Sunday, November 06, 2011

Cue the Banjo and Tandem Bikes

Disclaimer, this is long. The pictures are many.

Friday Night
We arrive, officially in the middle of no where, Friday night. The room, is peaceful. The company is fabulous. We laughed and chatted it up as we drove. We stopped and ate in a small Alabama town at their local Mexican place, it was that or Burger King. We left bloated and feeling like we may pass out. I had forgotten we used to eat that stuff weekly and gobble it down. Almost nothing on my plate was "real food".

Now, cue the banjo.... last night, on basically a one lane road, we were looking for the place and all of a sudden a GINORMOUS dog jumped out towards our car in the night. We screamed like school girls, hitting the ceiling and I have not stopped laughing. The mister hears me giggling and now instead of asking he just says "the dog?!" and we both just laugh and laugh.

Saturday Morning
We awoke to clouds, majestic clouds right out our window. Wrapped up in robes, sipping coffee and reading. Just being lazy and living the dream.  We finally peeled ourselves out of bed and hiked, ran and headed towards the bikes. There was a tandem one, that looked a little wrecked which might have been a clue to run... If only I had taken my camera, a video camera that is.

We went off roading, on a tandem ROAD bike mind you, in search of a three story tree house. Let me just start by saying, being on the back of the bike I felt totally out of control. At points I thought I would fly right off we we were going so fast, and was thankful, which sounds odd, when we hit a trail. I thought at least it would slow us down. Well, that only increased  the sense of urgency I felt to jump off the bike. We had slowed down, but now I was being jolted and bounced around... note this all sounds miserable, but it brought uncontrollable laughter. Gorham Bluff's residents might never be the same, nor may my hinney.

Needless to say, I had no control of brakes nor steering and held on tight. Much like marriage can feel. We finally came to a bridge that was broken and had to ditch the bike. We decided to keep searching for the tree house on foot and found it. Meanwhile, I decided that CJ should be called his real name Christopher, since we are officially grown-ups and all (although this post might make one question our maturity) and so that was agreed upon for at least this trip....or chatterbox. The man can chat it up. Back to the tree house...we found it, climbed it and it even had a fireman pole we both decided we should go down, or I was talked into it. It's never a dull moment.

Now, back on the bike headed to the Inn. Uphill. I came to find out quickly, when the person "driving" the bike stands up to peddle, the person in the back feels like they are about to be catapulted off. I managed to stay on, all the while trying to help peddle. Finally I realized that if I hopped off and pushed from behind we could make it up the hill. Quite the scene. Thankful we were in the forest in the middle of no where and that birds nor squirrels can talk to report crazy people on tandem bikes in the woods. My word. It made our trip. We finally came back into civilization, whizzing (Christopher can pedal) out of the woods as I am still flailing in the back, laughing uncontrollably and doing my best to keep up and hang on. Tears are streaming down my face as I type. One of the best times I have ever had.

Saturday afternoon
I am filled with gratitude. Gentle breezes. The warm sun. We eat a picnic lunch, roasted Duck, it makes me queasy....I don't like eating wild game. I finish off my tabuli, cookie and chips and am full. We talk some more, "chatty kathy and chatterbob". We feel full. The artist Chrisptopher comes out, his sophisticated side, and he sketches in the sketch book over an hour as I scour the internet for writing our family mission statement, something we agreed we would like to do. I did it years ago and they are so helpful and hopeful. I miss my pen and paper, there is something about writing my thoughts out that helps me more than typing, so I hike back to our room. Coffee is served on a tray brought to us outside and we feel fancy. This place has other people here, but no one is out but us. We take 5,986 more pictures of tree's and and chat some more.

A far cry from who we have been. What at our marriage has been. God does change people. Just pick up the Bible, chapters and chapters of broken people who are changed by a mighty God. Wow. Grace means favor and it is hitting us. Thankfulness. A God centered life. Prayer together. Thankfulness....together. We are being impacted by own story now that the dust has settled. We celebrate because it's nothing we have done (besides saying we can't do it, only God can) and it's all been done for us, by Him. I think we are more in less in shock that we feel so in love. It feels like a love both young and old. Old because we've weathered a lot that has in turn given us more wisdom, and young in the fact we feel winsome and carefree, comfortable and in love.

Intimacy is something we both were terrified of... and I mean terrified. It felt awkward and so foreign for so many years. He is giving it to us now though, we still have a ways to go, but we are learning what it means to know and be known by another. To be loved with all your baggage and all your defects. Our prayer is that God is the backbone of our marriage, that is the ONLY way this gig can stay afloat. That others may see, in a tangible way, the Gospel played out in our love, forgiveness and acceptance of each other. That our lives are marked with Him, through and through and through.

Saturday Evening
We ate a fancy dinner, a four course meal and made our way to the Inn's Living room couch to settle in and watch LSU and Alabama. We made some new friends, which thanks to Facebook we can remain in touch with. They were a fabulous couple and provided a lot of laughs and entertainment. They had been married since 1989, so they were a few years ahead of us.

Christopher decided to run (not literally) to the local Jack's to grab us some "healthy" breakfast ;) His run ended up being very, very long as he got lost. He finally made it back and I got to read half my book "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss. A fabulous book about a young girl's journal of her short life. I can relate to her a lot, especially in my own journey of learning what knowing God looks like.

We got back on the tandem for another wild ride, this time I drove. We took a trip with the camera back to the tree house, fun times were had yet again. Uncontrollable laughter and sore hinney's. Now it feels like 10 PM, but is only 7 and we are all snuggled up watching a movie about to head to bed.
Thankful and full. We are blessed.

On an other note.....
Our little Christopher Owen is 3 today. He is an enchanting soul, full of hilarious sayings, lots of love and compliments (especially to me lately) and has the whole family wrapped around his pinky. He is a little controlling, but for most part loves life. We love him to death and our family would not be complete without him. He brings us all lots of laughs and joy! We love you Owen!

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