. It took a little extra effort to roil Swear out of bed but Sheila was up and ready by 6:15. Once we got Swear up and she had changed out of her zebra pants and gathered Zippy the three of us and Misty and Stormy headed for the beach. I adore the beach early in the morning. Sheila and Swear were a bit skeptical but were troopers and willing to go along. But once we were there and they found their first "treasure" the hunt was on and they were sold. We had the best time and spent 2 hours strolling, chatting, and finding treasures. We found many sand dollars and lots of shells. It was a great time and both Sheila and Swear wished they had done it sooner. After that we all got cleaned up a bit and grazed on some leftovers. Later that day the three of us joined up again and went tooling around the entire island on the Red Bug. We stopped to do a little more shopping before heading back to the house.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Want My Picture On The Cover Of A Fashion Magazine

What can I say? The pictures tell the story.










Home and Sick

As Nita will tell you, as she drove me home, the closer we got, the quieter I got. By the time she left me at my doorstep 10 hours later, I had a full-blown case of larynghitis! This morning, I am speechless...

So here I am, trying to get ready for my sister's 50th wedding anniversary and I cannot make a sound.

Oh, well, it was all worth it.

The special feeling from Wretreat 07 -- where we were all instantly family, still existed, even with the larger numbers of wretreaters. I must be on my way back on the road to Salisbury MD.

Love you all!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mack's minute

We're having lots of fun! It's interesting to be among so many beachy women. ;-) The guys are going great guns, too.

I have done pretty much what I wanted to this year, which is next to nothing. Lots of talking and eating and drinking and talking and eating and drinking, and repeating.

I did go to Savannah Wednesday with Carolyn Mann, and we took a trolley tour. It was FABULOUS! I want to get Mama out to go back with me tomorrow before we have to leave ... it might be a long time before we can get out this way again, so I want her to have the experience!

I need another week here before I leave! Damn job. :-P

Somebody will write more later ... may or may not be me :-P

More Pitchers, As They Say In Mississippi

I am being bombed with emails asking for postings of more pictures. Here you go, ladies!!!











My Calendar Birthday is Today

July 24 is the day I was born, but Tuesday July 22 was the best birthday party I have ever had! In the midst of all the revelry--graduation videos from 1957, washboard band songs, Copy Cat films, Jimmie's book excerpts, Lynn's "Pinderella" recitation--I was oblivious to the fact that everyone in the room was conspiring to catch me by surprise. And they did!!!

Holding a big cellophane wrapped basket (thinking it was part of Neely's presentation), I listened with interest as she read a darling poem about Malinda being unable to come to Wretreat. And then I heard my name and saw them all looking at me. The light finally dawned and I tore into the basket to find photo albums, colored papers, stickers, tape--everything I will need to make two Creative Memories scrapbooks. I am so excited, but most of all, I feel so much love from so many special people.

This morning as I walked alone on the beach and reflected on the week, I was impressed once more with how lucky I am to be a part of this incredible network that began for me 55 years ago at a small town in the Golden Triangle of Mississippi. Without understanding the implications of my decision to attend MSCW, I began to "travel the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference."

Love y'all --- Donette

Looking like another jammie day

Hello all --- we're up and going at Sand Dollar, sort of. Nita and Jill left earlier to drive back to Virginia so it's a bit emptier here. Sheila and I are still in our jammies although she at least is working on becoming presentable to the outside world.

Had the best gumbo last night, thanks to our Del. Del, incidentally, is the hardest working woman in Wren business. Never have I seen someone chop and stir and mix and cook so much. One thing about Wretreat -- the food is fabulous. Remember the freshman 15? There is at least the Wretreat 5!

Your PR committee is doing a bit of work while we're here. I think that justifies all the fun we're having.

One really fun thing has been looking at the various yearbooks; the oldest is from 1955. Nita also brought some of the recruiting materials from her student days -- they would make you want to enroll all over again. Also, Doc Mary brought a huge book of Spectators from her years and they are fascinating. All of these make you realize and appreciate the treasure we have and must preserve.

Love to all -- Swear

The Family That STAYS Together

Food fuels the body but talk, chit-chat, pontification, and even soliloquy feed the soul, heart or mind, if you prefer the latter term for your spirit. These are photos taken during dinner meetings of the group as we eat, drink, converse and make merry.

I'll start with me and Brenna, Neely and John Hunter's beautifully active oldest; then Anna Kate, that wild 'n crazy one of Amy J and my other brother Darrell; and Jess, the mini-man and number one son of Neely and John.