Monday, January 4, 2010

The Wilds, day 1

I can hardly believe it's January 4th and here I am once more at The Wilds for the annual music conference. Where does the time go? That saying that time flies faster the older you get scares me because if it's this fast at 24 how fast will it be at 44? 64?

Saturday morning very early Erin & Angie met at my house to take off on the first leg of our journey, a 13ish hour drive to Atlanta. Our first excitement was when we piled all our bags around my 1999 Chevy Lumina and realized this was going to be a VERY TIGHT squeeze. I had been worried that would happen because I knew full well how much luggage girls tend to take and we were packing for a week of frigid temperatures along with bedding and towels. When we discussed if it was even possible Erin felt pretty sure we could make four girls work in the car although I was thinking three was going to push it. Where there's a will there's a way though and we began stuffing bags and cramming things in just as well as we could. When we climbed in the car with our stuff piled all around we had to laugh because there was really only enough room for us to climb in, hold our breath and slam the door shut. There were many strange looks from other drivers on the road and especially when we fall climb out of the car at gas stations and such.

It was relatively an uneventful car trip to Atlanta as we did not get lost as in previous years. Haley was driving and did happen to turn the wrong way on one road but I pulled out my phone, opened up the GPS and navigated us straight to the James's house. Yay us!!! The James gave us a wonderful welcome as they always do and we all stayed up to chat awhile. I fell asleep at about 2 AM and didn't even realize it until Erin woke me up the next morning when my alarm went off. Mrs. James left us careful instructions on exactly how to get to the church and we had no problem getting there either. This is all very comforting to me as I was just a bit nervous at taking this trip without Jonathan who usually is the one to tell us where to go. After a very good sermon we all went back to the James house for a very delicious lunch. I love the James because they cook very similarly to the way we do at home. When we could eat no more we sang around the piano a little as is our tradition and then visited before the others headed back to church.

At this point we had discovered that while we had packed very warm things for Houston winters, the rest of the country is apparently in the grips of the most arctic blast I've ever seen. In Atlanta the highs were in the low 30s and the lows at night were around 18. We were all soooo cold and new it was supposed to be even colder at The Wilds so it was decided we should make a trip to a few stores and try to locate a few more pairs of tights to wear under our skirts. I even wore some under my jeans and it helped a lot to add that extra layer!! By the time we were done at Ross & Walmart church was over and we met a group at McDonald's before going back to the James house for the night. Joey came over for awhile afterwards and we had a fun time.

This morning we got up intent on repacking the car so that we had a little more room to breathe. We all attempted to repack our own individual bags so that they were more compressed and felt like we had done the best we could. Mr. James and Daniel helped us pack things back into the car and although we got more in the trunk it didn't seem like we had that much more room in the car. Erin seems to think there was a bit more leg room but it sure still looked full to me. After lunch at Chick-fil-a with Joey & Charissa we were off again. Thankfully the drive from Atlanta to The Wilds feels like nothing at 3 1/2 hours compared to the day before!

As we made the turn onto 178 and began the actual driving into the mountains I started noticing some white chunks along the side of the road. I asked Erin if she thought those looked like chunks of ice and she agreed that they did. We thought perhaps they fell from higher up somewhere because there really didn’t seem to be any other ice anywhere. At some point we rounded one of the curves and saw icicles hanging from the side of the mountain. A little further on and we saw a white patch of snow. We got all excited until we looked on the other side and discovered the entire side of the mountain was covered with it! I found a little drive to pull off on and we all got out to take a picture. The rest of the drive was amazing as there was snow everywhere, on roofs of houses and drifts along the side of the road. To these native Texan girls it was quite the thrill!! When we finally pulled into The Wilds there was not quite as much white everywhere but the forecast is flurries possible every day this week so we are very hopeful.

When we checked in they told us we were in duplex number 52 and he showed us how it was at the back of the line. After driving back we realized he wasn’t kidding—it is the last row of duplexes at the very back of the camp and in the very end of the row on the second story. We decided it serves us right for waiting until the last minute to register. On the plus side these are apparently brand new duplexes and the fixtures, paint and beds look brand new. The heater also works very well which we are very grateful for!!

Dinner tonight was chicken parmesan which is a new dish I don’t remember having here before. Our speaker for this week is Dr. Jim Binney and I am already sure I will want a copy of the messages. Tonight he talked a bit about how when we say “I know God has forgiven me but I just can’t forgive myself” it shows a very flawed view because if God can forgive us but we can’t forgive ourselves that means we think we have a higher standard than God. I had never thought of it this way and it hit me like a ton of bricks. He also gave teasers about some of the other topics this week such as more on confessing sins vs asking forgiveness and I can’t wait to hear more.

We are taking pictures and I will add them later. For now there are a few on Facebook that Erin has posted. I'm excited about what God has for us this week and will share more later. Here's hoping we don't freeze to death tonight!! :)


Paula said...

Thanks for blogging about your trip. I love hearing about what you gals are doing. Have an amazing time!! Maybe without so many "friends" there, you girls can focus on refreshing yourselves, physically and spiritually. I'm so glad y'all got to go.

Candace said...

It sounds SO exciting Megan! Thanks for keeping everybody updated! Oh my goodness, I'm really missing it...except for the cold. ;) Hope y'all FUN the rest of the week and try not to freeze!