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,