Hello WriNoShores, I thought I’d use this opportunity to fill you in last weekend’s writer’s retreat/summer camp experience.
I hope no one is feeling left out. We didn’t make a big announcement about it. It was a rather spur-of-the-moment consensus among the PICR regulars to have a meeting at Sara’s which ended up being a three-day, two-night party rather than a meeting.
As most of you know Sara has been staying in Maine at her mom’s cabin coming down to my house twice a month for our PICR meetings. She extended an invite to the regulars of PICR to come up to Maine, which we all kept talking about but never made plans for. For some reason, at the last PICR meeting the plans all of sudden gelled. The WriNoShore’s Summer Camp 2014 was a go (WriNoShore’s Writer’s Retreat? Darn-it, it’s a thing now, we have to name it).
I don’t think we deliberately kept it on the down-low, but this being our first foray into the wooded environs of Sara’s habitat, I think it was instinct to keep it a small gathering. We had no idea how it would work with everyone there, nor what we would be doing. This was truly a by-the-seat-of-our pants operation.
Sara’s accommodation is a real Maine cabin, with a real outhouse and real outdoor shower. I admit to feeling a slight bit of trepidation. I’m typically an all amenities kinda gal. When we stayed in Acadia this summer–one of the most beautiful natural settings in the world– I opted for a luxury rental with gourmet kitchen so I could cook while everyone else communed with nature. Camping is slightly out of my comfort zone but fear not, it was terrific. I only freaked-out once when a bug was crawling on me.
Being the elder has its advantages, and I was afford the couch in the cabin with Sara, while Sarah, Julia, and Rae, bunked in the (60’s era?) Starcraft trailer that’s part of the property, and Jamie tented it.
I’m sorry to say, you guys missed a great time. The cabin is out of the world charming with an accumulation of rustic knick-knacks and Sara’s own treasures. The outhouse is large for such, and not the least bit inconvenient for a rustic convenience (glad the snake didn’t make an appearance until after we left). We all adored the outdoor shower–who doesn’t like being naked in the woods under a hot shower?
A screened picnic table kept us bug free for the most part-until we busted it-even then it worked pretty well. If Sara invites us back it looks like the dates will be August 28, 29, and 30th for WrinoShore’s Summer Camp 2015 (I think summer camp sounds more fun, there’s no pressure to write).
As for how we spent our time. Friday: Jamie and I arrived first and picked an abundance of blackberries from which I made blackberry syrup for cocktails for Saturday night. We hit the grocery store for supplies. Sara headed out to pick-up Sarah, while Jamie and I prepared dinner of hamburgers, a carrot/cranberry/walnut salad, and a cucumber/mint salad.
Julia and Rae got a little lost following their GPS but survived their dirt road detour and arrived shortly thereafter. We ate. We drank (reminder-to-self: do not say “surprise me” to Julia and Jamie when they are taking cocktail orders) and congregated in the kitchen chatting all night.
Saturday: Slowly arising, breakfast was a serve yourself affair. We had some quiet time of reading and writing and then a field trip to Hussey’s General Store, a treasure trove of all manner of items (its sign reads “Guns, Bridal Gowns, and Cold Beer, how could you not love the place) biggest surprise was an intriguing book corner with some fabulous old tomes. An afternoon siesta followed, then Mexican fiesta dinner, and cocktails. Then shit got real.
Bonfire and singing commenced. We rocked the woods with some pretty eclectic selections and voices. Plus giant sparklers! The festivities went indoors and well into morning before we finally sang our last tune and turned in (reminder: Sara turn off phone so “someone” doesn’t text you asking about the next day’s schedule just as you’re falling asleep).
Brunch got off to a slow and late start but eventual was served, eaten and we were on our way to the Windsor Fair. A few hours of hot strolling, fried food-stuff, and animal scritching and we were back to Sara’s packing it up and bidding her a fair-thee-well.
With the exception of terrorizing Jamie with my awesome driving skills, I think it went extremely well and can’t wait to do it again next year.