If you are looking for me today you will find me in the laundry room. It is my penance for being gone this weekend. It is the price I must pay for having too much fun and laughing until tears streamed down my face and my cheeks ached.
I spent the weekend with some of my dearest girlfriends at a lake house, you see, and now I shall pay. I shall pay in dirty underwear and stinky socks. I shall pay in ketchup stained tee shirts and inside out jeans. Oh yes! Payment shall be dear.
But worth every last sock.
One of my sweet friends has a lake house not too far away, but just far enough to feel as if you have left your real life behind. And she is sweet and generous with her lakeside retreat. So it was that five of us gathered there--the original four plus another dear one. There were more invited, but because of various reasons, they couldn't come. They were missed. That's a certainty. Because all of our laughing and joy would have increased with each that wasn't there. But for the ones who were, time went by much too quickly--even after a half day's delay from being iced in. What a place to be iced in! I would have stayed much longer.
My own family spent a whirlwind Friday night and Saturday in Illinois, celebrating my sweet mother-in-law's 88th birthday. They stayed with my folks on Friday and feted my mother-in-law on Saturday and were home late Saturday night. I missed out on that. Truly, I did.
But the reunion I had with them all as I came in looking like a pack mule with all the stuff I carried with me to the lake was a sweet one. It was good to be away. It was good to laugh and cry and eat and pray and rejoice and praise and snort and giggle and scrape ice and see eagles and scream about seeing eagles and play games and watch movies and drink wine and miss our friends. But gosh, it sure is good to come home to sweet faces and sweeter embraces.
I leave you with pictures I took of three of The Original Four. They will all be angry with me for posting these, because they are too harsh on themselves. But they are truly some of the most inwardly and outwardly beautiful women I have ever had the pleasure of calling friend. (Julie, I want to take your picture. I just figured that you wanted to be showered and not looking like you had just spent a morning scraping ice. Next time, dear friend. Next time!)
Kimlarie--the sweetest, gentlest spirit I've ever known. She is the wonderful mother to two handsome boys and wife of a very lucky man. Her voice is like spun sugar.
Margie--her eyes and heart are always focused on Jesus. It's humbling. She is the mother of 5, grandmother of 4, and heart mother of so many more. She is a model of hospitality. Her husband is a lucky man as well. (He is also my match for sarcasm. Love it.)
Linda--the owner of the lake house. My three youngest are the same ages and genders as hers and have been forced friends since birth. Her young pup of a husband must know how blessed he is to have her. She makes me laugh harder and louder than anyone else I know. She also is my best reminder to get on my knees and take myself before the Lord. She is a gracious and generous host and an even more gracious and generous friend.
She's the lucky and blessed fourth of the Original Four. She will spend much of this week with a big, dopey grin on her face thanks to the girls she spent the weekend with. Even if she is spending most of this week in the laundry room.