This week at Lakeshore 9/11-17

Rain returned to Lakeshore this week on the wings of a cold front that reminded us what it is to feel chilly. Though it has cooled since the summer, we were still, even in mid-September, working up a sweat during any outdoor work. The leaves have begun falling, acorns are dropping from the oaks, and yet the air conditioner still runs significantly. Whatever combination of these conditions it has been, something has kicked the allergies into high gear for me. I find myself doing the sneeze double-take, where you sneeze in quick succession. It’s a wonder you can even breath after a steady string of sneezes like this. I used to think it was a made-up injury, when I’d read baseball reports about someone pulling their back after “violent sneezes.” I still figure it is to cover up something they’d rather us not know about, but I am now open to the possibility of injury by sneeze being a real thing.

We hold out hope that the next change will bring relief for us. Maybe some rain to wash the pollen and dust away will stop these allergies. Maybe lower humidity will encourage me to exercise a little more. Once the temperature gets cooler, the ticks will disappear, and I will get outside and enjoy the outdoors more. When the changes come, we are often reminded what a mixed bag anything new can be. The rain came to Lakeshore Wednesday night, and it brought the thunder. Lightening struck very near to the camp. This was the type of lightening that has no break between the sight of it and the sound of thunder. You have seen the sky light up and heard the thunder umpteen times already, and you are still startled by the sheer power of this charge of electricity close-by. The lights went out on Mockingbird Hill for several hours, because a transformer blew up. We ate dinner by candle-light and got a taste of what evenings were like about 150 years ago. It was fine, there was nothing on TV anyway.

The next morning, we woke to breezes and cool temperatures. The days since have given us a taste of Fall on the way. The air conditioner kicks on much less these days, and you can hear the sounds outside through your window. This time is certainly exciting. Before long, we’ll pull out the flannel sheets and don the long-sleeves. We’ll build fires in the camp fireplace, sitting in rocking chairs, sipping on hot chocolate. We hope for those things, forgetting the allergies, the cold noses, and the rain that soaks us through our clothes. We focus on those things we cherish for tomorrow, sometimes gripping about the problems today. It is a nice distraction.

Our first Lakeshore Legacy Friendship Dinner was held Thursday night in Paducah. We worked hard to put together an event that would help raise funds for Lakeshore. Many kind, generous people came to hear our story and consider a gift to the camp. There was a pork tenderloin meal with these great rolls that had a bit of cheese and a pinch of something peppery. Bill Walker and his group “Fourth Day,” sang Mo-town and some contemporary Christian songs. The evening was very heart-felt and many of our guests let us know that they appreciated being invited. There were a few comedic (now that they are in hind-sight) moments leading up to the event. A DVD was produced for the evening, and there was a little editing being done on it, so it had to be shipped to us. It was overnighted, but would not arrive until the day of the event. The camp staff waited around, hoping FedEx would come in the morning, but they didn’t show. So, most of the staff left for Paducah, and Gary stayed to await the arrival of the package. Diane watched the Internet site to track the package, and discovered that the packaged was delivered at noon. She called Vickie, because she couldn’t find it, and Vickie knew what had happened. The package was delivered to the parsonage, as often happens with first-time deliverers, because the camp and parsonage share addresses. Diane, after looking, still couldn’t find the package, and then realized it had been delivered to Bill’s home address in Jackson. Thankfully, one of the “Fourth Day,” members hadn’t left Jackson yet, and we had the DVD with plenty of time.

Now that it is passed, though, our memories rest more with the stories told that night. We watched teenagers from Broadway UMC, who had served the meal, get up and talk about how special Lakeshore was, and how when they went to Florida last year, rather than camp, they wished each day they were at Lakeshore. We’ll remember how our eyes welled up a bit with tears and we choked up a bit hearing all these things that we who work here know so well, but still just get a hold on us, because they do mean that much. It doesn’t matter hold old we get or how many times we hear it. We remember, and we hope for more.

This weekend we have the Memphis Conference Singles retreat and the Bethel University Bowling team. Keep us in your prayers, and we’ll return the favor.

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