Several months ago I was contacted by the Area VII Extension Homemakers Retreat Committee to see if I would be their opening-morning speaker as well as sit in on a break-out afternoon session, a review of my first novel, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast.
The retreat was earlier this week at Lake Placid retreat center near Hartford City. It took less than an hour to make my way to the grounds, complete with pretty scenery like this.
I found a table set up in the main auditorium for me to decorate and stock with books. On a whim, I grabbed the two teapots I had at home that were filled with flowers I bought at a local roadside stand. The flowers had already seen in two occasions by then: Sam's birthday dinner a week ago, and my church life-group's meeting Sunday night.
In some ways, the retreat was like old-home week. I hadn't been there long when here came two from my home county of Union: Sally Redinger and Marla Neukum. Sally is married to Art, who was my 4-H Extension director 41 years ago! Marla is a retired Union County Elementary School teacher.
Several Henry County Extension Homemakers were there, too, including state officer Teresa Bell who was the one who suggested my name for the program! Thank you, Teresa. Among other counties represented were my home county of Madison.
The retreat theme was RELIVE YOUR TEENS. During an entertaining video featuring people, music, trends and fashions from several decades, some "models" put on a style show of fashions from eras past.
It was fun to give the speech, written for this occasion, called BACK TO THE FUTURE: IT'S NEVER TOO LATE, then enjoy visiting over lunch with several women. I was delighted to meet and chat with Rush County Extension Director Gracie Marlatt. Then it was time for the book review break-out session where 13 gathered to discuss Sweetland. It's always interesting to hear questions and observations readers have.
I'm grateful for every opportunity as the journey continues.