Saturday morning I woke up about 5:15 – what can I say, I’m a creature of habit. I went ahead and got a shower and got ready for the day which didn’t take long since I let my hair dry naturally and didn’t bring one ounce of make-up with me. I spent the rest of the morning writing and even did some reading for a change. Around 7:00, I moved to the main room to watch television.
A few minutes later I decided to look up the web site to the lodge on my phone and give the office a call to see if anyone was there. A woman answered right away and I told her about our non-working oven. She called me back within 30 minutes and told me how to turn the oven on – miracle of miracles the light came on and I thought we had an operational oven.
Around 8:00 some of the guys that had volunteered to cook breakfast woke up and meandered into the kitchen to get started. I assisted them some but not a lot as they wanted to do it all on their own. Breakfast burritos were on the menu, which sounded and still sounds completely disgusting to me. Something about rolling breakfast up in a burrito just does not appeal to this Southerner’s senses. The guys cooked up sausage, hash browns and eggs. When the hash browns were done, we put them in a pan to put in the oven which had been on for a good 30 minutes or so and what do you know, the oven was still cold. So, while the guys finished up, I called the office again and they said they would send a maintenance man out after 9:00.
Soon most everyone was awake and breakfast was prayed over and served. I just ate my food separately because again, breakfast burritos – no thanks. When we were all finished and Doug said to clean up so we could get together for a devotional, that’s what happened. The leftover food was thrown out and the dishes washed. Then the next thing we knew Doug was frustrated that the food had been thrown out because not everyone had eaten. The two people that had not eaten were Doug’s wife Jess and another guy Chris. Hey, you snooze you lose. Seriously, who sleeps through the sounds and smells of breakfast? I didn’t even know that was possible.
So, Doug went out and got those two some breakfast from McDonald’s or somewhere and after they ate, we finally got around to having a devotional – at 10:30. It was scheduled for 9:30. I think it’s pretty apparent that there was no accurate timeline during this retreat.
In the meantime, the maintenance man showed up and began to work on repairing the oven. He finished up while we were singing praises to the Lord and left through the back door.
After the morning devotional, most people set out to play games or go for a walk or something productive. Me – well, I settled in front of the TV and began my Saturday ritual of watching football. Lunch was cold cut sandwiches and it was also every man for himself and so around 12:30 – otherwise known as halftime of the Mississippi State game – I prepared myself a sandwich and ate it. I started dozing off during the second half of the State game and so I pulled myself out of the chair I was in and moseyed on into the bedroom for a nap.
By the time I woke from my nap, the satellite box had been connected to a projector that Doug brought and the picture was being projected onto a white sheet that had been pinned to the wall. Things were looking up – we would not all have to crowd around a 27 inch TV to watch the Alabama game. I watched a few more games while waiting on dinner and the Alabama game to start.
Dinner was scheduled for 5:30 and kickoff for the Alabama game was set for 7:00. Dinner, however, wasn’t ready until a few minutes after 7:00. The Alabama game started on time – such a novel concept. Seriously, everything we did was probably an hour or more behind schedule which drove me bonkers because I work much better on a strict and organized schedule. It’s the one area in which I am most like my mother. Dinner was quite good – pork tenderloin, green beans, mashed potatoes and rolls. After kickoff and when the game went to commercial, I finally got up to fix myself a plate.
I sat in the back of the room because I wanted to make sure I had enough room to get up and pace, jump up and down and curse under my breath if necessary. The Alabama/LSU game has become the best game of the season in my opinion and I knew this was going to be a tough match for the Crimson Tide. Thankfully, after taking about 10 years off my life, Alabama won and kept me from cursing at the church retreat. There were many times when I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I went to bed about an hour after the game so the adrenaline could release from my poor soul.
Sunday morning, I was an early riser once again and managed to get a lot of reading in before anyone else woke up. I even packed up all my things and loaded up the car which was nice come leaving time. Breakfast on Sunday was pancakes and cheese grits along with bacon and left over pork tenderloin from Saturday’s dinner and the food was once again really good. We also had communion and a time of sharing with each other about our struggles and needs at this time in our lives. It was a really good morning.
After breakfast we cleaned up the kitchen and the rest of the lodge and then headed out. I got home about 12:15 and had time to get in a TV show before going to the Sunday afternoon prayer service at the church building.
I won’t say it was the best retreat ever, but it also wasn’t a bad time and it provided me with an opportunity to get to know the people in my class better and to make some new friends which was my main reason for going. I look forward to spending more time with these folks and getting to know them even better.