Monday, June 7, 2010

A Privileged Life

Many of my “Sisters” have attended the Casting for Recovery retreat at the world renowned Gaston’s White River Resort in Lakeview, Arkansas. Their enthusiasm for the trip has not waned. At our last support meeting one sister revealed that she had just received a call but had to decline. I was “encouraged” to call back in her place. Actually they picked up the phoned, dialed the number and said, “TALK." I will forever be grateful.

Only fourteen are selected by lottery for this annual event. For the last two years I had been placed on the alternate list. You know; just like Miss America. If a person is unable to attend, you may be selected to take their place. Happily I received a call three days prior to the event.

At our first group gathering we were asked to introduce and describe ourselves with one word beginning with the first letter of our name. This simple exercise allowed the walls to fall creating life long friendships.

Our fortunate fourteen were, Happy Heidi, Merry Marilyn, Karing Kermie, Looney Linda, Guilty but Grateful Gloria, Sensational Sandy, Just Plain Jane, Just as I AM Janice, Joyful Jackie, Grateful Gwen, Willing Wilma, Be Bonnie, Menopausal Mary, and my personal favorite, Living Laura!

Sister Maurice a nun of 65 years attends every event but chooses to remain in seclusion and intercede for everyone around the clock. She says she is God’s girl and just nags Him until He gives her what she wants! Other than her friend Sister Carol Anne, few have ever seen her. This is only one example of the love poured over us for three days.

Most of us had never been cold water fishing before. Upon arrival we were fitted with full gear; waders, vest, boots, fishing tackle, and most importantly, lipstick! I mean really, we are Southern ladies after all! Our Retreat Leader, Emily Whitlock says the fish like it and can be helpful getting fisherman to lend a hand with bait! Just one reason we love this special lady!

Along with emotional, physical and spiritual workshops we were given instruction in casting, knot tying, lure making and what fish like to eat. Sister Carol Anne Corley played an Oscar winning role as Emily’s baited fish. There were mounds of food mostly made by loving hands of the hostesses.

At one point our group was split for different events.  As seven women began to exit the lodge, one screamed, "SNAKE!" Comically it was like a freeway pile up as the door was slammed shut and women came to an abrupt halt.  It was a harmless black snake and with Sister Maurice's prayer, hopefully survived this traumatic event.

As the BIG day on Sunday approached I was a bit apprehensive. As predicted, the previous two days were just a preview. We each had our personal professional guides. The dam was shut down just for us. The water was clear and cold; the sky a perfect blue, the temperature was in the 80s with a mild breeze. I would say it was a very good indication that Sister Maurice is indeed, God’s girl!

The fishing guides, some local, others world renowned were so patient and just down right fun! I even reeled in several rainbow trout by myself. Beginners luck no doubt. As this was a catch and release sport, my personal guide, Clint, a Memphis transplant as myself, did this for me! I just commented on how cute they were. In spite of the lipstick, perfume and earrings, don’t you know they have to volunteer for these events out of love!

The three hours of fly fishing flew by. Our guides accompanied us to brunch at the restaurant. Even after putting up with novice fisherwomen for three hours, they continued to shower us with gifts.

This is just a very brief account of my personal experience. Professional photos are to be sent to us at a later date.  No doubt the guides will want to edit them! Participants have written books and produced song albums about theirs. It is just too awesome for words. I would say it is a preview of what heaven must be like.
There was much hugging, laughter, squeals and tears. As Laura so simply stated, life is a privilege!

Laura and I practicing casting ....uhh.... wrapping ourselves with fishing line.....

 “Cast your bread upon the water, and you will find it.” 
                Eccl. 11:1


doris nelson said...

AWESOME, glad you got the priviledge of going and enjoying. when is your next fishing trip?
waders are just your style!!ha
love ya sis

Anonymous said...

Looking good, little red neck lady. Love ya, B.I.L.

Anonymous said...

too cool! looks like loads of fun! and a beautiful setting! seth earl went there years ago with the guys...glad you got to go!