Snow, friendship and fellowship

Hi Dear Friends,

I talked way too much this weekend. We had some dear friends visit this weekend. Late nights, music around our piano. Cups of tea and toast for simple breakfasts.

We’ve been looking forward to a visit with some friends for several weeks now. The thought was to enjoy a day at the snow (excuse really to just see them) and visit some on the Friday evening, then during the day Saturday, then again at church before they headed home. The plan unfolded similarly to it’s original form, with wonderful random discussions, lots of rabbit trails and lots of sharing. These friends care, listen, share, and have concerns similar to Steven’s and mine. It was a blessing.

Along with a time of fellowship and late nights, early mornings and lots of exertion, came sore back and neck for me, and fatigue for all of us.

We left early Saturday morning and took off south to the Snowy Mountains. We had gathered snow gear for all, but were missing boots for one. It was really quite handy since the stop to hire the boots was the perfect place to have a pit spot for both going and coming. Then we went to the entrance of one of the national parks. Now, someday I do hope to visit, but right now, during our efforts to be careful with budget and such, it was nice to avoid the fees for entering the park and access busy, crowded hillsides teaming with other snow seekers.

Instead of going into the park, we did a three-point turn and went back down the road. We found a lonely stretch with snow on the hillside. We stopped, got into our gear and with toboggans (sleds to me, toboggans to everyone else) in hand, we trudged up the hill through brush and grass, already feeling tired and fatigued from the effort. Then we saw our goal. A hill on the other side, long, untouched and glistening with snow.P1060463P1060468P1060465P1060459

Now having grown up in Canada and spent most of my almost 30 years in Northeastern North America, I’ve learned there are different kinds of snow. The snow we had that day was old, probably 2-3 days old, it had crystalised and was not soft or fluffy, but was like thousands of bits of ice. It was hard to walk on. We would take three steps, staying on the crust, then the fourth step we’d crunch through and boots would sink in. It made our climbing very slow. But we mastered the hill, having reached a summit of sorts. Behind us, higher up were trees and bushes, so our summit was the cleared part. We made a plan for our snow runs. We discovered the toboggans had different personalities. Some were easier to steer and maneuver than others.

We all made the run down the hill. It was a time of hilarity and joyful, childish playing. We had a snowball fight. I mainly didn’t participate, but did manage to blindside one of our guests, and my “Switzerland” neutrality disappeared.

We sat and chatted, looking out at the hills around us, the distant road weaving through the hills.

A magpie called, then another. We found tracks, maybe a wombat? Maybe something else? We found three dens of some small creatures. My guess is rabbit holes. The hole was tiny, with tiny little droppings and tracks going in and out of the holes. I hope we didn’t terrify the inhabitants of those holes.

We stopped at a public toilet and sat on the veranda of the old courthouse of a lost and abandoned town. The town has disappeared, except for a few remains, a foundation, a fireplace, some old farm equipment rusting and crumbling apart. We made memories with our discussions and conversation.

We had sausages, heated up that morning and stuffed into thermoses, still warm from that morning. We drank hot chocolate. It was a veritable feast of food and friendship.

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We explored more of the area, finding an old town that for the sake of the Snowy Hydro scheme, the town had to be moved. The land where the town was became a manmade lake. We skipped rocks, took pictures and had an overall sense of peacefulness and calm.

We marveled at a single tree, it’s roots and base submerged in the waters of the lake. Its trunk weathered by water, sun and wind. It’s massive trunk remaining unmoveable despite the changes in it’s surroundings. The remnants of other trees were only slightly visible. A few tiny branches stuck out of the water, but nothing like that magnificent tree.P1060591

We reluctantly climbed back into our car and made our way home again. Our conversation didn’t lag much. Oh there were some stretches of road where only my husband who was driving and I (sitting in our fold-away backseat) were awake. But for the majority of our travels that day, we were talking.

The rest of the visit was the same, sweet fellowship and times of discussion. Iron sharpening iron. It was good. We were renewed in a sense on how better to pray for each other, for dreams, for strength during challenges, for ministry, growth and so much more.

I hope we keep the wonder and gratefulness of the memories and special times and cherish the fellowship from days like that. We had times of sharing thoughts on different topics, of experiences, of concerns, of dreams. It’s a special thing, and not to be taken lightly.

Beth:)


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