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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Wild Women....

Wild Women of the Succulent Something

"We can go to a retreat for women when you come visit," my sister said. "I went last year and it was fun.  You can join a group on Facebook for the details. I will send you an invitation."

"Okay, sounds good to me. I'm up for trying new things" -- although the wild women part was a little scary.  How wild were they? Did they go wild for bead necklaces? Did they wear animal skins and carry clubs?"

"No, no, there are people that I know from church that go, but it is oriented towards nature and and environmental things."

"If church women go, it is probably okay," I thought. I looked at the list of activities and they sounded harmless, things like jewelry making and drum playing. The retreat was located at a Girl Scout campground. The picture showed women holding hands around a campfire. How wild could it be?

Each woman was supposed to bring a dish -- a soup or salad, but my sis said she would take enough food for both of us, since I was flying to St. Louis to visit my sister the day before, and I couldn't bring soup or salad on a plane.

Arriving at the camp, we joined the women who were already there sitting around a large campfire, some playing bongo drums and one playing a guitar. It was peaceful, not wild at all. I decided they were not actually wild women but old women wanting to be wild. Maybe they were flower children from the past trying to relive the glory days. 

We were blessed or purified or something with smoke from burning sage as part of an opening ceremony. Some of the women read poetry to evoke the sacred spirits of creativity, I suppose. One woman played a flute. So far, so good.

I noticed a workshop on trees and signed up for it. It was based on a Native American belief that trees are sacred. I wrote an article years ago about famous trees, such as the oldest tree in the world, Methuselah, a Bristlecone Pine; historical trees, like the Liberty Tree in Boston; and other trees known for events that happened near them. I could read that. Participants were supposed to bring something related to trees to talk about or read, sort of an adult Show and Tell.

Next, my sister and I decided to make a faerie garden, even though I was not sure what faerie garden is. As it turned out, it was what I would call a saucer garden with a collection of small plants, rocks, and other items related to nature arranged in an artistic manner. I didn't have a fairy, gnome, toadstool or anything magical to add, but it turned out good enough.

Lunch was interesting with salads and dishes related to natural food, organic food, or vegan food. It was tasty even though I didn't know what I was eating most of the time. The brownies looked good but had hot spices that kicked back. I also ate my first lavender-flavored cookie which was sort of like eating potpourri.

We were sorry that we could choose only one activity for each of the three sessions as we wanted to do them all, especially when we saw the tiny nests with eggs made in one of the alternate groups. We had spent our time cutting and pasting in a Feng Shui group that was supposed to balance our energies and put us in harmony with the environment. It reminded me of being in kindergarten.

The final activity was African Dancing and drumming led by a professor from a nearby college who demonstrated various movements and what they meant. Women danced along and tried to follow her rhythm and dance movements giggling as they danced. It was sort of like an African line dance.

I am still trying to get the smoke smell from the campfire out of my hair and clothes, but what's a little smoke smell when wild succulent women of the woods are having fun.


Copyright 2015 Sheila Moss

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