Great to be among heirs

Published 1:26 am Saturday, October 18, 2014

It was hard to pull myself out of bed Thursday morning, even though my dog Little Girl had graciously aroused me an hour later than usual. I believe she was tired after spending a few days with my daughter and son-in-law while I attended Wesley Heirs, the retired preachers and spouses gathering at Blue Lake Methodist Camp.

I joyfully anticipate this assembly each spring and fall. A friend from Birmingham stopped by for me on her way to the fall meeting Monday. We paused at Blue Lake to leave our belongings in our rooms, and then rode with a couple to Baker, Fla., to join more of our group at a restaurant. We had all chosen to arrive at Blue Lake the night before the retreat officially began to enjoy a few extra hours of games and fellowship.

My friend and I left my house in sunshine, but on the way to Baker, dark clouds sporadically dumped heavy showers on us. We arrived in Baker to find some of the others with plates of delicious baked pork chops or seafood.

My dear friend Ruth from Spanish Fort was among those at the restaurant. Seeing her is one of the reasons I look forward to the event. Several years ago, I arrived at Blue Lake expecting to room by myself when I learned Ruth too was without a roommate. We are friends from “way back.” It has been a delight to be her “roomie” every gathering since.

We heard rumbling thunder that night as we caught up on each other’s news. Soon after we turned off our lights and settled in our beds, loud thunderclaps and pounding rain on the roof and against the building aroused us. Lightning illuminated our room to almost daylight proportions. It kept us awake, seeming to last for hours. I had a flashlight, but fortunately, all that activity did not cause an electrical outage.

Tuesday morning brought us sunshine reflecting the green of the grassy lawn. Most of us greeted each other bleary-eyed when we left our rooms for a rejuvenating cup of coffee. Since the first assembly began at 10:30 a.m., some who had arrived the night before and early that morning slipped away to the game room early. Soon friendly chatter and laughter erupted. Ruth and I joined two women to play Rummikub. Others tested their skills at dominoes. The fun had started.

After we met the new camp director during lunch, we gathered for a group photo. We shifted here and there, trying to squeeze in view of the photographer standing above us on a second floor landing.

During our time together, we worshipped God through music, prayers, a stirring sermon and Holy Communion, remembered those God had called home since our last gathering, ate delicious food, consumed good snacks, and experienced warm fellowship. For me, and probably some others, it was another Blue Lake mountaintop experience.

The date of our spring Blue Lake gathering is already marked on my calendar.