Friday, May 6, 2011
Where I've been, where you'll find me
I've been pretty scarce around these parts lately. Why? Because I've been spending all my time in the basement and at the Dollar Store. How's that for a great combo? I've been prepping for the mini-retreat I'll be giving in Warwick, Rhode Island, tomorrow for 60+ people from 11 New England dioceses. So...I've spent many hours at the Dollar Store buying supplies, actually two Dollar Stores, and the Christmas Tree Shoppe, and various party stores and more in New York and New Jersey. Yes, it's a multi-state adventure. I've been at our local Dollar Store so often that the manager and I have become friends. He even gave me directions to Warwick, and I promised to come back and tell him how things went. That's what happens when you talk too much.
After I found all the pieces for these projects, I had to assemble 70 bags/boxes, put prayer-based messages on the front and back of each one, cut squares of Styrofoam for each one with a serrated bread knife (I'm hoping I don't have some rare lung disease from breathing in all that Styrofoam dust), stuff the bags with shredded paper, and then, the best part, stick each of those little doves onto the end of a toothpick and then stick the toothpick into the Styrofoam. I have to share this with all of you because, really, no one would ever guess these little things required that much effort. I'm sure the folks at the retreat will wonder why they're getting a cheap little bag of paper. What can I do? I had to keep costs reasonable. It's the love that's put into it that counts, right?
Those are the little "prayer boxes" above and to the left. They'll be part of an activity at the end of one of my retreat sessions. I've got another table full of votive candles for the closing activity. Let's hope I don't set off the conference center sprinklers with 70 candles going at once on one big table. That certainly would make for a memorable experience.
I sure hope they like all this stuff, not to mention the actual talks that will serve as the core of this event and the Powerpoints presentations (my first ever) to go with each of the eight songs I'm using to close and open the four segments. Phew.
It would really help if you could send some prayers my way tomorrow. I want to give these participants -- all of whom are catechists for developmentally disabled adults and children -- what they need and deserve on this annual day of renewal for them. I'll let you know how things go when I get back.