Tuesday, May 9, 2017


I was away for eight days and those eight days were stuffed with experience. Here is the first of three parts about the experience.  

First I should say that I love reading about other people's travels, but am abashed to write about my own. But I'm stepping out in trust that other people like reading about travels too, and if you don't you'll just skip this.  

Obligatory Bend riverwalk picture.
I wish a picture could show
how very extremely cold
we are in this moment.  
On a recent Tuesday morning, but not nearly as early as I would have liked, Jeff and I piled All The Things into our van and headed southeast toward the conference's clergy-and-spouse post-Easter retreat.  We took the long way through some parts of Oregon we have not seen in our ten years here. East from Albany, winding up past the beauty of the Santiam River, through Detroit Lake which is not a lake after all (to my Great-Lakes-bred way of thinking anyway) but a wide spot in the river, that is nonetheless breathtaking. Through snow, through the little western town of Sisters, and on into Bend which we have heard so much about as a fantastic destination, but which on this windy day was mostly deserted except for a surprising number of young men in blue blazer jackets.  (Maybe we should try it again, since we were too cold to see much.)

Desert in springtime.
After that, there was some stopping for junk food and some cut flowers for the retreat (no, the cut flower game in Redmond, Oregon's grocery stores is not strong, in case you were wondering), some getting a little lost but found again. And in every direction the desert in spring, green and rolling. And finally, coming around the hill and down into Kahneetah Hot Springs.

The next couple of days were some rest, some inspiring conversations about everything from the book of Revelation to how to be a sanctuary church to the merits of fry bread, some singing together and a whole lot of gratitude for the smart, passionate, talented, and faithful people that I get to call colleagues. Thursday, heading back home through the green desert, another new but not nearly as long way.  Some more junk food.

And then, home to do laundry, re-pack and put up a clean shower curtain. In the beginning of our marriage, I used to always scrub the entire bathroom before I left town. Now I put up a new shower curtain and call it good, which I guess tells you all you need to know about the best parts of being married for a while.

I called an Uber car and I was back on the road again around the time I'm usually tucking into my jammies.

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