Sunday, March 16, 2008

More Notes from the Road

Wonderful, wonderful Palm Sunday service here. It's been a bit cold, but we sat outside anyway. I snapped a shot to show you what it looks like where we were sitting, at the back of the auditoriumand realized I caught Robin Jones Gunn, Patsy Clairmont, and Jan Silvious sitting there on the second bench/pew from the back (Robin's peeking behind Patsy to grin at me, Jan's on the other side of Patsy). (Okay, okay, the picture's so small you can't tell it's them. Trust me. It is. Really!) Anyway, it was nice outside. We could hear everything from inside the auditorium, and we got to listen to the wind whispering through the Redwoods all through the service. At one point I looked up and the tops of the trees seemed to be dancing as we lifted our voices in songs of praise. What an amazing setting for thanking God for all He's done for us.

Now, you notice the blue sky in the background? First day we arrived here, Dave Talbott, the conference host, warned us that bad weather was on it's way. Not just cold, but by Sunday we'd be clobbered with hail! Were we worried? Not on your life. We just said we'd pray the bad weather away. Mount Hermon has that effect on people. All this beauty in nature around us reminds who is really in control. So we determined to pray the bad weather away. The temp dipped, but every day so far here's what we've seen:

We've had blue skies and even some sunshine. Not a single hailstone has shown up. Yay!

I'll fill you in on more of Mount Hermon later. For now, let's get back to our adventures on our way to the conference grounds. As I said, Robin and Marion were coming in a day later than planned, so Julee and I stayed another day with Francine, Rick, and dear ol' Shabah. So Wednesday dawned bright and early, bringing another call from Robin. The doctor told her she was in no shape to travel, so she couldn't come to SanFran to play with us. After some weeping and wailing and whining on our part, we told Robin of course she should stay home the extra few days to gain strength before coming to the writers' conference. We promised to take good care of Marion, rang off, loaded up the car, and hit the road for SanFran.

On the drive down Julee, who'd met Marion when she went to England last year with Robin, regaled me with stories of Marion. "You'll love her! Just watch for a pixie of a woman with a crown of white hair and a lovely smile."

An hour or so later, we'd arrived at our hotel, The Stanford Court, which was ensconced on Nob Hill. With an hour or so until Marion's planned arrival, at which time we'd hie ourselves across the street to tea at the Fairmont hotel, Julee and I went to check the lay of the land. The cable car stop was right on the corner, so we hopped aboard (I kept waiting for the Rice-a-Roni song to start!), and rode down the hill to the financial district. Happy day, there were Starbuck's galore! So we stocked up on coffee, walked around a smidge, then back on the cable car to go await Marion.

Well, her arrival time came. And left. An hour past the scheduled arrival, I went to cancel the tea. I mean, sure, Marion would probably be game to try and make it. After all, she's English and tea is always welcome. But Julee and I talked it over and we figured after the storms, delayed flights, possible turbulence on the LONG flight over, she just might prefer a bit of a rest.

As I was turning from the concierge's desk, in walked someone who fit Julee's description to a 'T' walked in. It was Marion, and she was all Julee has said and more. Fun, in a far better mood than I would be after all she'd endured, and game for an adventure. So once she was settled in her room, we made our way back to the cable cars and went on to Fisherman's Warf. We walked and talked and soon felt like fast friends. Dinner was at Bubba Gumps--Yummy!--and then we grabbed a cab back to the hotel. Now, I must confess that the cab was...well...okay, let's be honest. DISGUSTING! I don't know what the stains on the seat were, nor did I ask. But short of levitating, there was no way to avoid sitting on them. Once we got back to the hotel we agreed. No more cabs! Some adventures just didn't deserve repeating.

I'll share more tomorrow, but the night is wearing on and I lead early morning worship here at Mount Hermon. Which means hitting the hay far earlier than usual to ensure I'm at least somewhat coherent at 7 a.m.

Blessings to you!



Michelle Van Loon said...

You were like a whirlwind at Mt. Hermon, leading nearly-crack-o-dawn prayer and worship, running workshops, meeting with authors, pouring yourself into others. Wow.

"Thank you" doesn't seem to cover all of your efforts, but they're the only words I have today. :)

Karen B. said...

Thanks so much, Michelle. I enjoyed every minute of it. Good thing God made me an off-the-scale extrovert, huh?

Peace to you today.