Instead of doing a long post on my time helping out with the Marriage Matters retreat, I thought since a lot of my time was spent cooking, cleaning, and setting up, I would do a top five list.
Top 5 marriage retreat (sans husband) moments:
5. One of the coolest things about my friends that planned the retreat is that they are the most hospitable people I have ever met. No detail goes unnoticed. They decorate, write welcome notes, and even had little baskets in every room with snacks and various things for the weekend. Because I was there to help out, they gave me an apron with my name monogrammed on it to wear while I cooked.
4. There aren’t many things that a runner needs to take with them when they go out of town. Forget your GPS watch? Annoying, but you can still run. No iPod? Enjoy the run without it. Besides your running shoes (which I remembered), I really couldn’t think of anything that I wouldn’t be able to run without. Until I left my deodorant at home. Lucky for me, there was a convenience store at the resort office that had some. Lucky for everyone else, I put it on before I started cooking dinner.
3. The hills were awful from a running standpoint. There really wasn’t a good place to run. But dang, was it so pretty on that small path in front of the lake around the resort. Getting up and having some “me” time before anyone else was awake was nothing short of refreshing.
2. Spending time with people in our small group was pretty great. I totally loved the night hike, but I also really enjoyed just hanging out over meals and the short amount of time I was able to go to the sessions. Of course you always leave events like this with little inside jokes and really great memories that you could never plan for. And some of the times I enjoyed most were in the kitchen (which is funny because cooking is not my forte, and I could not contribute much). What is my forte? I am a major fly-killing ninja. And attacking flies in the kitchen was something positive that I could contribute.
1. I was only assigned one item to complete before we got to the retreat: get balloons blown up with helium to decorate with. And while this was a simple task, I knew that it was one that I wouldn’t be able to do until I was close to my destination because driving with 10 helium balloons for 100 miles is not easy. What I didn’t realize was how hard it would be to find a place that blew up balloons in Nowhere, Alabama, once I got close to the lake. After striking out a couple of places, I finally found a place called “LOL” about 45 minutes out of the way.
Little did I know that my day would be made by the lady who worked in the store, who, after I told her I was decorating for a church retreat, told me that the local church called her store “Love of Lucifer.” She also went on and on about coordinating colors of ribbon for my zebra balloons. And before I knew it, 40 minutes had passed, my balloons were only halfway inflated, and I was gonna be late arriving. The stories this sweet woman told me were beyond anything I could write on these family friendly pages. The various “items” in the store were beyond anything I could tell you without blushing. But when that sweet lady insisted on bringing the balloons out to my car, tying the strings in her signature knot, and strapping them into the back seat, I knew that my single assigned task had been done right.
Picking only 5 great moments from this trip was really difficult because I had such an amazing time, and I am so grateful that I was invited to help, as I would’ve been so sad at home all weekend while A was out of town.
What is the one thing you ABSOLUTELY cannot live without when you go out of town?
Random: If you are a runner, where is your favorite place to run?