Monday, March 7, 2011


THIS is Cousin Gertie! She was just one of many delightful characters that attended a women's retreat at Camp Paron, AR this past weekend. I believe Gertie lives in Hot Springs Village, AR but she may have been just  visiting from parts unknown.  Yes, I did get her permission to post this picture.

Gertie delighted the audience with stories of life with Carmichael, her husband, and words of wisdom that come  from astute discernment and observations.  I'd like to share a few stories here but as they say,  "what happens at Paron, STAYS at Paron."  I'll just sum it up by saying, she has the therapeutic value of Dr. Phil!  I doubt she realizes the future she could have in, say, ...Hollywood!

Gertie and her pals, Trixie and Dixie, Grace, Rosa and Dr. Essie Belle filled the meetings with laughter and realism.  (Church women take themselves waaaaayyy too seriously most of the time.)

There were plenty of serious moments, for sure, but as Julie Andrews has sung,  "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."

I had the best time, ever.  Those women know how to put it together.  Their organizational skills, creativity, joy, and friendliness were  contagious.  I was there to "inspire" them!  What a joke!  Watching them work and interact together was the inspiration.

Most everyone in the group was over 50,  a few young daughters were fortunate enough to have been invited by their mothers! 

I came home wondering how I could help connect the love, WISDOM, patience, joy, WISDOM, tolerance, experience,  & WISDOM these retired professional women possess with the "youngsters" of our world that are struggling to find their way.

Maybe a high school right smack dab in the middle of a retirement community, a kindergarten in a nursing home, or a middle school within a Veterans Home would force generations together.  It would be a win-win for the kids, for sure! Honeybuns thinks a technical school to teach young boys could be staffed by retired men, volunteering 3 mornings a week would work.  (I see him donating time training future airplane mechanics one day.)  He's confidant that older, experienced, educated folks NEED to be needed, and that need is greater than the call of the golf course or bridge table.  Being useful and appreciated cannot compete with a game score.

Perhaps there are programs like that already up and running!  If so, they don't get much press.

I DO know that Cousin Gertie, and her buddies, have a lot to offer.   I am thankful I was on the receiving end for a couple of days!


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