Talk about Joy and Blessing!

Writers’ retreats are one of the highlights of the writing life. Talk about joy and blessing!

Last week ten of us bubbled over as we arrived at Green Lake Conference Center’s Christian Writing Center. Yup, that’s it. An eight-bedroom, half-timbered English mansion overlooking … ah …  you guessed it … Green Lake. (The windows under the two gables on the far right of the second floor mark the location of my room. The large window to the left on the first floor belongs to the great room. More about that later.)

After lots of hugs plus helping each other unload our cars and get settled in our rooms, we enjoyed a Sunday supper of homemade veggie soup, ham & Swiss and Reuben stuffed breads hot from the oven, cold apple salad, and delicious caramel cheesecake one husband made for our enjoyment. Not a good start for our diets, but most excellent, and we didn’t waste a bite!

We put out jigsaw puzzles, colored pencils & coloring sheets, and games. One of our favorites is “Pilgrim’s Progress.” These along with long walks outdoors in the beautiful sunshine and a fire pit by the lake in late afternoon gave us plenty of activity when taking breaks from writing.

Oh, and we can’t forget the impromptu birthday party for the 82-year-old among us. Cake, ice cream, cards, and more laughter.

But …

We all agreed that the best part of each day came in the evening when we gathered by the fireplace in the great room. Debra accompanied us with her Q-chord as we sang to the Lord. His precious presence was so near and dear. And every night He gifted each of us with personal blessings and encouragement as we prayed and were prayed over.

Then, of course, we read manuscripts and shared stories. We couldn’t help but laugh as Kathi read from her father’s memoirs of growing up during the Great Depression. She’s editing and polishing them for publication. Her dad sure had an eye for hilarious goings-on in his small, northern Wisconsin community.

(By the way, the photo above is a view of Green Lake taken by Debra from the lakeside grounds of the house.)

The Lord blessed us one last time as we departed on Friday morning. We had all packed up before the pouring rain began, and each made it home safely before the big April blizzard hit over the weekend.

YOUR TURN TO SHARE! What special event to you look forward to experiencing each year with family or friends?

 

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“I Like a Challenge!”

I don’t recall the disagreement, but I’d had enough. “I’m not staying where I’m not wanted!” I shouted at my new husband.

In a flurry of anger, I set out in the dead of winter, marching down Algoma Blvd toward the college campus. It was Sunday … I was pregnant … and I had no clue where I was going.

Though a student at Wisconsin State University-Oshkosh, I suddenly recalled the campus was all but shut down for the weekend. My family had moved out of state two weeks after Jim and I married. But wait … the Neuman Center would be open. Yup. That’s where I’d go. Never back to that man!

But I didn’t know my husband.

A few blocks later, a car pulled over, and the passenger window rolled down. “Hey, lady,” a guy inside said, “ya wanna ride?”

Who did he think he was fooling? I knew that voice. And that car. I stuck my nose in the air and marched on.

The car pulled away. A block later, it was back with a repeat performance. I gave Jim a repeat performance of my own. Though I’ll admit I was disappointed when he and the car disappeared again. And didn’t return.

Well, I’m probably better off without him. Though I wish … oh, what difference did it make what I wished. I’d had two chances and blew them.

Now nearing the campus, I approached a corner with neatly trimmed bushes edging the property. Out popped Jim with welcoming arms and a big grin.

I collapsed into laughter, and he took my hand. “Let’s go home, Beauty.”

If you’re thinking Jim had his hands full with me, you’re right. Down through the years, my faithful husband had other occasions to rescue the day with humor.

Oh, and in case you’re tempted to feel sorry for him, don’t bother. I once told him I felt sorry for him. He was indignant. “I like a challenge!” he insisted.

All right then, sweetheart.

PLEASE SHARE: Do you have a humorous story to tell on yourself?