Babs, Sue and Barbie a trio of doers were cajoled by a persistent spirit to let go of their grip on busy ways, and slip into the art of slowing down to to do nothing at all. Meandering like fluid along Hwy 88, Sue and Babs both water signs enjoyed the dillydally, pressure free saunter to a destination of peace. Leisurely frittering time away, we zigzagged down to visit Plasse's Resort at Silverlake. Alas the lake was glass but the restraunt was not open. Ahem we smiled and vagabonded up to Caples Lake where Earl pulled in to decelerate the afternoon. No food, no potties available, hmmm, "we are on vacation" was our chant! This splendid spurred moment was ever clever, but now a potty, oh dear, MUST - hoisted us back on the road. All anguish gladly abandoned, we poked along to arrive at Sorrenson's in a shared rambling mode. We rummaged through the menu and concluded that Burgundy Stew would do. We delighted in our conscious practice to repress any productive impulses while thouroughly enjoying our lunch. A friendly staff busy making our Juniper Cabin ready, with a steady mental balance of calm, we ambled up the path to our aspen powered air conditioned room. Three City women transformed to Goldilock girls!
Stopping to smell the pine and take pictures of two fishing bears. "You know how to whistle, don't you?" asked Bacall of Bogart. "Just purse your lips and blow." Whistling while we slowly unpacked we thrilled to find plenty of drawers and hooks to accomodate three women on retreat. With complete faith, Barbie had booked this Memorial Vacation in January trusting God to provide the perfect companions for a joint Memorable refreshing. Like the movie "Field of Dreams" it was Barbie's call to simply rent the room and the people, details and divine purposes would gently unfold. Without a plan or a schedule, we three gleefully entered our rustic wooden cabin and sang carefree praises for the knotty pine paneling, two comfy beds, gas stove, coffee maker, dishes, microwave, fridge, and dining area. Our souls smiling ever wider with surprise to find a lending library of books and board games to unwind us. As Babs and Barbie unpacked with the certain zeal one feels for playing hooky, Sue stretched out to study a cabin book entitled "The Art of Doing Nothing". Having just spent time in Pixie Woods, Barbie likened herself to Snow White. Feeling dwarfed by two amazon beauties affectionately named Happy Babs and Sue Bear, with our sneakers loosely laced, we skipped straight up the hill with a song in our hearts. Granite Rocks anchored Juniper's back yard and we were drawn to sit atop the shoulders of high boulders, posing as edgey and daring flick chicks. Barbie's camera ever ready to capture a moment, we peered out across the landscape below through the eyes of an Eagle. Birds do it. Bees do it. And Sue Bear, Happy Babs and Snow did it! We exhaled and released deeply our carbon dioxide and felt serendipitious knowing we were giving the trees what they need for continued growth. We stayed in that moment of bliss until Babs noted that ants were crawling down Sue Bears pants. A winding trail gave us the zen of seeking with the built in suspense of the ever changing external and internal beholding beauty. Up and up we championed past snow melts that trickled down into the creek. Babs joy was not to be contained as she pointed out the silvery color of the trunks of a tall stand of Quaking Aspens. Barbie gasped in the 8,000 foot elevation that without a wind, the rounded leaves were clapping in applause for the glory of this scented pine creation. Spurned on by Sue to locate a perfect bone of branch to use as a boat, she dared us to race our wooden ships along the river as she once did as a child in New Jersey. We got back to camp and inquired about how to get to Carson River. Walk thruogh the two pine trees across the meadow to the river. We soon found out that we were not equipped with webbed toes as we sank like quicksand giggling in our gaze of swamp feet. The river was out of our reach so we opted for a grassy run of water the size of a skinny irrigation ditch. Our wooden ships quickly got tangled in the mire of this trickling crevice, yet we were not discouraged. With the challenge to race, Barb picked a Dandelion and aimed her lighter boat "The Mayflower" toward the big water ahead. Sue Bear then launched a new craft named Twiggy as Happy just laughed. We each ordered rare and yummy creations for our bellies, then we wrapped ourselves up in beach towels and walked the path to the last wood burning sauna at a California resort. Splashing spoonfuls of water atop the rocks, we steamed ourselves and took to our beds for an evening read, ending the day in joy, the Aspen air conditioner was purrrfect for a quilted dreamy snooze. Our free flowing retreat began Monday morning with a devotional about the "Arlington Ladies". These women serve at graveside at the National Arlington Cemetary. Spirit led and appropriate, this Memorial Day we learned that these ladies give words of graditude to the surviving families for the sacrifice of their loved ones and they follow through by staying in contact for months. The lesson was that we are called to honor one another and show kindness and compassion always. Reminded that we are the epistle, and we are the only bible that many will ever read. Like the woman who poured an expensive fragrant oil upon the head of Jesus, we too shall be remembered for our acts of kindness as we honor one another with grace and compassion. On our journey up to Sorenson's, just 8 miles before our destination, we observed a pristene body of water called Red Lake. After a time of prayer we all agreed to part the Red Sea with Boop's pink nose. Rough and bumpy offroad terrain did not deter Earl. We were like bobble heads, but Earl climbed the rocky dirt road with great confidence. Earl took refuge under a giant redwood with a vista of the water and Happy, Bear and Snow unleashed the Boop and Barbie found the perfect "put in" spot to explore this grand surprise. Boop glided atop a sea of glass for all three flickered chicks. Barbie shooting the memory with vignets of glory, while Babs described it as "a lake of tranquility to cast all cares upon and float with joy just like our feathered friends do, the geese." Feeling light as a feather, and with enormous awe of the snow patches yet unmelted, the remnants of winter still acting as deer licks till they melt and spill down rocks to fill this gloriious bath for Boop and her buddies Sue, Babs and Barbie! In search of the perfect outdoor litrene, Happy and Snow walked the circumfrance of the lake that swirled uphill into a forest of trees -- welcoming us to look out at what they saw. AMAZED to GAZE at the peak of Highway 88 9,000 feet! We stood tall equaled in vista to a mountains covering of towering pines. Down below we saw a slip of pink and a paddle outstretched with a wave from Sue. Back to our beach blanketed-slice-of-liquid-lined-land, we enjoyed a healthy lunch of Trader Joes this and that! We sat stilled by the rushing water in the glory of the adjacent stream. Sue and Babs elected to play scrabble atop the picnic ice chest and Barbie went on another photo shoot with Boop glad along for the ride. The clouds would occasionally cover the sun and a chill would command a cozy covering. Our perfect day in the great outdoors ended about 4:30pm. The flicker chicks loaded up the Boop and noted that they had outlasted all fishermen sharing this fantastic Memorial afternoon. Earl pulled into Sorrenson's to make that evening's dinner reservations and Bab's and Sue generously gifted Barb with a massage the next morning. We got back to Juniper just in God's perfect timing, We found that our wet sneakers had dried out while adorning an Aspen. Good Good, it is all good, we had dry sneakers on while practicing the Art of Doing Nothing! Tink tink tink tap tap tap... May rain was dancing atop the tin rooftop! For dinner we sat next to the red pot bellied stove and shared a main course of Angel Hair Pasta and basil drenched salads. The show topper was individual bowls of warm berry cobbler with ice cream melting in our mouths. Back at the cabin Barbie found an internet connection that allowed her to send John a wish for his first day at work in the morrow! Tuesday morning we enjoyed a healthy feast round the kitchen table with warm mugs of chosen brews. Happy hearts opened in song as we rejoiced over all that God had shown us on this purposed retreat. At 9:00AM Michelle the travelling massage therapist entered Juniper with her table and smile and we each enjoyed a half hour of heaven! Babs and Sue packed their stuff up and we once again allowed the Spirit to lead us to a natural hot spring just outside of Markleeville. We picked up some sandwhiches from Hope Valley Cafe then drove through Charity Valley to luxuriate atop heaping rocks that looked out across a meadow of lush green. Sue the water lilly entered the public pools while Babs and Barbie found great delight by sitting on a marshy bank and sticking their feet into a mineral rich mud with a flow from a natural hot spring. It was time for the amazons to return to the city and around 1PM Babs drove Sue back to Stockton. Genuine graditude was exchanged and sincere praise to God was given for how He took care of all the details. The wonder of Red Lake, the spectacular vistas, and most importantly the fellowship of believers in tune and in touch with His Spirit. Big hugs circled with a shared feeling of ALOHA! Barbie has one more day of glory on before this paradise retreat came to an end. Happy, content and thrilled to reflect and save the experience in word, Snow returned to Juniper after celebrating with a cold draft beer at Hope Valley Cafe. Happy Babs and Sue Bear, two awesome Women of Faith contributed richly to Barbie's soul! Before Bab's departed she shared this preface of a book she brought entitled "Rainbow's End" written by Irene Hannon. A heart warming, inspired romance: "To lessen the pain of his wife's death, Keith Michaels headed across country to the Pacific Northwest. Feeling broken, empty and alone Keith drove to get away from the pain of his surroundings and loss. A sudden storm stranded him on Orcas Island. As fate would have it, a drenching storm led him to a cabin tucked among tall pine trees. Keith found refuge with a local widow, who was no elderly matron. She lived as a reclusive young woman who wrote. What was it about shy Jill Whelan and her charming cottage that made Keith want to stop his wandering ways? Did faith and love await him at Rainbow's End? A crash of thunder boomed across the meadow and his headlights tried with little success to pierce the gloom of the night. The rain beat against his car incessantly as the wind buffeted his vehicle in the darkness, it seemed as though all the forces of nature were conspiring against him. Keith knew he was close to his destination and he persevered to find reprieve from the storm surrounding him, and within him. He was given refuge at Jill's cabin and awoke to a cheery ray of sunshine. A calm had replaced his restlessness and a sense of serenity was a balm to his soul." The preceeding words taken right from the book. Bab's shared this snipet of a happy ending romance so Barbie uploaded it on audiobooks. Barbie slept in Wednesday and took a crisp walk through the forest listening to the singing birds. Enjoying quiche and coffee for breakfast, the innkeeper offered her a discount for her next visit. She drove home slowly, gladly listening to a fairytale of another dreamer coming true. Her soul smiles fresh as JOY overflows once again!