Each Ruby Bucket retreat starts as an idea and develops into a theme. The theme is a guide in which we plan our decorations, gifts, make-n-takes, classes and all the retreat details. We have loved having a theme because it gives each retreat a uniqueness. The thought and vision of this retreat started forming in my mind about two years ago. First, I envisioned the decorations. I saw the happy setting. I saw the bright colors. I saw YOU. I felt the fun and joy this setting would bring. And it just all came together in my mind.
Sometimes my creative “visions” can be scary, but Stephanie instantly embraced this idea. She saw and felt all that I did and she added her creative style and flare. We knew that a fall retreat would be the perfect time and setting. We have had this theme marinating in the back of our minds for quite a while. Piece by piece we have created an amazing masterpiece.
One thing that I learned through the trials and difficulties that the years of the Covid pandemic have brought is that many of us felt isolated, fearful and alone. It brought many feelings of darkness and helplessness. I hated this! The very word “alone” is such a sad, melancholy, and downhearted word. Just saying it makes me feel lonely. I learned that we need people around us. We need human connections and friends in our lives to bring layers of depth and fulfillment. I learned that we each need to feel loved and important. All of us, no matter our age, need to feel WANTED. It is vital to our happiness. It is vital to our souls.
Years ago when I was in elementary school, I remember one specific day going out to the playground to find my friends. As I went through the large, heavy doors I began searching for their faces in all the places that we liked to play. I searched the swings, the giant metal slide, the merry-go-round and I could not see them. So, I stepped out further onto the playground and began to search again…looking and trying to find them. My eyes caught something out of the corner of my vision—over in the corner by the steps was a boy. He was alone. He was sitting with his knees up and his head down. No one was around. No one noticed him. It was almost like he was invisible. Though I was very young—I felt so many emotions. It was as if time stopped, and I could just see and feel so much about this lonely boy. We have all seen this boy on the playground, at the park, in the grocery store, or walking down the street. In fact, you may have seen him today.
Just like this boy, each of us, at one point of our lives, has felt alone and rejected. We have felt invisible. We each identify with all the feelings this scenario brings. Those feelings are similar to what we all saw and experienced during Covid. We all need connections to each other to feel wanted.
Through the many retreats that Stephanie and I have done, through the various themes and decorations, the key to each retreat is YOU. All the other details change and vary from retreat to retreat—but YOU remain the vital key. The mission from the start of Ruby Bucket was to have a lovely gathering—a place to create, a place to fill your bucket—a place for YOU. It wasn’t about making millions of dollars, having the perfect theme, teaching classes, it was about none of these things. It was about YOU. Our vision from the start was to create a beautiful atmosphere that made you feel special while doing the craft that you loved with those that you love. It was about laughing, visiting and forming lasting friendships. It was about filling your empty bucket. And through this whole experience, through each retreat, we have come to know you. We have come to laugh and cry with you. We have come to know some of your biggest struggles and your greatest joys. We have come to create great and lasting friendships with you. We have learned that YOU are our people. We have learned that our crafts and creativeness make us soul sisters. And though it may sound silly and goofy, we know that your soul loves fabric, paper, yarn, and paint just like our souls. Your creative self recognizes our creative soul, and this creates an instant bond. It’s a joy to connect and be together with similar souls. So, we want you to know that you are WANTED. That you are the key to Ruby Bucket.
One of our absolute favorite parts of retreat is when you each arrive. We love greeting you and making you feel welcome. We love all the hugs we get. We love seeing your beautiful faces. We love hearing your quiet sigh of relief that you made it to retreat. We know all the things you left behind just to be with us—your families, jobs, and trials. We treasure that you came to be with us. Ruby Bucket is not perfect but the thoughtfulness, work, and love that goes into every tiny detail is pretty amazing. We hope you know and feel how important you are to Ruby Bucket.
Please join us for an amazing western hoedown for Fall Retreat. Fill up your chuck wagon with the vital supplies and grub. Gather your favorite pardners. Pack your saddlebags with all the right outfits—don’t forget your spurs! It’s time to saddle up. Be sure to carry your rifle in case there are any lowdown varmints in town. We promise to lasso in fun and adventure. Marshall Frisby and Deputy Larson will be on the lookout for YOU. Your face is posted on every saloon in the northern territory. It will be a showdown like no other because you are WANTED at Ruby Bucket Retreat!