Jett (jatg) wrote,

"Retreat Recap" or "Pygmy Forests, Dead Chipmunks and Ticks, Oh My!"

Back in January Lisa signed us up go to go a "Second Wind" retreat which is an Adventist Group. I didn't think much about it at the time but after we found out we'd be having to move just the thought of it was 1. Stessing me out 2. Making me resentful of the demands it would make on our time.
With that said, it has been a wonderfully soothing, relaxing, pondering and FUN weekend. In no particular order:

10. Driving up the 101 and then cutting across on the 128 made me oh so carsick. It didn't improve until we stopped at a great little mom and pop restaurant called Libbys. I drove the rest of the way. Note to self. On twisty roads, DRIVE.

09. We got in a little bit late and there was already an activity going on which involved a lot of people and songs I didn't really know so I ducked out and went to the main kitchen lodge where I sat down and started yakking with the small group of loiterers By the end of the night we were all fast friends.
Lisa knew one of the guys back from her college days and it was fun to watch her and him yammer away in their own truncated sentences. "Do you remember when..." "My third drawer?"...nonsensical things that made no sense to anybody but them but obviously brought them great delight. I wonder if it's like that for her when I chat with BJ and Bryce.

08. Thank goodness! Unlike her MCC retreats, HERE they LET YOU SLEEP IN! Breakfast wasn't until 10:00...there was a short sabbath program that was actually really nice, people weren't forced to share and then the rest of the afternoon was ours.

07. Close to where we are at (Albion) there is a PYGMY FOREST. Apparently the soil is depleted of nutrients so these ordinarily massive ancient trees hit their full about 6 feet tall. A quarter of an inch of trunk core holds 80 rings. It was NUTS looking at the poor straggley stunted trees and then reading that they were over 100 years old! CRAZY.

06. Sadness alert: Driving back from the forest, a chipmunk raced across the road. Lisa swerved to miss him at the same time he swerved to miss us. We weren't sure if we had hit him so we stopped and went back and there, lying perfectly still on the road was a little dead chipmunk. He wasn't squashed...he looked absolutely perfect except his intestines had burst out. We hope he didn't suffer long.

Lisa used an envelope I had in my car to scoop him up and we laid him gently in the bushes alongside the road. She said that even though he was dead she wanted to move him. It was sad to hit him but it was more sad to see these poor little dead things on that road that had been run over and over and over until they were nothing but little furry streaks on the road.

05. We pulled over at another spot so she could get pictures...and right by the pull over, just over the little side that looked out over the river, spilling down the mountainside was an old hideabed sofa somebody had flung. Preettty white trash. It was fascinating seeing how the sofa was coming apart, as was the mattress. I really can't imagine taking a large piece of furniture...and throwing it on the side of the road out of sight. Unbelievable.

04. Back at basecamp Lisa and I put on life jackets, grabbed some paddles and went kayaking up the river. We saw harbor seals taking naps just up from the retreat site. So awesome to see these massive sleek tubes of flesh with cute little faces and dark eyes. It was funny watching them stretch their little flipper/feet. Reminded me of Wulfie stretching and curling his feet.
I loved kayaking. It's been a long time since I have been in one. I prefer them to canoes. I like being closer to the water and I'm better at paddling in them. Canoes I keep barking my knuckles. I also liked being on my own and able to skud around and see what I wanted to see and let Lisa go at her own pace and stop and take pictures.
We saw so many cool things. Great Blue Herons and cormorants and king fishers. Lisa knew all the names. I felt like I was constantly asking "What was that? What is that over there?" Really peaceful, really wonderful. Someday we will have get kayaks to put on top of the teardrop when we travel.

03. Speaking of the teardrop. We brought it. There are cabins here but I think we're actually more comfortable sleeping in the teardrop. A lot of people this morning were complaining they didn't sleep well and Lisa and I slept like stones.

02. Tonight as the group was setting down to do a meditation/thought exercise Lisa asked me to take a quick check on her neck. Turns out she had a tick! We tried all these techniques people would swear by.

We covered it in dishwashing soap. "It's supposed to be uncomfortable and back out!"
We tried heating up some tweezers and then tugging on it. "They don't like the heat!"
We tried covering it in hand sanitizer. " won't LIKE it!"

Finally I just pulled on it with some tweezers hard and it came out. It was dead. I think it probably died back in the dishwasing soap but it was still fastened in pretty good. Fortunately nothing broke off inside and her neck doesn't appear to be getting rashy. We're not sure when she picked up the tick and it's strange because she wore a hat and a turtleneck and a peacoat pretty much all day. I'm not sure how a tick even SAW her neck, let alone was able to get in on it.

01. Had a fun evening tonight. After dinner we snuck away with another couple from the main group in the kitchen/dining lodge to main lodge where we put on the Olympics and played one of his favorite games called Acquisition. I guess it was from the 70s. He said it's a more sophisticated version of Monopoly and it was. Long game but lots of fun.
I told Lisa after that we're going to have to invite them over when we are settled at our new place. "I like them. They're a nice, normal couple." Ha ha!

00. Now I am sleepy. We have a long day tomorrow and sadly can not linger at this beautiful spot. Lisa needs to be back in SF around 1:00. We are dropping the trailer off at a friends to babysit it while we move and then she has to be at MCC around 2:00 for a training meeting.
It will be nice to have the garage space to move to, especially this week for our last big push. Sigh. Back to reality.

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