Friday, October 9, 2015

Vashonista Celebration

Lavender Hill Farm


This is the fourth year that I have traveled to Vashon Island in October to spend a weekend with five intelligent, wise, and amusing women.  We first met through our blogs and then, with amazing trust and faith, we met in person at Lavender Hill Farm.  Six strangers brought together by the Internet and their love of writing.  Now we meet every year for several days of fun and laughter.   This year we were able to stay for five nights because finally all six of us are retired.  We are now old friends.  We call ourselves the Vashonistas.

Five nights and six days spent exploring the island, talking, laughing, and writing.  This year we decided we wanted to write together and Deb gracefully agreed to facilitate a writing circle.  


In our writing circle

On our last day of writing Deb read us the poem, "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver and gave us the last two lines as a writing prompt:

     Tell me, what is it you plan to do
     with your one wild and precious life?

This is what I wrote:

What do I plan to do with my one precious life?

F*@k if I know!

My friend Jocelyn lost her husband two weeks ago.  In April, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He retired July 1.  In August he was gone...the Universe reminding me that there isn't always a tomorrow.  The week after his memorial service the spouse and I went to the RV show in Portland, not to buy, but to look.  We came home with a new Airstream trailer.  Later this month we're headed to the Utah National Parks and to the Grand Canyon.  I'm not waiting for tomorrow.  The time to do what I want is now:  to spend more time with my grandchildren, to listen to my 88-year-old father's stories, to watch the sun set on the ocean.  There's no time for disagreeable people, no time to waste.  Life is good, and I want to bask in the light.

Read what my fellow Vashonistas wrote about this prompt on their blogs:
Deb
Linda
Sally
Sandi
DJan

22 comments:

  1. F*@k if I know!, either.
    But I don't intend to sit around and mope.
    My only issue is that I feel like I need a partner in crime [sic], IYKWIM

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    Replies
    1. Oh Skip, it's been a tough year for you! I'm glad you're not sitting around. Get out there and live!

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  2. Those used to be my plans, exactly!

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    Replies
    1. It's taken me a few years to figure out retirement!

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  3. You have some interesting friends! So glad you posted this pretty much as it was originally. I especially love the last two sentences - a manifesto. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Didn't we agree not to revise? Actually, the only thing I changed was not using the "F" word outright.

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  4. It's wonderful to be able to read these words, after having heard you read them out loud to all of us. You are a very special person, and I'm so glad I get to be a Vashonista along with you. :-)

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  5. I've just read all six of the Vashonista posts, since i read two of you regularly. But it was that second last sentence in yours that struck me. After our oldest son was killed four months ago, that's exactly how i feel - 'no more time for disagreeable people and no time to waste'!

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  6. Well done, out of all the Vashonista Posts yours was the one that made me smile and think:)

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  7. I love your voice in the written and the spoken word.

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    Replies
    1. You especially heard *&^%$, didn't you?

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  8. When life happens, we are forced into changes. It is never easy and often excruciating. We do, though, have choices and one of them is to live our moments as best as we can. You ladies, seem to have done that.

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    Replies
    1. So true! Every day is a gift and I chose to be grateful.

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  9. I have now read all six of the Vashonista's responses to this prompt. They leave me wondering what i would have written. You, of all six, seem to fulfill that "wild"ness of life and seem to have come to a new awareness of the preciousness of it, and perhaps a new sense of freedom! I love your exuberance.

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    Replies
    1. What a nice thing to say! I must admit that I am quite content with life at this point, and very grateful .

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  10. I envy you your confab on Vashon Island -- I've read the essays and find them all both affecting and insightful. And ... I'm so sorry to hear abt. your friend Jocelyn. Yes, our Universe is a scary place, so we need to hold onto to one another.

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  11. A wakeup call is often what we need - unfortunately, it is often sad. I agree - no more negative people - look for the wonder!

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  12. Your attitude resonates with me. My hubby and I don't have Big Things on our bucket list. We have small things like putting a back porch on the house because we'll enjoy it. And we seem to have recently developed a sense that there's no time to waste. Interesting that each of the Vashonistas seems to be in a different, distinct place regarding the future. I wonder how that will play out in your writing and thinking this year. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. I love your reply! As to the Airstream, gotta love that, too. I admire that decision and look forward to reading about that adventure.

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