Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Re-Entry at Camp Latgawa

Working on a quilting project at Camp Latgawa

I’ve been home for about two and a half weeks now; most of my friends and acquaintances recognize that I’m back; others still greet me with the usual litany of “how was it” and “did you have a good time?”  I supposed I’ll get used to it; everyone has his or her own concerns and few have time or energy to go outside their comfort zone to explore the bigger picture! 

Last weekend I went to a “quilting retreat,” an annual event held through my church’s conference, that I have been attending for the past four or five years.  I enjoy the uninterrupted time to work on whatever sewing projects I’m involved in at the time, the beautiful setting (Rogue/Umpqua National Forest in southern Oregon), and the delicious meals lovingly prepared by the camp managers, Eva and Greg.

Breakfast quiche at Camp Latgawa
I also usually enjoy the camaraderie of the other women who attend – each working on her own project(s), yet having the time to offer an opinion of how something is turning out, or assistance with a problem or question.

This year was different.  Oh, I still enjoyed the uninterrupted sewing time – finished a graduation gift quilt for my 18-year-old grandson, Shawn, and got a good start on a quilt that will be a gift for Katie and Jeff’s October wedding.

Shawn's graduation quilt
I enjoyed the food too – although it made me sad to know that this is Eva and Greg’s last year as camp managers.  After 13 years, the birth of baby Molly last year caused them to re-think their life goals; they will be moving to the Bahamas so Greg can become a scuba instructor! 

The difficult part for me was the constant presence of 17 other women – all perfectly nice women whose company I would normally enjoy.  This time, the size of the group (really too large for the facility!) and their constant “cheeriness” was difficult for me to deal with. 

I know it wasn’t them – either collectively or individually – but me.  Someone once said that I would come back changed, but the world around me would be the same.  I tend to forget that when I’m involved in everyday activities – only to have it hit me over the head at often-inopportune times!

Trail to "Dead Indian Springs"
A few of the women were interested enough in my experiences to join me one evening while I shared stories and answered questions.  I appreciated their interest more than I realized at the time – perhaps it was the validation that I really had something to say and that there are people who are open to hearing it?

The setting of the camp – and the hiking trails therein – were my salvation!  Out there, I could enjoy the beauty of nature, to talk to God and to think about the paths that my life has taken, and continues to take!

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