First thing's first...
Wishing my wonderful Dad a perfect day! Love you.
Now, I'll share some experiences from the last week at Montreat.
It is so beautiful there. Blissfully cool summer-scarf weather in the mornings, mountains everywhere, enthusiastic birds and gorgeous trees. A couple of other small group leaders and I decided to get up really early (5:30!) and hike up Lookout Mountain so that we could enjoy a sunrise up in the mountains. It was hard work (because this lil' gal didn't have any coffee first), but well worth the trek. Greg and Mike were, as always, such fun companions. I miss them already.
My small group was, again, just awesome. They had such a great sense of humor and really supported each other. I'm gonna miss them, too.
This is amazing Jacob, the son of one of the other small group leaders and a friend from seminary. He plays hard (often creating things out of recycling, like a "ladle" for me to drink my coffee with -- made out of a creamer container and a coffee stirrer). But when he gets tired, he's out! During worship, he just slept with his head on my lap through the whole service. It was so cute...not even loud applause could stir him. Gonna miss that kiddo, too (sense a theme?).
I had a great time with the other small group leaders, the highlight probably being going to the Montreat barn dance that happens for the community every Friday night. It was completely intergenerational, with 5-year-olds and 70-year-olds dancing together. I also loved the old-fashioned fun of a caller, live band and record player for other songs. At one point when we were all having to do a ridiculous dance move (I think resembling a penguin), I laughed so hard I couldn't even catch my breath. So wonderful.
I was so thrilled to reunite with my fabulous friend Jessi after 2 years (really? that long?). It was like we hadn't been apart at all.
(We also enjoyed some pretty tasty Thai food one night.)
And, finally, just a couple shots of flying home I had to share. The first, a lovely last look at those glorious mountains, and the second, an amusing airport employee whimsically swinging his legs off of the part that connects to a plane.
What a great way to spend two weeks. Montreat will always be a thin (distance between heaven and earth very close) place for me.