That we were getting ready to run off to retreat and I STILL haven’t caught up on our antics from a couple of previous retreats. So, I thought it might be a little fun to share some more detail on how we all got to be together. I think I’ve already covered how Sandra Dee and I were totally jealous of Inez and would call out to retreat just to bother her (and this was before we all had cell phones so she would have to stop what she was doing and go to the phone to talk to us about nothing. She was always so “happy” to take our calls. After all we asked her all kinds of important questions like What are you doing now?). She kind of regretted sharing the phone number with us after a while. Along with Sandra Dee and myself, Ruby started to come along because she was hearing about all the fun the rest of us were having (and I think short sheeting Sandra Dee’s bed was a clincher for her).
Before this particular retreat, Inez had run into Hattie out and about town. Hattie had been away from guild for a while and had recently undergone a difficult time in her life. Inez talked Hattie into coming back to guild and also to signing up for retreat. At this point, Ruby and I had no idea about Hattie and I have no idea where Sandra Dee was or what she was up to. Inez felt responsible for Ruby and Sandra Dee and myself and made us move out to the porch about this time because she thought we would be less disturbing to everyone else at retreat. She had also gotten word that Hattie was going to be joining us at retreat and promptly invited her to sit out on the porch with us. Ruby and I were admonished to be nice and gentle with Hattie because we don’t want to scare her off. It kind of makes us sound like a pack of rabid dogs or wild wolves doesn’t it? We really aren’t. I believe that we are all up to date on our shots and haven’t recently engaged in any terribly risky behavior plus we all brush our teeth and shower regularly.
Anyway, I think we were so admonished because Inez was going to have to leave us to take her daughter to the airport and was going to be gone for a substantial amount of time. Thus were we left unsupervised. The rabid dogs and Hattie. Poor Hattie. She never has been the same. We had quite a fun time while Inez was gone and I think that Ruby and I were just what Hattie needed at that time. She hasn’t missed a retreat since and is now one of our fearless leaders in charge of the whole shebang.
Blanche came to us about the same time that we were adopting Hattie. I won’t call it an accidental pairing as I think we were all angling this way and just didn’t quite know it yet. At this retreat Blanche opted to sit out on the porch at a small table to take advantage of the natural lighting. Honestly, the porch is a wall of windows. The light out there is wonderful. So wonderful in fact that seating can be tricky if you want to sew without wearing your sunglasses. Blanche couldn’t help but be encouraged to join in our frivolity. She had been joining in before, but this time had a front row seat for the shenanigans. I think she was looking forward to coming out on the porch and joining in our frivolity. I don’t want to make it sound like those that sit in the main part of the building are not fun people. They are fun. We are just noisier and that is why we sit on the porch. After this retreat, our tribe had grown by two. Now we were six. I have to say that what I remember most about Blanche about previous retreats is the chicken tree quilt. It was some sort of challenge and for some reason it just stuck with me.
While Inez was blissfully ignorant of our activities while acting as a chauffeur, Ruby and I were staying up until the wee hours of the morning where we hit on the idea of sock monkeys. I have to confess, sock monkeys make me laugh. Hysterically. I don’t know why but I do know that when I am especially tired sock monkeys are the funniest thing on the planet, along with singing “She’ll Be Comming Round The Mountain When She Comes”. The song didn’t really lend us anything usable so we stayed with the sock monkeys. Visions of super large monkey clings in the windows of retreat with our names on them. Where would we find these? Why, at the sock monkey factory of course! It would be a super fun place to work and everyone there would be fairly happy. There’s always one who tries to ruin it for everyone. I know you’re probably wondering what is wrong with us. The answer is nothing. It was 2 am and we were very tired and didn’t want to go to bed. Instead we had a bad case of the giggles and focused on sock monkeys. That was when Ruby and I decided that our slowly enlarging group needed a name and the Monkeys on the Porch were born. Well, the words weren’t quite in the order but for propriety’s sake I have rearranged them.
Blanche really enjoyed her time on the porch with us at that retreat. She also has a tendency to bring along her ipod where she can listen to books on tape or music or gentle noise to tune us out when she needs to. Sometimes we each need a bit of quiet time. Inez likes to bring a book along and take a nap. Hattie has her curtains and naps. I like to stay up late after everyone has gone to bed and watch movies while I sew. We all have our own thing. It’s another part of why retreat is so relaxing. Anyway, this is the retreat where we began our bond with Blanche and Hattie and when we started plotting to have the porch to ourselves where we could talk and express our monkey madness without offending the rest of the building.