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  • Writer's pictureMike Mahoney

Garrison Institute - Retreat Center

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Portia and I have just come in from a bonfire the retreat group is having here at the Garrison this Thursday evening of the retreat. Portia, being a Border Collie is a little more aware than most dogs and is not a big fan of fire. The popping and cracking of the burning logs made her very jumpy, so we came home early.

It's the fifth day of this seven-day retreat. It's so peaceful and quiet here. Even though this place bubbles up some high school memories that send shivers down my spine. The building is a former Catholic Franciscan monastery. I can almost feel the Catholic guilt. As most of you know, I went to Catholic schools from 1st grade to 12th. My high school was an all-boys Catholic school run by Franciscan priests. In the back of my mind, I keep thinking of a Franciscan priest, wearing a long brown robe and heavy round wood beads the size of golf balls around their waist, and wearing these disarming Jesus-type leather sandals, preparing to smack the hell out of me in the back of the legs like the good ol' days.

I'm attending a meditation retreat I've been wanting to attend for a while so I'm really happy to be here and am feeling so at home.

I looked for a place to park the Airstream nearby but couldn't find a decent spot. I had a couple of options not too far away but after driving through the property, it appeared that this place would be a great place to boondock. I actually envisioned that this would work the best. Portia can stay in the trailer for a couple of hours at a time easily and with my solar capabilities I could last six nights with no problem. So heeding the creed, it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission, I pulled in and parked. The first night I did tell Liz who is in charge of the retreat center about what I was doing and she thought it would be fine. And it has been. It's probably one of if not the best boondocking spot I've found so far. Managing my fresh water and waste tanks has worked out and I've never had an issue with power.

We are here until Sunday afternoon the 15th, then headed to Delaware to visit an old work friend.

Take care, my friends.

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