This has been a week that makes you want to go inside. If it wasn’t raining, it was overcast and gloomy. There’s been a chill in the air that’s just enough to get the extremities cold. If you’re next to a window, you notice it’s a little colder than in the rest of the room. These are the types of days you would like to stay at home under a blanket. You’d have hot soup for lunch with a toasted sandwich. You’d drink hot tea throughout the day. At night, you bundle up on the couch with someone you love and watch a movie. You go through the cabinet hoping you have some hot chocolate left from last winter.
Martha has taken a cold or some other bug that looks like a cold. So, if you called the camp this week to book anything, you were likely greeted with a slightly deeper, more sultry voice on the phone. It’s the time of year when you hear more coughing coming from people’s offices. Those grips when you walked in the door during the summer about the humidity and sun have been replaced by how damp, dreary, and cold it is. You find yourself rubbing your hands together or keeping them in your pockets when they aren’t absolutely necessary. We have begun preparing fires in the fire place at the Conference Center, and it is this weather that draws you to it like summer moths to the blacktop light posts.
On Thursday, the Benton County Chamber of Commerce Adult Leadership Class come out to Lakeshore to get a tour and do teambuilding. Of the 6 we had, only one had actually stayed at Lakeshore before. We did the Low Ropes event where the group has to balance the large platform built sort of like a see-saw, get everyone on, and hold it steady for a three-count. The group came up with an ingenious idea and finished fairly fast, but they asked for a new challenge. They then had to do the same thing in reverse–get the platform balanced, then get everyone off without throwing it off balance. They found that one a little more frustrating, and, like most groups, expected to get it faster. We had a great time, though, talking afterwards, then walking around the camp, learning more about what Lakeshore does. I felt that the place had a relaxing affect on everyone. It was nice, even to me, just to walk outside under the falling brown and orange leaves, with a mist on the river north of us. Good to get away from our offices for a little while to stand back and access things.
The maintenance crew has spent most of the week setting up tables for the Scarpbooking Retreat this weekend. We have pulled tables from all over the camp and filled up the Conference Center to where it looks like a maze of fold-up tables. There were scrapbookers waiting in the parking lot when the first staff got in this morning. Many will spend most of the weekend at their table working through memories and finding the best way to present them for loved-ones to see.
And, as our weekend groups drift in, for a time it seems, we’ll have a little relief from the dreariness. The sun is out now, and we are supposed to see 70 degrees tomorrow. The urge to hide under blankets and warm mugs will not be nearly as strong. There will be something, though, to seek comfort from. There is always something. You may even already be thinking of what it is right now. Some days, though, you are lucky enough to go walking out the door and find yourself surrounded by it. When that isn’t the case, you hope you can find a leftover packet in the back of the cabinet. Or, you hope that relief will come before you reach wits end. We hope too, sometimes not soon enough, that we might be able to give that comfort to someone else. Maybe we’ll manage to pull some sunlight out of our pockets when it is time.
This weekend we have our Scrapbooking Retreat, Counselor Certification, a Wilderness Camper Reunion, and Whitehall Baptist Church Youth. Thank God for everything good, and enjoy your weekend–we may not see 70 again for a while.