Every June, MS Resources of CNY sponsors a weekend getaway for female MS clients. On a Friday just after noon, about thirty women converge on White Eagle Conference Center for a couple of days of activities, camraderie and food…lots of food! This year’s event took place last weekend and since then, I’ve spent the whole week dragging a bit more than usual. My husband says it’s my way of recovering from the fun, and this year I have to admit that he’s right. IT WAS WORTH IT!
Now, you might think that a bunch of women with MS, with all their limps, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs would make one downer of a get-together. But the women come out, smiling and ready for fun. They maneuver their way up and down the walkways between the cottages and the activity center and the “chow hall”; they sit on the deck overlooking scenic Lake Moraine, talking and laughing away. Our first night there was cool, so after a round of indoor games (and prizes) we had a campfire, complete with S’mores made with these unusually large marshmallows. Childhood revisited!
When the group activities begin, these women get fiesty and competitive!! One of this year’s games was the classic Match Game, and, as in the original game show with Gene Rayburn, the fill-in-the-blank questions set us up for some risque thoughts and answers. But, since there is a general rule that “What happens at White Eagle, stays at White Eagle”, I can’t divulge too much. I will say that these women know many synonyms for various body parts. And that the hooting and laughter that came from the Cleveland Building was cathartic and endorphin-producing!
On the last day of our time together, we are treated to a non-denominational church service led by two women of our group. It gives each of us time to reflect and gather some inspiration and encouragement from their carefully selected readings. Afterwards, our fearless leaders, Jessa and Annette, lead us in a discussion of whatever we have on our hearts. The new attendees, or newbies, always get asked how they enjoyed themselves. The answers are always the same: It was so much fun, not like we expected! (and I don’t have to wonder what they mean by that, because as a newbie I too, was worried that I’d be with a bunch of complaining, depressed, remnants of womanhood) Oh, and the newbies always say, “I’ll be back next year.” I’m looking forward to that already.