Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Break at the Lake

Actually it wasn't OUR spring break, but it was everyone else's. And we never really saw a lake, just lots of snow piles and mud puddles. But we did go camping for a weekend at the Stoneman Lake campground, and brought home several stories worth telling. Some of my siblings invited us and first off, I had to bribe my husband into coming along. He was home from work with a broken ankle and I convinced him that if he was going to sit around at home, he might as well sit around in the woods. I also promised that I would do all the work and he wouldn't have to lift a finger. To make it even easier, we would borrow his mother's luxurious RV - surely nothing could be more relaxing! Much to my shame and his terror, the first thing we did was drive that RV out into the woods and get it stuck rim-deep in the mud. We spent the entire first day trying to dig, pull and peel that beast of a vehicle from its pit. My brothers and sister spent the day on their muddy knees right beside us, not just in manual labor but also in panicked prayer. And I didn't pay one speck of attention to my kids that day - I'm sure my mother (who also tagged along) must have been watching them for me. Just as night was falling, we caved in and called a tow. Though it was the more expensive option out of all the possible answers to our prayers, you could not have known a more grateful group. I could have kissed that grimy man with blackened teeth who did for us in fifteen minutes what we spent all day failing to do for ourselves. Once the RV was safe on solid ground, we breathed a sigh of relief and got back to camping. Only night had fallen, people were getting ready to retire and Shana (our college-aged sister who was traveling in solo) had neither called nor arrived. We knew we wouldn't be able to reach her by phone because of the trouble we had getting service to call a tow truck. But it was hard to know what action to take - maybe she just left late, maybe she decided not to come. If either of those were the case we could just go to bed. However there was a possibility that she was driving around alone on unlit dirt roads trying to find our campsite and had no way to get a hold of us. And just in case that was the case, we decided to go look for her. Scott and I hopped on quads and started winding out toward the main road. We hadn't gone far before we ran into Shana who had been driving in circles for 45 minutes doing exactly what we had worried she was doing - being lost. We led her back to camp feeling very triumphant. Aside from a very cold and nearly sleepless night, the second half of the trip redeemed the first. The next day was sunny and carefree (Until Shana got a flat tire on the drive back out - Brad and Lori came to her rescue that time). Anyway, I finally de-stressed enough to get my camera out and take some pictures. They are priceless to me - as is the entire experience. I've thought about how I would change that trip if I could. I would only wish that everyone could have slept warmer. If our other challenges had been removed, I wonder if I would have the same level of love and gratitude for my siblings who suffered with us while we struggled for a solution to our mud problem. I wonder if I would have as keen an understanding of what it feels like to be helpless, and then be saved. I certainly wouldn't have been able to feel the elation of gathering Shana safely in, or the success that resulted from a random shot in the dark, which didn't seem so random. Sometimes there are moments when I feel like the smallest spec in the universe; like God has so much to worry about that he couldn't possibly be concerned with me. But that night I felt like I must be his favorite daughter.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Broken Ankle

I don't have much to say about these pictures. My husband broke his ankle playing church basketball and that's the end of the story. But if my purpose in this blog is journaling, and it is, then I want this event to be included in the mix. Cover your eyes if you've got a weak stomach!