Monday, March 27, 2023

SOL 27/31: Book Club Retreat (not the haiku version)

I had plans for today's slice and then I found myself cleaning up my desktop, And I found this slice begun over a week ago and abandoned for a haiku because I was exhausted. I dusted off the slice, polished it a bit, and here it is! 

The haiku was the short of it. here's the long of our "used-to-be" yearly tradition (until Covid made us miss three years). I like having more details of our gathering for a future collection I might put together. Our book club has been together for twenty-five years.

 Begin with a friend's vacation place

in Leavenworth on a gorgeous sunny afternoon.






Head downtown for a German meal, a giant pretzel, 

and strolling through the charming stores,

before the best stop of the afternoon

at the local indie, A Book for All Seasons.







 Murmurs of conversation on the sunny deck,







 a walk to the bridge and back, 

and Anne's delicious baked ricotta and crostini








 round out our cozy afternoon.

Dinner preparations begin in earnest as

Coleen and Bobbi's mouthwatering soups simmer,

Suzanne preps a crisp green salad, and

Leta pulls out mouthwatering homemade rolls.

Our last three guests arrive

for a total of twelve bookish friends,

and two lovable 2-month-old babes in arms.

Dinner is served with ample time

to luxuriate in the food and the company.

Table cleared, dishwasher loaded, time to discuss 

March's book club read, The Night Watchman.

Then it's time for the most important business.

Pitch your three or fewer book choices to the group

hoping for inclusion on next year's book list.

Cast your votes. While waiting for the final tally,

enjoy Ramona's warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Books selected, host spots filled,

conversations and connections continue 

with some heading to the hot tub.   

It's a short night's sleep.

Early morning walkers capture this view.


We gather for more conversation 

and a hearty breakfast:

hot chocolate with whipped cream,

Shannon's signature fruit salad,

Becca's breakfast casserole,

and decadent Ellenos yogurt. 

We linger around the table,

savoring precious moments together

before the ride back to responsibilities 

and everyday life. 







 Our gathering

leaves us refreshed, renewed, nourished,

filled with bookish recommendations

and just one regret.

It’s never long enough!

This is my twelfth year to write a slice of life each day during the month of March.  Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this challenge and providing the space and support for us year after year. And thanks to this magnificent community for sharing stories with me and encouraging my writing.


  1. This is Diane Anderson, newtreemom… I just am so amazed every time I read about this wonderful book club. Such a wonderful time with so much time for talking together, enjoying food together, and enjoying the beautiful setting. Looking forward to the book picks for the coming year!

  2. This sounds like a slice of heaven. Good food, good friends, and good books! Have I missed a post with the books you chose?

  3. Ramona, your book club sounds like the group I would like to have "conversations and connections continue". The food sounds so delicious and the setting looks relaxing. I am creating a poem of slicer comments for tomorrow's slice. I am using one of your thoughts with credit to you.

  4. How wonderful that you have this great core of friends and that you all take the time to meet up regularly...and travel together.

  5. Oh my gosh, Ramona, you've given me a template for how our next book club retreat could possibly go...(ours is in October). You have no idea how powerful the timing is with this post. I love where you meet, that babies are included, that food you describe—including your warm chocolate chip cookies—all coalesce in a harmony of happy-with-each other readers. (We read The Night Watchman this year, too. I wonder if we may have shared other titles, too.) Maybe I will be able to write, at some point, about why yesterday's meeting was so fraught at the outset and changed by the end because we share love for each other and books. Thanks for this.

  6. Patricia, I'm glad you liked this. I debated over whether or not to share it, but I do like keeping a record of our gatherings.
    I hope you'll write a slice about your book club meeting. It sounds intriguing.
    I shared our list for this year (with all my process and the titles I considered and voted for and the ones I didn't recommend) on today's post.

  7. What a wonderful event to look forward to each year! And how extraordinary to be in the same book group for 25 years! I am so glad you shared more about this retreat with us. It sounds like the perfect bookish gathering.