No, not “Susie.” SUUSI–Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute. It’s the one special week each July when UUs (Unitarian Universalists) from far and near converge upon the lovely Radford University campus in Virginia for seven days of learning and hiking, singing and dancing and general good fellowship ’til the morning light.
In SUUSI-ite parlance, it’s the time when the 51-week break from SUUSI is over, and we can be together again.
You normally leave exalted, spiritually refreshed–and with a serious sleep deficit.
UUs–hundreds of us, as far as the eye can see–fill the Radford campus. We hug one another. We ask each other, “Are you having a good SUUSI?” Note the assumption, characteristically UU in its individualism. Each of us has his or her own SUUSI, unique and irreproducible.
Bumper sticker observed in the parking lot of the Radford Food Lion: “I want to go to SUUSI when I die.”
I’m personally not quite that enthusiastic. One week of SUUSI is fun; an eternity of it might get wearing. We introverts take to it less easily than our extroverted brethren. But I do enjoy it, and I’ve been making the pilgrimage to the Virginia mountains regularly for the past several years. This summer and last, I got up my nerve and tried a kayaking expedition down the beautiful New River. Last summer I didn’t capsize, and thought myself quite the old hand. This summer the river was higher and wilder, and over I went. (No photos of that available.)
Also this summer and last, thanks to the delightful and warm-hearted SUUSI Bookstore Manager Jackie Winner, I found myself doing signings in the bookstore for Journal of a UFO Investigator.
This is me with the books, last July 17. Below is me with Jackie. And in the third photo are the three authors who shared the signing with me: Lyssa Adkins, author of Coaching Agile Teams; Dr. Gloria Wright, author of Call to Action: How Winners Set and Achieve Goals; and poet Lynda Allen, author of Illumine.
I had a grand time, chatting with my fellow-writers and with the interesting people who stopped by the table to talk about UFOs and Journal of a UFO Investigator. I even signed a book or two.
Thank you, Jackie! And thank you, SUUSI! Not sure if I will make it my post-mortem destination. But as a place to spend a week of a hot Southern summer, trying new things and having fun, it’s pretty great.
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