Monday, September 3, 2012

Ahoy! What to Expect...

Thar she blows! Monhegan Island!
To those of you returning for another retreat, WELCOME BACK! To those of you joining us for the first time WE COULDN'T BE MORE DELIGHTED TO HAVE YOU! Welcome aboard. What you see above is the view from the little ferry that takes us from Port Clyde over to Monhegan Island, where you will, upon disembarking, immediately shed all worry about all things.

Okay, okay, that's a pretty big promise. But let me try to explain. I, Spike, your in-house blogger, strive every day to live in the moment. Now of course this is the impossible dream, but I do try. Living in the moment involves trying to spot expectations and high hopes when they arise, and then reminding yourself that when you have high hopes this can lead to disappointment. But there's a big exception to that rule and it's called Knitting and Yoga Adventures. This will be my fourth trip with the group and I'm telling you, no matter how lofty my expectations become, they are always met and then some.

Chilly morning in front of Monhegan House
I don't want to do too much of a spoiler post here-- I want you to discover for yourself what it feels like to step onto the island for the first time, to meet Holden, to immerse yourself in the stunning energy of the island. That said, there's a bit of practical info I can offer to allay any concern you might have, not having been with us before.

The first and most important rule is YOU DON'T HAVE TO MAKE YOUR BED. Or clean your room or any of that. Nor are you obligated to show up at any particular class, walk, meal or event. Oh sure, I predict you'll WANT to. But you don't HAVE to. I have been to lots of retreats, I spend a fair amount of time at Lake Austin Spa as a teacher, and I find myself in these situations sometimes tempted to metaphorically pile my platter high, indulge in all that's offered, to "maximize" my experience.

But on Monhegan Island, if you want to just plunk down on the porch and knit all day-- SO BE IT! Or if you want to take a challenging, all-day walk around the outer paths and if this means you'll miss a yoga class-- that's cool. You can stretch when you get back.

Hostess with the Mostess at the Black Duck Emporium

Our biggest goal as a team is to provide you with a joyful, restful, hilarious, week. I myself like to go in for the walks, the massage, a little yoga, and (I admit) too many whoopie pies.

I will remind you to very carefully go over the packing list Lisa sent you. We've had past retreats that were cold and wet and others that were hot and sunny.  Layers are always a great idea, and I shall role model for you as I bring with me 5,000 layers of hand-knitted garments I cannot actually wear here in Texas except maybe one day per year. The bedding at Monhegan House is splendid-- top of the line mattresses, sheets, comforters and pillows. A spare pair of shoes is always good (and some people-- I won't name names-- might suggest a whole spare suitcase full of shoes).

Go ahead, make fun of my headlamp. You know you want one.

Don't worry about bringing anything fancy to wear. Do consider getting a headlamp -- the first year I brought one everyone made fun of me and the year after that everyone had one. Yes, they help getting around the island at dusk but much more importantly you can see your little stitches great when we sit around knitting in the evening in the parlor.

You can get plenty of snacks and great hot beverages on the island-- I recommend the hot chocolate at the Black Duck and the chocolate chip cayenne scones at the little shop down by the dock.

One last bit of advice-- yes, you can get an internet connection in your room. And cellphones work intermittently (plus there's a landline in the Monhegan House you can use with a phone card). But as much as you can try to set that stuff down and just come and BE with us, well that's going to make your trip the very best it can be, I promise.

See y'all in less than two weeks!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Spike,
    Is there a link to the packing list and knitting supplies list?
    Thanks, Alison