November 7, 2007
I am so thankful to the powers that be for making it possible for me to attend the Feminine Fall Fling this past weekend. Our church had a wonderful representation, with 8 women in attendance. Five of us were in the under-40 set. This was my 3rd time to attend this particular retreat, and I was fortunate to be able to share the experience with some of my best friends.
The trip down was beautiful. I volunteered to drive, which forced me to spend Friday afternoon giving the minivan a much-needed cleaning. The 1.5 hour drive went rather quickly, as I enjoyed the fall foliage on winding country roads going through quaint small towns, and conversation with wonderful ladies.
The retreat location is a place where I went to summer camp as a kid, and I have many fond memories of the place. It is located on scenic Kentucky Lake, 10 miles from the nearest town. I love it there. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. I love the fact that, while it keeps tiwh the times, some things about it never change. We checked in and got our room assignments. Although we had been assigned to two seperate rooms, there was some confusion and we somehow ended up all in the same room. Each room had 5 bunk beds, and my plus-size butt ended up on a top bunk. I was scared for the person under me, but we all survived. The only war wound I had was pain in my thighs, which I assume was due to climbing up and down my bunk.
We went to the meeting area and had a get aquainted activity where we were assigned a “new best friend”. My friend was a lady named Sheila, whom I really enjoyed getting to know. Following that we played musical chairs, and I don’t mean to brag, but I was in the top 3. It sounds childish, but it was alot of fun, espically watching some of the older ladies play. We also had very interesting learning sessions with our speaker, and a hilarious talent show. We capped off the night with smore’s and roasted marshmallows around a fire pit.
Since I have been attending retreats at this place I have developed a custom of sorts. I get up early on the second morning and walk around the lake, alone with my camera, and take in the sunrise. It’s probably my favorite part of the entire retreat, however, I always feel that my early morning rambling disturbs the sleep of my fellow attendees, so I wasn’t planning to do it this time. Apparently the Lord had other plans.
I don’t sleep well away from home, so as expected, I woke up at 4:30 am (time change) and laid in bed until 5:30 because I didn’t want to wake anyone up. By that time my back was hurting (I have scoliosis, and am accustomed to sleeping on a memory foam matress, which cannot even begin to compare to an upper level twin size camp bunk) so I climbed down from my perch and took a shower.
Then I figured that it would be better for everyone that was still asleep if I went ahead with my tradition. At least if I were outside I wouldn’t wake them up. Although I forgot my camera at home, I still walked around, took pictures with my cell phone, and enjoyed a can of self-heating hot chocolate compliments of one of my new friends. After taking a few pics of some of the lakefront crosses at sunrise, I sat down in silence, in the cool morning air and just meditated, it was amazing. I love that time, and I vow to never give it up, no matter who’s slumber I disturb.
All good things must come to an end, and we left around noon. I was glad to get home to my family, tired, yet relaxed and rejuvenated. I am already looking forward to next year’s retreat.