Monday, November 19, 2012

The Napoleon Retreat Was Just In Time

Last week was a very busy one for Claire and I -- blogging, 5 "When Swing Was King" presentations, correspondence, preparations for sermon, painting the kitchen cabinets, car trouble, workouts at the gym, etc. This one is looking like it will be even more so -- blogging, taking the car in for repair, preparations for sermon and Sunday school, the gym, travel for Thanksgiving, putting the cabinet doors on, putting up Christmas lights and decorations, and 4 "When Swing Was King" presentations.

But shoved in between (mercifully!) was a wonderful 41 hours of refreshment down at the Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast in Nebraska City with the Notting Hill Napoleons, our literary club of 20 years standing. We've been going there every autumn for ten years for the discussion of November's book (always a Charles Dickens novel) and the selection of books for the coming year. Around these two key activities are delicious meals, conversations and games, prayers, and walking around downtown. This year we added a couple of hours around the fire pit which was especially nice.

In last Friday's post, I previewed the weekend retreat and also listed the book suggestions Claire and I were going to submit. Five of them made the final NHN list which was pretty good but I fear we could have a few clunkers in this year's reading since the other six which made the list (the Dickens inclusion is automatic) represent pigs in pokes; that is, they were never actually read by the persons nominating them...or anyone else in the group. But clunky books are not that big a deal. We seem to manage a pretty good discussion even with those. It's a good group.

The retreat was a very welcome respite from the whirl of activity and there were some very special moments (the fun around the fire pit, the early morning talks and prayers with Quint, and the frequent laughter) that I will treasure for a long time.