Such a surprise!

Sandwich Retreat

If we ever thought that unfinished women only came from the United States we have recently proved otherwise. Attending our retreat at the Omega Institute recently were women from Bermuda, Sweden, Israel, as well as several from Canada.

The same surprise occurred at our day long workshop here on the Cape in Sandwich. We were expecting only “locals” when to our surprise in walked women from Colorado, Ithaca, NY, Washington DC and Ohio!

Lunch at the Sandwich Workshop

Omega Retreat

Walking the Labyrinth at Omega

Weaving at Omega

Quiet Meditation Time on the Sandwich Beach

10 thoughts on “Such a surprise!

  1. Joan, I just came from your other site where you wrote about the over achievers among your circle of friends when you had gotten together at your neighbor’s house.

    I awoke this morning to the sound of birds chirping in the woods of a retreat center northwest of Tulsa, OK. I immediately got out of bed quietly so not to wake my still sleeping husband. I wanted to add my Monday, July 3, 1961 entry to my blog, currently called A Summer of 1961 Diary. I did so.

    We were wedding guests at that wonderful retreat center, Post Oak Lodge, located on 1,200 acres of woods ( The bride, Jennifer, now 30, is the daughter of a minister we have known since she and her brother were preschool age friends of my husband’s and my two daughters in Kansas City, MO. Her brother, now grown, is a minister himself and did a “You nailed it, Brian!” job performing his sister’s wedding ceremony (only his second wedding – the first being a back yard double wedding for a mother’s second marriage and the daughter’s first marriage) in his chosen city, Mobile, AL.

    But last night the mother of the bride, my friend Bonnie, came a little unglued….just a little and rightfully so as we stood in line at the appetizers buffet. I would have also if I 1) had a daughter who had chosen the lodge for the wedding dinner and dancing for family and close friends (after a cake and punch reception for all the wedding guests at the church) on “a little hard to find the place” country road, 2)
    had houseguests from California (her mother and sister) and also from her new son-in-law’s side of the family from Iowa, 3) had helped create the very striking, composed Jennnifer, and 4) also hosted Brian, his wife and their two small daughters, the two-year-old being one of the four little flower girls and the other a six-month-old infant. Oh yes, another dynamic of the wedding: the aforementioned father minister has a twin brother from Chicago who looks just like him.

    All I overheard Bonnie say to another member of her family was: “I’ll swear my kids couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag!” and then mentioned brieflly something about not being able to …. while in a car.

    And just so You know, Joan, this morning as my husband kept saying, “Are you ready to go yet?” four times before I could get him to get my hint: “Why don’t you either take what you can to the car or go check us out or both?” three times – when I finally got him on his way – I calmed myself down by finding a new to get the annoying sound of the bathroom light’s buzzing sound out of my head – I pretended it was the roar of the Atlantic Ocean. Bill and I both love the Atlantic, and we have seen it in a number of places.

  2. Dear Joan, hoping to make it to one of your workshops someday, or perhaps see you at Colby-Sawyer.

    Love all of your books and wanted to let you know that my book, Beach Chair Diaries won an honorable mention at the Beach Book Festival in LA/NY.

    Happy Summer,

    Janet Spurr

  3. I just read your newsletter/blog about always being responsible for creating the “magic” at family gatherings. We live on a lake and entertain a lot. The last get-together was very different because I make a conscious effort to do absolutely nothing except visit with each grandchild and sit eye-to-eye with each and actually talk with them…instead of running around getting dinner and cleaning up. It was actually fun to watch as people who brought the hot dogs asked “do we have any buns”? And when it was time to eat, I heard “oh, I guess we need to get mustard and ketchup on the table”. I even watched as only one person from the entire group cleaned up the kitchen after the meal (a woman, of course). I even watched my husband work for 2 hours after they left to clean the boat from the fishing trip and pick up all the toys from the yard. Something was very wrong with this picture!

    Later that night, my husband and I had a long talk and agreed that things will be different from now on. And it will start with both of us explaining “expectations” and letting everyone in the family share the fun, as well as the responsibility of lake living and social summer entertaining.

    After speaking with my adult son about this. I was pleasantly surprised a few days later after dinner at our house. He announced that he would take his 2 young sons swimming after they all helped clear the table and clean the kitchen!

    It really has to start with us – asking for what we want and deserve… instead of feeling taken advantage of, tired and resentful because of how we are treated. We train people how to treat us. Let the training begin!

    Thanks, Joan – from all the OA’s out here.
    Rita Long

    • rita,
      i know you not but i can truly relate to your lakeside scenerios! I watched my mother perform her magic for years so that everyone , i mean everyone, in attendance had a lovely time at the lakeshore. Now, seven years after her passing to her much needed rest, i find myself in the spot of “taking her place”. i do this usually willing ly as i too love to see people have fun, children to gain confidence in their lives, adults to have a little break, etc. etc. BUT …..often i begin to whither and still press on to be the accomidating hostess. I am learning that if you let it happen ,sometimes people actully seem to enjoy the “new ” to them responsibilities as i pass the torch on to them. it is as if they can “own” the activity as their own and it seems to become more meaningful and an appreciation sets in. Your words were most inspiring to me and i think i shall “pass the torch” more often and truly enjoy the time with my family instead of becoming more inslaved with the organizing of every part of our gatherings. thanks, ruth……see you at the lake!

  4. Joan, the pictures from the Omega Institute are fabulous! I enjoy reading your blog and the newsletter. I just found you on Facebook! Whoo hoo! Living in Arizona in the summer has it’s special challenges, and I enjoy reading about life by the seashore. Maybe it’s time for me to reread The Second Journey! And I love the mugs! I can think of several “unfinished” women who would love to have one. Thank you for your wonderful work!

  5. Joan,
    Just read your latest on being and “OA”, aren’t we all as Mothers, etc?
    I find it so hard to to know how much is too much, or too little.
    I have always been a planner, and love the little details that make life special,but,
    also, it does create so much stress if “things” go askew!

    I am sooooo much better now than I was in my 40’s, but sure can appreciate what you are saying.
    Nature is our “Saving Grace” isn’t it.

  6. Joan
    Arriving from Korea to the Monhegan retreat was such a satisfying soulful experience after a stressful year of teaching abroad. Your honesty and your humor and the way it was organized provided such a wonderful experience for those who traveled far and wide to be in the spirit of the “unfinished woman” on an island in Maine. From the journey on the ferry to the experiences on the island and the relationships we made, I cannot say enough. Thank you.

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