On fairly last minute notice, I went with the women of my church on a women's retreat. One of the church families owns an INCREDIBLE, beautiful, very exclusive guest ranch here in the valley and they opened it to us to come this year, free of charge.
I didn't arrive until almost dinner time last night and left mid-afternoon today, but it was wonderful, short as it was.
I didn't really feel like socializing much--too tired, too much has been going on, too many things on my mind--so I holed up by myself and read for most of the free minutes, as well as all of the meal times. It was unusual for me to be such a loner and not join in on conversation, games and fun, but quiet solitude what I was craving, so I gave myself the grace to take it.
The cabin where we were staying was just under a mile down the road from the conference center where we were having meetings and meals, and while most of the ladies drove their cars back and forth, I found that I could quite proficiently read while walking the easy route, getting in one chapter each direction. The ladies teased me a bit, but they are my friends, and it was all in fun; they graciously cut me the slack I needed.
Nance and I slept outside on the deck with warm sleeping bags on an air mattress, instead of in the cabin (which, incidentally, could have doubled as the Rocky Mountain Museum of Taxidermy) with the twenty other women. The night was nearly moonless and perfectly clear, and with no city lights to intrude, we had an incredible time of star gazing as we talked before drifting off to sleep. The night turned cold and windy, but our bags were warm and, as long as we kept our heads covered and stayed buried down deep, we were quite toasty. Sleeping on an air mattress is never a really good night's sleep, but it was well worth it, with the stars above and the creek below. Did I not mention the creek? Burnt Fork Creek, which is unseasonably high and fast right now, runs right along the edge of the deck, only a few feet below. Its current was fast and strong, adding spectacular background music to our little campout.
All in all, very refreshing.
Oh, and we were very glad no bears showed up. The owner of the ranch had suggested against sleeping outside, as they are having quite a bear problem right now. We kept a can of bear spray next to the bed and blocked the steps up to the deck with the big barbecue grill, then relaxed and went to sleep. I'm just not the city girl I once was; that is for sure.