Camping Story

Well, okay. I had big plans about writing up about the camping, but for now I’m just going to copy over some “shorthand” (meaning I didn’t write everything I was wanting to say, and planned to elaborate when I copied it down here) journaling I did during the trip. Oh, and while I don’t usually write full names (for no reason other than whim, really) I am going to use them in this post so we don’t get too confused.

July 23rd

It’s just after 11pm and everyone has gone off to bed now.

 Belinda and Avery arrived at our house at 9:30am and we loaded everything up and set off by about 10:15. I felt like I was running behind all morning, but by the time she’d arrived, all I had left to do was fold up the pack-n-play and pack a lunch (peanut butter sandwiches), which Avery did. After everything was loaded, Charles started to cry, so I sat in the van and nursed him for a few minutes.

Then we drove to Temecula to meet Buck and Nathan, (Belinda’s husband and son) and drove out to the campgrounds. The drive up the mountain (Mt. Palomar) was a little nerve-wracking, since I’m scared of heights, but I tried not to look. It was a switchback mountain road, but we took it slow. What I forced myself to look at of the view was really spectactular. I wish I wasn’t so afraid of heights and that I could actually look fully and enjoy.

We arrived at noon. Check-in was officially at 2pm, but we were able to come right up. We (okay, nobody let me help much), Buck and Nathan did most of the unloading, and Belinda and Avery started setting up. Their van was stuffed to the hilt! I was amazed at all the stuff they kept pulling out. It was like watching Mary Poppins pull lamps and coatracks out of a carpet bag! They had two regular bed mattresses (I think maybe a twin and a full), a huge bbq in the back, and five large folding tables, along with many tote tubs, coolers, tents, chairs, etc.

We got mostly squared away and the first people to arrive were the Thorns at about 2:40. After much discussion and re-arranging, we finally settled on a “kitchen” layout and started setting that up. Then it was time to start dinner. A bunch of other folks started arriving shortly after the Thorns showed up.

We ended up running about an hour behind schedule all night. Not bad! We had fajitas with steak, grilled peppers and onion, cheddar cheese, sour cream, avacado and fresh salsa, along with salad, beans and spanish rice. It was delicious!

After a bunch of people helped clean up and everyone got settled we had our first teaching time. First we all sang a couple songs a capella. Even though I know that being outdoors doesn’t make God hear you better, it still felt like we were closer to Him. Then all of the sudden it struck me that we were singing to Him. I’m sure everybody else already keeps that in mind everytime they sing a hymn, but I’m kinda slow sometimes. It was just this feeling of, stop concentrating so much on the tune, getting the words right, how you sound, how the people around you sound, etc. etc. All the thoughts that go through my head while I’m singing that distract me from the fact that the purpose of the singing isn’t necessarily asthetic, but that it is a way of praising God, and that we’re doing it for His benefit, not because it sounds pretty.

Anyways, after we sang, Pastor Pirschel spoke about making friends and being a witness to them. He said that you should serve and minister to those around you, your children and family, and neighbors. Since everything happens for a purpose, God knew that you would live where you live and knew that you would have those neighbors, and he put you there to be a witness to them. So we should make a point to get to know them. So I think I’ll be making some baked goods and introducing myself the the neighbors when I get home, praying that the light of the Lord will shine through my life and that I might be a witness and good example to them.

After the teaching, most of the children went to bed, and after the men rigged up some lanterns, they played poker. I was hoping to fellowship with some of the women, remembering how fruitful our nighttime conversations had been at the women’s retreat last year, but everyone was tired and they had all gone to bed. I played Egyption Rat Race (a card game) with the teen girls for awhile, and after becoming weary of being slapped, (part of the game!) I went to watch the men play poker. Hye Walker came back from arranging her tent, (I thought she had gone to bed) and I visited with her and Kenny Taylor for a few minutes. Then everyone finished their games and went to bed. I was just going to make a quick entry before laying down, but I can’t believe I’ve filled five notepad pages already!

I have a pounding headache, actually hae had one all day. Maybe it’s the altitude. Hopefully I’ll feel better in the morning, otherwise I’ll have to bum some tylenol off of someone, I forgot to bring mine. I miss Marcus! ~Goodnight

July 24th

This morning we had delicious oatmeal with raisins, sunflower seeds and walnuts, thanks to Michael Hamrin. I’m not usually too keen on oatmeal, but this was very tasty. (And quite filling, too!)

All day yesterday I had a headache, but after laying down to go to bed it became nearly unbearable. I even felt nauseaus from the pain, which has only happened once before, when I had a migrane. I think that’s what I had. I forgot to pack any medicine, and everyone else had already gone to bed, so I laid there in agony until I finally fell asleep. I slept very lightly, and kept waking through the night because of it, and had a hard time falling asleep again each time. When I woke up this morning, I still had a headache, but it wasn’t as bad as it had been overnight. I took three acetominaphin or something of Belinda’s when I got up.

Nobody else seemed to have slept well last night, either. I think I would have slept fine, if it hadn’t been for my headache. So we’ll see how tonight is.

After breakfast, Belinda, Sabrina, Nancy, Mary and I went for a little walk aways down the road. It was fun talking and joking with them as we walked. They were saying they’d have to be careful what they said because they knew it would all be going down in my blog.

We got back and the teaching began. Pastor Pirschel continued the study with teling how everything we say influences people, and that it has an agenda. Also, that perfect Adam was created to receive instruction (from God), He would receive God’s instruction and use it to interpret the world around him. When Satan came into the picture he gave Adam another interpretation. He talked about how we can see sin in other people’s lives better than we can in our own, and so it’s important to open ourselves up to other people’s rebuke and exhortation because they will be able to see the areas that we need help in better than we can.

I’m praying that this time here can cultivate friendships and that I’ll come away from this with some friends who will tell me when I go astray, and who will be willing to exhort me “daily”. Especially since Marcus’ “deconversion”, I suffer from loneliness. The bible says, “where two or three are gathered in my name, I will be there in the midst of them” (paraphrased). But there is no longer “two or three” when I’m at home. Only one. I don’t have anyone to fellowship with when I’m at home. My parents sometimes talk about yearning for fellowship, but at least they have each other.

Then we had some time while the kitchen crew made lunch. It was salmon steaks, leftover rice and beans, and watermelon, along with delicious sauteed vegetables (zucchini, yellow squash, skinny eggplant and tomato with garlic, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.) Let me tell you, those vegetables were so good! I had to go back for seconds.

After lunch, lots of the smaller children went down for naps. A group of men and boys went to Doane Pond to fish, and  another group went to the Mt Palomar Observatory. Pastor Pirschel left with Maya to go to some kind of a dance. Andy went to do something as well, and when he got back, he gathered those of use who were around and told us that he had spoken to Jeff Reilly who told him that baby Andrew (only a few weeks old) had had a fever of 101, they took him to the hospital, and that they did a spinal tap (ouch! poor little baby!) and sent him and Christi via ambulance to Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Jeff was en route around 2 something whe he spoke to Andy. We prayed right then and there. What devistating news. How heartbreaking and traumatic. I pray God will be with them and bring them all through it.

Then dinner prep, and people started trickling back into camp. Sabrina took me to the area that’s supposed to get cell phone reception, but I couldn’t get any When we got back I asked the Bulthis’ if they could call Marcus and let him know so he wouldn’t worry. (The Bulthis’ are coming during the day but sleeping at home.) I hope they remembered.

Dinner was hotdogs, baked beans, potato chips and watermelon (there are so many watermelons! I think everyone decided to use one with their menu!).

This evening since Pastor Pirschel was away, the men went around the group and shared with us how certain ordinary people in their lives have impacted them. Mr. Thorn’s was especially moving, talking about his heritage of praying grandmother, mother, aunt and wife, and how important prayer is in our life. Mine wasn’t the only un-dry eye.

After a game of capture-the-flag among the big kids which Marcus Jr thoroughly enjoyed, I put them to bed. Then several of the women and girls (mostly – there were a couple men) played The Game of Knowledge. It was the same fun game we played at Thanksgiving. There’s always a lot of arguments and laughter. Alas, even though I “equaled a Lenny and Sabrina put together” (don’t know who came up with that, or why!) my team still lost by one point.

Now everyone’s turned in — and I need to turn out — the lantern.

July 25th

It’s 8:30pm and I decided to journal now instead of at bedtime. This is a very enjoyable trip! I’m so glad I was able to come. Maybe this (journaling now)  is a bad idea. There’s so much going on I can’t think.

This morning I was especially tired. I didn’t drag myself out of bed until about 7:45. I had to wake Marcus up this morning, too. A couple other people who I won’t name also slept late, so I guess I wasn’t the only extra-tired one!

After a breakfast of ham and egg english muffin sandwiches and hashbrowns, (and yummy, slushy, partially-frozen peach pieces) there was clean up,  teaching and lunch. We are being fed so well on this trip! We had bbq beef sandwiches, “Taylor-famous” baked beans, potato chips and, guess what…. watermelon!

After lunch I put Eileen down for a nap and Lenny, Belinda, Nancy, Darlene, Anneka, Solomon Pirschel, David Taylor and I went for a little walk.

When we got back, 2-4pm was game time. I was feeding Charles or videotaping the whole time so I kind of missed out in the participation of any. I was going to play smashball with Anneka later, but it never happened. I was also planning to play the dusk capture-the-flag game slated for later that night, but I was busy showering the children. Oh well, maybe I’m too old for that. I would have been the only married woman. My internal view of myself, my age, my size, and my capabilities is a lot different from the reality.

After dinner I attempted to brave the showers for the first time. First I went into the family shower, put .25 in, and nothing happened. When I went to ask someone who had used it before, they said you had to put .50 in to start, but also that the temperature was too hot and couldn’t be controlled. So I switched to a different shower and the water blasted out so hard. There was no way I could have put Eileen underneath it. Thankfully, I had brought Estee’s tote tub in and I just let the water pelt down into that and fill it up. Then I was able to bath both very dirty children.

After they went to bed, we started our first campfire of the trip and talked for awhile. Then we played Knowledge again, The Men vs. The Women. Unfortunatel, the men, (as Jesse would have put it) “slaughtered” the women. It was funny. We played until around midnight.

—————————————–

That was my last entry. I think we had one more full day and left the following day around noon. The rest of the time was similar to what I posted about, so I won’t try to remember details, it’s been awhile now. Suffice it to say, it was a very enjoyable time of fellowship, fun, food, and teaching. We all had a great time.

Sorry for taking so long. I’ve had some stuff come up in my life and I didn’t really feel like blogging. Hopefully I can get out of my funk and just start posting again.

JJ

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Doug Nowlin said,

    Hello,
    I don’t know if this is appropriate here or not, but I’m looking for a Michael Hamrin that I used to work with. I have been running searches on him and this came up. You appear to be in the right area as last I heard he was in Temecula. We are having a reunion and he is one of the last to be located. If you would pass on my contact information to him I would appreciate it very much. I signed in but just in case you can’t see it here is my email. I’ll spell it out to avoid spammers drnowlin AT msn DOT com. Thank You and if this is against your policies go ahead and erase it.

  2. 2

    Doug Nowlin said,

    Hello again, I’m still trying to get a reply on Michael Hamrin, would you please pass on my information. Thanks

  3. 3

    I’m so sorry, my comments are supposed to automatically be emailed to me but occasionally they aren’t. I just received an email about the one you left today and came here to see the other one. I will be glad to pass on your info to him!

    JJ

  4. 4

    Doug Nowlin said,

    Thank You I appreciate your help I talked to him and he is the correct person.

  5. 5

    So glad I could help. How cool!

    JJ


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