I was having a nice time sitting here in bartholomeus writing things my computer and listening to one of the CD mixes I got at the retreat, and suddenly this table full of very loud smoking men sat beside me. I was literally the only person in the cafe. You'd think they could have chosen a rather more interesting place to sit than right next to me. But whatever. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? And after all, cigarettes don't kill people...oh wait a minute...hmmm...
So here was the view out my bedroom window this morning:
Yeah, that's snow again. And this time a bit more for real. I mean, it's not even my birthday yet! And already we're getting snow. Fortunately it had all melted off by the time I wanted to head out for the day. Unfortunately it had been replaced by some seriously ridiculous blowing rain. (sigh) Will I ever stop whining?
The Thanksgiving was a good, if not even vaguely relaxing, weekend. Sadly it ended all too soon. I really wanted to stick around another day, but finding housing got all difficult, so we just came home last night. The main problem with that is that it means being back to regular life already. I'm not saying I don't like where I live or anything, but I enjoy being able to have time away as well. I was really looking forward to the weekend, and now it's just over and life is back to life as usual. But that is life, so I should have expected nothing else.
The snow really was quite magnificent when we were leaving the retreat. These huge flakes started falling during breakfast that had all the kids (and some of the older people on the team)in an uproar of glee:
Even as I felt my insides cringing at the thought that soon I'd be trudging to work in the snow, I was reminded by a friend that sometimes we just have to take in the beauty of the moment, rather than worrying about what it may imply for the future. So true. So I watched the snow fall, and tried to grasp the feeling of wonder once again.
I didn't get a whole lot of sleep this weekend, which was rather unfortunate. The rooms were super cute, but the beds were REALLY hard! After the first night I made a bed out of the chairs in the room and was actually able to get about 5 hours of sleep, which was a far cry better than what had come the two nights before.
(Oh my goodness the man next to me is soooooo loud! And people say American's are bad!)
So there's my little room. I enjoyed being right under the eaves. Something about slanty roofs has always appealed to me. Okay "roofs" looks really wrong to me, but it is accepted by spell check while "rooves" is not, so it must be right.
The hotel we stayed at was nestled down nicely in "the nature." I had some nice walks in the early hours of the morning when my body had decided it was all done sleeping and yet no one else was up and about. They didn't actually open the front door until 6:30, but as soon as it was open I was out exploring. I found it rather more exciting to wander about than I did to sit through the sessions. There was some good information presented, but I tend to zone out when the topic of TEFL comes up, so it was a stretch to keep myself focused and alert.
We had some really good devotionals though. It was exciting to see the passion of other people on our team.
I feel like I'm sort of rambling around things here, so I think I'll just tack on some more photos to keep people interested.
I do have one really funny story to tell. So we were supposed to be having this really brilliant Thanksgiving dinner. The hotel had asked Kelly to provide them with recipes so they could create a dinner like a mom would make. So when we came down for dinner Thursday night and saw this:
we were all a little bit surprised.
As we were about to dig in, Kelly informed us that this was actually our appetizer...hmmmm...Apparently we were going to be served our feast at 9 that night. It was seriously one of the strangest things ever. Just seriously bizarre. The worst thing was that the food they served the next day was REALLY not my thing, where as this "appetizer" was quite nice. If only it had been lunch for the next day so I could have eaten all of it. Ah well.
Once again, one of my favorite parts of the retreat was time spent with the little ones. Isn't Andrew just too cute!
We have seven kids in our group, and they were all quite adorable. I especially had fun connecting with Jack and Andrew again. It's such a blessing to be around them.
So there are many reasons to be thankful as American Thanksgiving approaches. I do feel so blessed to be here. I still have no idea what all God has in store for me this year, but I know that there is a reason he has me in this place. While the thought of snow continues to chill me to the bone, I'm trying to remember to enjoy the beauty of small moments stolen in silence...