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Quote of the Month
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  - Thornton Wilder
Chatham Bars Inn
Chatham Bars Inn, Cape Cod, January 21-23, 2011
After the hectic months of November and December- a time when a woman orchestrates holiday events creating memories and traditions for family and friends, there must follow recovery time, self nourishment, and a pause in which a woman can regain her equilibrium so that her thoughts, intentions, and plans can begin to gestate.
Such is the design of this weekend.

The clarity of Winter calls a woman to go deeper-it is a time to be more internal than external-more feeling and less thinking-the perfect climate to design your second journey.
  • Learn to work with the changes that have been thrust upon you and deal with the crisis of feelings that result.
  • Come to understand your innate strengths.
  • Welcome transition.
  • Relish your new set of choices.
  • Discard what is outlived and embrace what is unlived.
Gift yourself time apart & time for self, sign up today by clicking here
Inn in Snow
Chatham Bars Inn Retreat is Coming Up!

A Second Journey to Embrace Body & Soul
Toasting Ourselves and Indulging in Retreat

January 21-23, 2011

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Monhegan Island


Taking reservations now for An Island Adventure on Monhegan in Maine

June 7-10, 2011


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Clicking Here


Books by Joan Anderson
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Some Unfinished Thoughts



On a recent cold December morning, I pulled off a surprise for my husband that most of my friends thought impossible. He was about to celebrate one of those "epic" birthdays, (an age most choose to forget) and because of that, I wanted to create some sort of magical moment. A family reunion was out of the question-too much money and besides the family was in disarray. I settled for a pro-football game and told him nothing more other than to save the date.

Several weeks elapsed and the moment was finally upon us. "What are WE doing?" he finally asked, relieved as I was to hear him use the "we" word which implied I was going as well. "You'll see," I answered coyly and then began packing my suitcase with tundra like clothes. "You'll need to pack some warm things," I informed him..."y'know, ear muffs, gloves, long underwear."

"You're not dragging me out to the dune shack, are you?" he asked, remembering our two-week stay in such a place several years ago.

"You'll never guess," I continued, believing now that he didn't have a clue as to what I had cooked up. He would be equally thrown off the scent when a pre-arranged limo arrived in the driveway on cue the very next morning.

             "O.K. this implies an airport," he said, settling into the back seat.

"Could be," I answered, as we headed, not for the highway but a friend's house around the corner. "What are we doing here?" he asked, dumbfounded as I climbed out of the car and our friend Ted, climbed in.

            "It must be Lambeau Field," my husband yelped as he immediately guessed where this was all going-both he and Ted had had a Packers Game on their "bucket list" for sometime. I happily waved them off and went home to busy myself with Christmas preparations anxiously awaiting a phone call whereby I would know that Ted had managed to choreograph the rest of the surprise. If the weather and airlines cooperated one son who was to fly in from Idaho would meet his brother at United's baggage claim in time to rendezvous with their unsuspecting father. Having not had the opportunity to be together-just the three of them-for over twenty years due to distance, wives, kids and jobs, I kept my fingers crossed that this "gift of time" would become a reality.

            As luck would have it, my phone rang many hours later informing me that this merry band of four were headed north to Green Bay and I could only smile and sniffle at the background joviality, content for the next forty-eight hours that a very happy and essential reunion was in full force.

Coasting on the news from my sons, I let the love that was happening out there in the Midwest actually magnify. I could feel it in my heart which made my spirit soar. Settling into a carefree day of ruminating and wrapping gifts, I made myself a pot of tea just as the phone rang. It was a friend who ostensibly couldn't wait to hear all about my amazing surprise. As I bubbled forth with as many details as I could muster she seemed genuinely interested until the tenor of the conversation switched. Something I must have said about one son or the other compelled her to offer opinions and ask pointed questions regarding the success or lack of success in each of their lives. Aghast and dumbfounded that the conversation had turned sour and serious so much so as to make me uncomfortable and anxious, I brought it to a close as my mood plummeted from elated to melancholic.

 For the first time in months my spirit had been imbued with great joy. Why not build on that-let it magnify-enjoy the magnificence of history, family, togetherness, warmth, and just plain happiness. I suppose that is why my husband insists we accept every wedding invitation we are sent-"The funerals outnumber the weddings, he's been known to say...might as well grab the good stuff when you can."

Hard as it was to experience this phone call from a supposed well-meaning friend, it occurred to me each day people invade and project thoughts and attitudes into our lives. The test for each of us is how to filter that which is useful and that which is not. The choice is ours to let in what enhances or what detracts from our personal journey.

So I wish for you that where ever you experience love, let it magnify-make it expand, touch your soul, and may you feel the warmth and peace that comes with such moments  It is our tonic for the taking-medicine we can all  surely use for the New Year!

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