Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bart's Favorite Holiday

Fall is an expressway through holidays here in New England.  We roll from Columbus Day, the three-day weekend every wanderer uses to admire the foliage, into Halloween for sweets & spooks, and then finally the family holiday of Thanksgiving.  But wait!  For Bart, the most important weekend of the autumn is Goddess Weekend at Henniker House.

Perfect to curl up in

This is the weekend he waits for.  This is the weekend that makes his heart sing.  This is the weekend when the leaves that danced across the skylights no longer distract him because he has the Goddesses.  They bring containers to sit in, ribbons to play with and magic wands that catch sunlight and make a flash that needs to be chased across the walls.

Goddesses?  In Henniker?  Let me explain.

Ribbon, did you say kill the ribbon?
Nine years ago, Susan & Carleen booked a night at Henniker House so they could attend a workshop at Quilted Threads (http://www.quiltedthreads.com/ ).  When they came back from the class they asked if I’d consider hosting a group of friends for a weekend of sewing quilts – they promised they’d only include women they could vouch for.  So it began with 4 friends who had worked together – Susan, Carlene, Laurie, and Colleen.  To that mix they added Colleen’s sister Barbara, Colleen’s daughter Janice (we started to tease that it was a family reunion), Janice’s good friend Kari and her mom Peg (strategic add – Peg has a long arm machine - every quilting circle should include a long arm).  Then came Kari’s friend Tracy who has now finally finished the Bruin’s quilt for her new hubby. 

Wayne is such a Bruins fan that they had Rene Rancourt, who sings the anthems at the TD Garden, sing at their wedding.  Tracy is such a Henniker House fan they came here for a few relaxing days after the big day. 

There have been some fill-ins while Janice had a baby or Peg traveled to someplace more exotic than Henniker but the core is here and Bart enjoys every minute of it.

For the weeks leading up to their visit there are emails with each participant claiming a part in their pot luck.   Crock pot suppers and homemade bread that fill the air with delicious aromas.

Classic Goddess Weekend - no rotary cutters after the wine is opened

In one email there was an assignment of “tea”.  I jumped into that and said I had that covered with my selection from Harney & Sons Teas (https://www.harney.com/ ).  A kind explanation arrived that their tea came in bottles with corks.

It is easy to write what Bart enjoys about the Goddesses – his delight shows in his actions.  But in preparing this blog, I asked the ladies what are some of their favorite things about their weekend here.  The unanimous answer was Bart with a very quick addition of Beautiful Cat.  Her secret sauce to the weekend is more subtle. 

BC is the lap cat

But what else?  They report the space is bright and the river view is inspiring or distracting, however you look at it.  Yes, they like the breakfasts.  I try out new recipes on them and keep a log of what works and what doesn’t. But they say the best part is not doing the dishes themselves.  It’s a real vacation, the kids and boys stay at home; this isn’t just their own lives someplace else.  They wear their tiaras and oversized T-shirts without judgment, get caught up on each other’s lives and bask in the girlfriend glow.

Bart consults on the Tardis Quilt
For a stretch a few years ago, two of them took advantage of the in room massage.  This weekend Susan wished she had again.  (Innkeeper note already in calendar – inquire as part of reconfirming next time).  As years have gone by, one or two and now four have added Thursday night to the weekend.   As they left this time, they wondered about adding Sunday night to the next weekend.  The extended time, the ability to spread a project out and sometimes actually finish it are some of their favorite things about the getaway.  Collaboration on design and technique (a.k.a. emergency help) is also available from friends who know you & know how this is all done.

So now you know who the Goddesses are and why Bart and Henniker House love them.  Does this sound like a getaway you’d enjoy?  Unfortunately this group doesn’t have any openings but if you would gather 4 to 8 girlfriends and pick a date, we have a beautiful room overlooking the river and a couple of cats waiting for you.  Bart would be happy to chase yarn, ribbons, crumpled paper or fabric scraps.  BC is good at lap sitting.  If you don’t want to plan pot lucks, we have restaurants in walking distance.  The vacation can be as unstructured as you want.

If I'm in the bag, you can't pack and leave

                              Come, let the river soothe you.

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