Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Youth Leader's Retreat at Al and Wilma's Cottage

Each year, for the past several years, Calvin's Youth Leaders have gone away for a weekend in February to 
rest, relax, and rejuvenate 
at what was called "Soul Care" Retreats.  

Since no retreat was going to happen this year, we decided to go away in January for a weekend on our own.  
Thanks to Al and Wilma, who provided their cottage for us for the weekend, we left on Friday, Jan 18th and made the trek to Seeley's Bay.  

We left at about 4:30 pm, with myself, Jeannine, Janine, Mel, and Megan (a student leader).  

Kevin was coming a bit later on his own, and Ken was unable to make it this weekend : ( .  

The drive up was nice and uneventful.  A bit of snow, but nothing major.  We were a bit worried about the final stretch of road to the cottage, as in the past, it has been icy, or watery.  This year it was perfect.  

We arrived around 7:30 pm ish.  Mel was our navigator.  She didn't need the directions.  Apparently after she's been to a place once, she has it memorized.  I can only dream about having that kind of memory.  I was told to go slowly on the dirt roads, and Mel made SURE I knew that.  : )  

Once we arrived, we unloaded all the food and luggage.  The cottage was already warm and cozy inside because Al and Wilma had just left that morning.  

Yes everyone, that's a bathroom. : ) 
Must have been a really nice one for all of them to be staring at it.  (tee, hee).  

We unloaded the food into the fridge and on the counters.  This was going to be a weekend of relaxing, and eating.  : )   

Then we explored the cottage.  
It's a great cottage to spend a weekend in.  
Spacious and cozy.  

Some more stuff to unpack and get sorted before setting down to relax.  

Jeannine got right into relax mode.  She hurt her wrist a couple of days before, skiing with the youth group, and on her birthday of all things.  Not a happy person that day.  Things seemed better now (that double chocolate mousse cake sure helped out too, eh Jeannine! : ) )

Never let a current paper go to waste when you are in relax mode. Al and Wilma left it behind after their stay on Thursday night.  

Kevin arrived about 11 pm, ish.  Before that, the rest of us simply sat around and began talking. We covered many different subjects....like the narcissism of people, predestination,  law vs grace, different types of churches, youth and their worship tastes, etc.  
Light, relaxing conversation.  : )  

Jeannine and Mel took out a large puzzle to tackle while we continued talking.  

More discussion stuff to fill Kevin in on.  

Kevin was ripe for a weekend to relax, 
and he's taking full advantage.  

We played a game of Cranium.  
I love this game...Kevin....not so much.  : ) 

Megan looks like she's sleeping...I think she's passed out cold, having to smell Kevin's feet!!!!  
How could you Kevin? 

Oh, he was listening to my typing...oops.  : )  

We all went to sleep around 12:30 am.  There are lots of rooms in the cottage.  I took a room in the basement with two twin beds.  
All to myself.  
Quiet and cozy. 
No one could hear me snoring...I hope.    

Breakfast was at 9 am.  Kevin got up early and was drawing some basement outlines for his potential new home.  Others got up earlier than 9 am too, but not me!  

Mel reading the paper while perched on the couch.  
How do you not fall off?????

Megan and I made the bacon and eggs that morning.  

It was hard work, but we managed.  : )

Most took them scrambled, but Kevin and I had them easy over.  
Don't they look great! 
Hey, how did Jeannine's hand get in there....hmmmm

Janine reading and waiting for breakfast.  

Apparently Mel decided to go out in her bare feet in the morning to get something.  She's asking for pneumonia if you ask me.  

Sitting down to have breakfast.  
Kevin, put a shirt on!  
This blog is rated G you know.  : ) 

Our trusty transportation....
hmmmm, they need to be washed.  

After breakfast it was time to go for a walk and work off all those eggs and bacon. 

A small snow ball fight broke out...youth leaders...sheesh!

We took a short walk around the area, and Janine went inside.  
Icy, hilly roads and being pregnant isn't the best mix.  
The rest of us carried on.   

The road was a bit icy, so we had to watch our step.  

Off the beaten path we go...
with Kevin that's the only way you CAN go.  : ) 

We found an abandoned pick up truck off the road.  

A perfect starter vehicle for Megan.  : )  
Needs a bit of work........

Up the hill we went..all except Jeannine.  
Didn't want to hurt her wrist even more.  

We had to be careful on the slippery rocks.  

Kevin made it up first, of course.  
Megan, Mel, and he then continued further on, and I came back down the hill to walk the road with Jeannine.  

I left her with the camera, as you can tell.  
Nice picture though.  

So Mel, Megan and Kevin went off-roading for a bit, and Jeannine and I walked on the road...for a good 1/2 hour.  

We came to this sign and decided to turn around.  
Great talking with you Jeannine.  
Always a good discussion.  

Once back it was time to play some Euchre.  Megan didn't know how to play, so we tried to explain it to her....
no, let me correct that.  
I started to explain it to her, and then Kevin took over explaining the game to her.  :)  

As you can tell he was getting pretty intense about it too.  

Janine and I just watched and wondered.  : ) 

That game tired me out, so I ended up taking a nap.  Some others did too.  Mel had wonderful music to snooze to.  

A late lunch of sandwiches.  

Jeannine decided to start a 750 word puzzle.  
We discovered that she is the "Puzzle Whisperer".  She had an uncanny way of knowing where pieces went.  
It was amazing to watch.     

Megan relaxing with her non alcoholic wine punch.  

Reading can make one sleepy.  : ) 

Kevin began to make our Chili supper around 4:30.  
It ended up being DELICIOUS!!!!!!

A view of the water.  Not really frozen, but nice to look at.  

Cleaning up after dinner.  
Jeannine is being weird AGAIN!

This turned out to be an interesting picture.  
Jeannine's leg seems to be disappearing into the stove.....strange...ah well...it matches Jeannine's character as well!!  Bahahaha

Continuing on the puzzle....the boarder is done, but the rest of the pieces all looked the same to me.  

Kevin, you are strange too!  
Nice hat Megan.  

Megan relaxing and reading a good book. 

As the sun set, we continued conversations and relaxation.  We had some great discussions near the end of the evening. Even Megan began to open up and share. Cool!  : )  

Sunday Morning.  9 AM.  
I'm not sure if Megan and Jeannine even went to bed.  
They were there when I went to bed, and there when I woke up....hmmmmm

Megan and I made bacon and eggs AGAIN! 

The sun shining  into the cottage, but it sure was windy.  
A bit of freezing rain in the morning hours as well.  

Breakfast time...and AGAIN Kevin, put a shirt on! 

After breakfast the puzzle completion got serious.  We weren't allowed to leave until it was finished, so others joined in...even me at one point.  
Jeannine put us all to shame.  

We had our own brief church time and relaxed a bit more before having lunch. Left overs, and more chili.  

The puzzle.  
Finally completed.  
Jeannine was exhausted.  : ) 
But satisfied.  

After cleaning up, we headed for home.  

We were unaware of the flash freeze that was happening as we drove home.  
In Smith's Falls we were detoured because hydro crews were fixing the lines.  That should have been a clue...it wasn't. 

The real clue came as we turned on to HWY #7 at Carleton Place.  Everything was a sheet of ice.  I drove real slow, and we saw cars in the ditch, and places where cars were in the ditch.  
Mel checked the news, and we learned about the flash freeze.  

In addition to that, the 67's were just finished their game, so we endured that slowdown too. 

After dropping of Jeannine, we eventually arrived at the church, and Mel began to thaw out her car.  The wipers were frozen under a couple of cm of snow and ice.  She did a GREAT job of cleaning it up, while I watched.  : ) 

Two more stops...Janine and Megan, and I was off for home.  It was a great weekend together for all of us.  I learned new things about this group, and some about myself as well.  
Relaxing isn't easy for me........  :)  

Thanks Al and Wilma for the use of your cottage. 
Thanks Mel, Jeannine, Kevin, Janine, Megan (and Ken) for all you do in our youth ministry.  You are all AMAZING!