Tuesday, June 03, 2008

One of the Girls

I have intended to have fun posting about my recent trip to Pensacola. The counselors at Pre-Trial Diversion have at least one retreat per year for bonding and personal growth among the good folks that spend so much time helping others. This was the first retreat I have been able to attend and I have really looked forward to it. I was not disappointed. What an amazing group of individuals and what a blessing it is to be allowed a part in what is being accomplished! Thanks to Dr. Guest for planning and executing the trip (and to her daughter in P'cola for delivering the seafood smorgasbord Saturday night). Thanks to Libby, who although she could not attend sent her husband's rolls and world class cheesecake--lots of cheesecake.

What most people found interesting about the trip was that 14 of us attended and I was the only male. I slept on a fold out sofa in the living area which meant I was awake as late as the latest and as early as the earliest. As you might guess, there was not much sleep--5 hours Friday night and 3 Saturday night. That is fine, though. I would have stayed up and talked as long as any of the others wanted to anyway. That was the great part of the trip for me--the great conversation. Everybody there is at least masters level and three have doctorates. The organized education is only a base level for each of these ladies, however. Every person there has become highly involved in the lives of others at a level most people never experience. So the hope and excitement for making life better is pervasive among the group and fun to be part of.

Here is a picture of some of the ladies;

Just kidding. Here is a real picture--we ate well. This is at breakfast with oatmeal, lots of fresh fruit, and strong coffee.

There were lots of shells gathered.

Jeanell was the professional photographer. She worked hard to take lots of pics and made us all a DVD. Her photos are available on iPhoto.com and congratulations to her on her recent Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy.

I noticed these two insects uhh, doing what comes naturally in front of Phoebe's book "Passionate Marriage". I wondered if they had been reading parts of it.

I have lots more great pictures, but blogger is taking waaaay too long to upload and I have spent too much time on this already. Here is what I really took away from the weekend; 1) It is a small world and we impact each other more than we realize, 2) The most important ingredient in baking a meaningful relationship is time, 3) Communication is a challenging and the most difficult aspect is the most overlooked and under-developed--listening. Thank you ladies for allowing an old guy to tag along and show off a bit. Thanks for late-night and early-morning conversations--I learned a lot. Thank you Phoebe for sterling conversation as we drove down and back. You are a hero in my eyes. Thank you LaWanna for allowing me to go off with a bunch of females. Thank you Graham for entrusting me with 6 hours of unbroken conversation with your wife. The worship service with your brother was an adventure as well.

1 comment:

Lerra said...

Are those love bugs on the table? Those things drive me crazy with their perverse behavior. :-)