Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Luxury at Its Finest

This past weekend, the Inklings gathered for what is one of the highlights of my year—our annual writing/eating/critiquing/eating/sharing/eating retreat. Our luxurious accommodations were provided by Martha Bryant and Lisa Marotta. Luxurious is not used here in the usual sense of the word, as there were no king-sized beds with pillow-top mattresses, no mini-bar stocked with tiny bottles of libations, no WiFi, no room service or trendy restaurant in the lobby. Neither was there a spa featuring herbal mud baths or Swedish massages. But who needs that kind of luxury? Phfft! You can find those amenities at any ol’ five-star resort.

Our luxury was of another—much better—sort. Martha’s “Trabin” and Lisa’s “Relaxi Taxi” are comfortably furnished mobile homes perched on a bluff high above Lake Tenkiller. While the beds aren’t draped in 800-thread-count sheets, there are plenty of them, and they’re quite comfy. And when you fall asleep with the sound of rain pattering on a metal roof, it’s like being lulled to sleep by a lullaby. There are no towel warmers in the bathrooms, but there are “en suite” bathroom facilities, and as a veteran of lake retreats in years past, I can attest that detail is indeed a luxury. We had two fridges stocked with wine, beer, colas, bottled water—anything we needed to slake our thirsts as we “toiled and sweat” over our writing assignments. If for some reason, we wanted contact with the outside world, we had our iPhones. We had Roy Bryant’s incomparable corned beef brisket and homemade salsa, and if we were still hungry after polishing that off, we could go a mile up the road for fried catfish and blackberry cobbler at The Dairy Princess. There was no exercise room to counteract all those calories, but we did have our very own personal trainer (in the person of Lisa) to lead us on invigorating hikes. To all of this indulgence, add breathtaking, one-of-a-kind views of Lake Tenkiller. We could sit on the decks during the day and watch the hummingbirds flutter around the feeders or observe the geese families paddling in the shallows of the lake. In the evening, we watched the sun set and the moon come up and shimmer across the water.
But as luxurious as all this was, the accommodations weren't the best part of the weekend. For me, the best part was spending time with five (should've been six, but sadly Shel couldn't join us) beautiful, smart, talented, and gracious women. Oh, and I have to add funny. They are definitely funny. They are women with whom I can trade ideas, share concerns, describe dreams, laugh at mistakes. Women who teach me everything from how to navigate Pinterest (thank you, Brandi) to how to clarify and pursue goals. Women who offer encouragement in limitless supply. When I’m around them, nothing seems impossible.
My wish for all women is to have a group of friends such as this. Because to be in such company is to wallow in the lap of luxury.


L to R: Inklings Sonia Gensler, Lisa Marotta, Martha Bryant


Kelly Bristow, Brandi Barnett

9 comments:

  1. Tenkiller is beautiful! Sounds like an amazing time!

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  2. Aw, Dee Dee! What a beautiful recap. *sniffle*

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    1. Thanks, Sonia. It's really hard to do it justice.

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  3. You guys are such a fun group. So glad I met you years ago.

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  4. Oh, how I miss the Inkling retreat and Mr. Bryant's brisket!!

    I do not, however, miss the hike to the bathroom from back in the good ol' days. I'm glad you ladies now have your own facilities!

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    1. We miss you, Nicci. And, yes, the indoor plumbing is a welcomed upgrade!

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  5. Dee Dee, you captured the essence of the weekend. Thank you for putting the experience into words.

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  6. You're welcome, Brandi. This post is my way of saying "thank you" to Martha, Lisa, and you for hosting the event.

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