God, Gimme A Break!
On May 16, 2018, I began a journey with you all. Every week for the last four years and two weeks, I wrote at least one post – that’s two hundred and ten weeks in a row. Some weeks, I wrote more than one post so that now I have three-hundred fifty posts in all – not including this one. But you haven’t heard from me since June 3rd. It’s the first time in four years that I haven’t written weekly; and it’s been almost an entire month. I didn’t wake up on June 4th screaming to the heavens, “God, Gimme A Break!” In fact, I had every intention of completing a monumental push to provide daily posts for a while until my Salmon Of Knowledge series was done.
Only, I didn’t.
Every. Single. Thing.
God knew what I didn’t. I was running on empty. I planned a lovely camping trip to celebrate my daughter’s birthday, but the prep work involved was intense. It had been a couple of years since we had been able to go, what with Covid shutdowns and all – so all of our equipment needed to be checked and secured. It has always been my practice to put things away, cleaned, and repaired, but as my memory is fuzzy from that period of my recovery – I couldn’t be sure that I had. Each pole and peg, every inch of tarp and tent needed inspecting. I spent days waterproofing, sealing, repairing problems, finding, inspecting, and repacking every. Single. Thing.
Intention vs. Execution
My intentions did not align with my execution. Between weather and hiccups and unexpected repairs, it took way longer to prep, and we ended up leaving hours later than we’d planned. We were also making two trips instead of one – first a cabin, then a camp. It was already very dark and late when we pulled into the hidden gravel driveway after missing our turn-off. The outside lights were not working, and as I struggled with the porch lockbox, my son crept up beside me and said between gritted teeth, “Mom! I asked you if this was just a cabin in the woods or if it was A Cabin In The Woods!” He opened the box and walked into the darkened house in front of me despite the obvious horror movie flashback vibes he was getting. After checking for axe- murderers lurking outside every window, in each closet, behind every door and hidey-hole, and securing the doors and windows – we settled down to rest—sort of.
It was better in the daylight. My daughter and I went shopping for birthday dinner fixings and cake and our birthday celebration was lovely. We got a chance to do a little exploring, and by the time we had to pack up for camp in two days’ time, we had gotten used to the place but were still excited to get to our spot. The familiar landscape rose in front of us, and we could feel the joy – the peace, and the calm that comes with countless years of familiarity filling our hearts as we drew closer.
The Best-Laid Plans
You know that feeling when your shoulders drop, your face relaxes, and all the stress leaves your body? That’s what happened the minute we pulled into our spot. The next four or five days were going to be amazing. At least that was the plan. And, in truth, the weather was spectacular. There were no biting flies; the mosquitos seemed to have missed the fact that we were even there. I read The Wind In The Willows to the kids until they fell asleep. Everything was relaxed and calm the day we arrived and the next day. It wasn’t until our second full day there that our best-laid plans went awry.
Too Hot To Handle
By mid-morning, my daughter – the birthday girl- was looking slightly off. “I don’t feel good,” she said as tears welled up in her eyes. She did seem a little warm, but I always came prepared, so I grabbed the thermometer and some ibuprofen. I thought she had a little something going on, but nothing to worry about. She’d feel better with some breakfast, a little hot chocolate, and maybe a nap. Only she didn’t. I gave her medicine, but her temperature kept climbing. She never gets high fevers, and she was shivering and shaking. With each degree, I got more concerned. By the time she hit 103, I had more than half decided to break camp in the morning and go home early. But her fever kept climbing, and nothing was bringing it down.
Wade In The Water
Midway between 104 and 105, I told my other daughter we had no choice but to get her to the lake to cool down. We grabbed a towel and chair, donned flip-flops, and helped her down to the water’s edge. I tried cooling only her arms and feet first, but her temperature continued to climb, and I was worried about a seizure. You’re gonna have to get all the way in, baby girl. I’m sorry. She had already yelped at the feel of the cool water on her arms; getting her to lie down was horrible. She screamed in pain – it was burning her skin, she said. Slowly, slowly, we inched her down into the water. Only her face and the front of her chest were above the water line as I poured cool water over her.
My other daughter kept putting cooled washcloths on her forehead as I hastily got up and began breaking camp in earnest. It was mid-afternoon, and even with help, it could take a couple of hours to break camp. Alone – it was taking much longer. After an hour or so, she asked to sit up in the now warm water; She had heated the entire area around where she lay. My other daughter helped her up, and I came to check on them. Her fever was down to 101, and I slowed my frantic rush.
Calm Before The Storm
Within minutes they called me back over; her temperature was rising again quickly, so her big sister had her go deeper, all the way to her neck, hoping to drop the fever again. I was back in frantic deconstruction mode again. Everything needed to be packed differently to make room for her to stretch out as much as possible on the long drive home. It was pure insanity. It was already almost entirely dark by the time we pulled off and fully pitch-black before we had any cell service again. We pulled into our driveway a little after 1 am. She was back up over 103, but it didn’t matter now – we were home, and I had everything I needed if she got worse.
I left everything in the truck and slid into bed next to my husband. He was burning up.
It was only a few hours later when my sun staggered in at 9 am after leaving work soon after he’d arrived. He was burning up too. The next couple of weeks were hectic. Unpacking – prepping the gear for its subsequent use and caring for four sick people simultaneously is intense. I stayed healthy until everyone was on the mend – then I got sick too.
Everything fell by the wayside. I didn’t intend to spend this long away from you. Nor did I ever imagine I’d let the blog lay dormant for so long. But, in the end, it was a break. Not exactly the kind I might envision for a vacation, but a break nonetheless. Rest is important. It speeds recovery and renews your spirit. Mark 2:27 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
I just wanted you to know that I’m back.
30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.