Driving across the desert with my own thoughts and a couple books on CD was uneventful. Well except for the large rubbermaid trashcan that decided to play chicken with me on the road. But I won.
I’m not good at being alone but when the GPS says, “Left turn in 236 miles.” and you’re the only one in the car, you settle in and make the best of it. The drive was actually quite cathartic.
Cloudhaven was everything I thought it would be and more. A sweet retreat in the pine covered mountains. Each day dawned with a new wave of possibilities. Piles of books, miles and miles of forest, an unending ball of yarn, conversations to be had and yet nothing planned. And everything was done with a wonderful backdrop of fresh green. At first it was warm and clear but towards the end of the week, the clouds moved in and the rain added another layer of sweetness.
Each morning was started with a walk or a hike higher up the mountain. Sometimes there were deer along the way. Sometimes I had four legged companionship. There was a waterfall to walk by, trees to look at, gravel and pine needles underfoot, and miles of blue sky.
Meet the four-legged companion. Bailey just loves to be where the people are. Whenever I left the house she was always there by my side and ready for anything. She’s getting a bit old so sometimes I wondered if she would survive the hike but a little water, a bit of rest and a scratch behind the ears can do wonders. When we weren’t out exploring Bailey loved her post in the middle of the road, sunny, warm and a great view of the neighborhood comings and goings.
When I wasn’t hiking or otherwise out exploring, I perched myself in a rocking chair on the porch. Armed with a blanket, pen, a pile of books and my knitting, I spent many happy hours reading, writing and just enjoying the quiet. After most of the week just taking notes and jotting down thoughts, Jesus- An Introduction took shape. This is part summary of the Bible, part synthesis of all the books I read, part personal journey and part step forward.
When it was too cold to sit on the porch, I curled on the couch inside and enjoyed a nice fire. No stresses, no unwelcome distractions, just a great week with great people. Thank you Jim and Katy for the showers of blessings you poured out on me. Cloudhaven truly is a haven.
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.—Is. 44:22