I went on retreat again this past weekend, taking four days away from the excitement that is suburbia (Did I hear there's a sale at T.J. Maxx??!!) to hide in the woods. Well, in a cabin – with amenities – in the woods. I've had just about all I can take from life. When you find yourself thinking that it's time to get away. Either that or do something that gets you in the newspaper. And I've had just about all the exposure I need, thanks.
On the way out there I couldn't find the volume on the GPS unit, so every time "she" gave me a direction "she" screamed it, I jumped out of my skin, swerved into the oncoming lane, and saw my life flash before my eyes (I got a doll for my sixth birthday, and the candles were blue).
But I do love that GPS unit! "She" repeats everything at least three times. For people with adult ADD this is a godsend:
Oh, look, a cow!
God, I have to pee!
Guess I'll turn left here.
You can choose the voice of your GPS. Did you know that? Personally, I like the British accent, but I was outvoted, probably because nobody could hear a damn thing she said for all the rest of us imitating her (why is it so fun speaking in a fake British accent?), talking over her next direction. For a while, over our last vacation, Paul had it set on THE SEDUCTRESS (and I'm not even kidding), until I began to grow suspicious of the two of them, when I heard her say, "Unbutton your shirt at the next intersection…" So now it's back to generic American woman of indeterminate heritage, though I do wish there was a hillbilly voice, just fer kicks. There'd be lotsa hootin' and a hollerin'! Woooo, whatchoo talkin' 'bout!
Red neck much?
Anyway, what did I do for four days? I read, I wrote and I watched a few movies on my laptop (Which has such sucky sound capability I had to hold it practically in my face and turn on the subtitles to understand what was going on. That was fun! Computers are warm.). I also spent time hanging off the bed, staring at berber carpeting, counting the number of loops in a square inch, then losing interest before I pretended I had the math skills to do anything with that information, and went to eat pudding (rice!).
Girl likes her puddin'.
Since my knee is crap, and I have the osteoarthritic joints of a 60-year old, I couldn't do a whole lot of hobbling around. I made it to the chapel and back (it's a nice space to write), but that's about it. Plus, the weather was rainy a couple days. At least I think it was. I didn't always get around to opening the drapes. And yes, I'm on my meds at prescribed dosages, but doctors can be so damned stingy sometimes.
I did get out of the cabin the first full day, because I forgot to bring coffee. And without coffee I'd have stabbed myself with the impressive serrated knife I found in the silverware drawer. But because I'm considerate and don't want anyone to have to hose the place down after my rampage (HEADLINE: Woman Goes Medieval On Own Ass From Lack of Caffeine), I went to the grocery store, instead. The quaint, tiny grocery store in the quaint, tiny nearby town. The grocery store in which they play the local religious radio station.
FACT CHECK: Is that even legal?
Wandering around the countryside, no known sense of direction but backed up by my beloved GPS, I happened on a quaint little cemetery. And we all know how I love dead people. For one reason, they know when to shut up. They also never argue back, don't hog the remote and don't blame loud noises and bad smells on the dogs.
Since I didn't have my real camera, because it's dead and should be buried in a quaint little cemetery all its own, I had to use the camera built into my iPhone. It takes crappy pictures, but it gets me by:
I also have no idea why that first photo's big, and the others are small. I sure is technical. But the first one's obviously the detail of an absolutely beautiful angel statue, the second says "Our Father and Mother," and the last "Elisabeth," plus a bunch of other stuff. I just liked her name and the composition, which would have been better with a real camera.
The graveyard was surrounded on three sides by cornfields (which, in the absence of civilization, act as great "rest areas")(I'm just sayin'), and I just happened to see it because it was on a hill and popped briefly into view. I was looking in the right direction at the right time. Serendipity. It was a cool little place. I highly recommend visiting.
N.B: by this point in the trip I'd somehow managed to turn off the voice of my GPS. I have no idea on earth how I did that. Luckily, I happened on the right road back to the hermitage and the route home isn't difficult at all. Plus, I had those purty pictures of the road maps and stuff, when there were no billboards to distract me.
Did I have a good retreat? Meh. I've had better. I went there depressed, aside from romping around with dead people stayed depressed (Dear Dr. Freud…), and came home to go straight to bed, hugging my Eeyore until Paul came home with Chinese food and lured me out by way of Mongolian Beef.
Eh, such is life. Bipolar depression sucks, and makes those around you nearly as miserable as you are. Which would be the only good part, since I value the importance of sharing. After all, I watched an awful lot of "Barney and Friends" when the kids were small. Some of it was bound to get absorbed.
So, I got away, got some ME time, enjoyed pudding (rice!), popcorn and Diet Pepsi (the three Ps of any healthy diet), read a couple books and saw a movie or three. And came home to Chinese food. And was able to share it all with you. And I use "and" a lot. Which is very frowned-upon by real writers. And I don't care.