This past weekend, we were invited to a friend’s house up in the mountains at Big Bear Lake. We were told, “well, you poor things, you have had so much company and must be tired, why don’t you and Randy come up for the long weekend so you can rest, sit out on the patio and read and we will just relax and have lots of quiet down time.”
Well, my goodness, did that sound like a great weekend or what? So Randy and I headed to the mountains Friday afternoon, with nothing packed except lots of books to read, an extra pillow for those long afternoon naps and pen and paper for writing some long overdue letters. After all, we would have plenty of time to write, being that we would be sitting outside with our feet up, laying our heads back to soak up the gorgeous sunlight, all while sipping at a glass of iced tea or hot tea, depending on the temp.
We were excited about the “restful” weekend we will be having, when upon arriving, we look over to the side of their house and see a cord of wood that had been delivered for their fireplaces. Oh good, we will have plenty of wood for that sparkling fire that we can curl up on the couch and enjoy, while reading and snacking on cookies and hot chocolate.
We are welcomed by our friends and told, “we need to get a good nights rest because tomorrow, we have lots to do and explore.” I’m sure she means lots of reading and exploring magazines and such. But…next morning we finish breakfast and we are off to a car show. Now, I like car shows as much as the other wives but, I can “enjoy” the car show in less than 30 minutes. All you need to do is walk in the middle of the street, looking at both sides at once, you can finish and be home to sit and read in less than an hour. But not this time, we allow the guys to control this little outing, so we stroll and look at old cars, at new cars, at refurbished cars, cars that need refurbishing, cars that still run and cars that don’t run. While the hubbies have their heads under the hood of one car, trying to decide what type of cylinders it has, we ladies sneak off to the tea room for a delightful lunch. OK, now we’re cooking. I bet after the tea room, we are going to go home and sit outside and just reminisce about all the cars and carburetors we saw at the car show. One of us, who shall remain nameless, decides that we will shop for a while. So off we go to discover new fall goodies that are in the stores. We arrive at home and I’m thinking, “yeah, I will go upstairs and have a nap, but will be oh so quiet as to not wake up Randy from a nap I think he must be enjoying, but where are the guys? We look out back and find them, hauling all the wood from the side of the yard to the back. What? What has happened to our quiet and relaxing weekend? Did we miss it, maybe we came on the wrong weekend!
I am now looking through cabinets, luggage and my purse, for pain medication and aspirin so Randy will be able to move when he wakes up in the morning from hauling the wood. Tomorrow, yes, tomorrow will be “the day” of relaxing. We just needed to get all the “honey do’s” out of the way and I’m sure that we will have plenty of time after church to sit and relax.
Sunday comes and we go to town for lunch after church and we discover that we didn’t cover all the stores yesterday, so off we go to finish seeing how much money we can possibly spend before the stores close. We found out that you can spend a lot. Well, our pocket books are empty so we head back to the house, where we find, once again, the guys (except Randy, who is upstairs faking a nap to get out of working) are finishing moving the wood. BUT……here it is, a whole hour that we get to sit outside on the patio and read and talk before going inside to prepare dinner. Oh, but a nice hour it was. It gave me time to read the intro to a new book, “10 New Ways to Relax” before jumping up and begin cooking.
We hear at dinner that plans have been made for the next morning. We will head immediately after breakfast to the Mountain Summit to ride the chair lift up to the top where we will have a wonderful relaxing lunch. We will be snapping pictures of the valley below, pictures of the majestic trees and the beautiful lake we are now able to look down upon.. Ah…the quietness of being swept through the beautiful air via a chair lift. Well……now your talking. I can’t wait. I go to sleep Sunday night with anticipation of the morning ride up the mountain, dreaming of the pics that I will take as we take the chair lift back down. How will the lake look from up that high? Will Randy hug me tightly professing his love to me as we gaze into the beautiful blue sky that is wrapping its arms around us, gliding down the mountain in the quietness of the moment? We both sleep so soundly as we think about the next day and the thrill of the “mountaintop experience.”
During breakfast, we hear some talk from some of our table mates that they are thinking about walking back down the mountain instead of riding the chair lift. We quickly tell them that idea does not appeal to us in the least and that it is not a part of our “relaxing weekend”. We head out to the mountain, buy our round trip chair lift ticket which includes lunch and off we go to find the chair lift. Here it comes, our chair lift that quickly picks us up off our feet and sweeps us into the air. I look over at Randy and his eyes are closed and his knuckles are white from gripping the bar that is holding us in. He is turning white and weird noises begin to come from him. Noises of fear and panic and I remember that he is really afraid of heights. When I ask him if he is ok, he just responds by shaking his head, not uttering a word. I try to talk about how beautiful the scenery is, hoping that this will take his mind off the fact that there is about a 1000 foot drop below us. He just keeps his eyes closed for the 20 min ride. We did it, we are up at the top and the view is truly spectacular. We have a wonderful lunch and get ready to head to the chair lift when the “host and hostess” of our weekend, suggest that all 6 of us really should hike down the mountain. Well, I don’t know about you, but this little city girl who just had a pedicure and doesn’t really believe in exercise until your Doctor tells you that you “have” to, is not about to walk down the 1200 ft drop to the base of the mountain. When I look at Randy, I can tell that he would rather walk it than ride down, so I tell him that since he rode up in the chair lift for me, I will walk down it for him. So, here we go……surely this is just one of the places that is steep and it won’t all be like this, as my feet slide from the loose rocks. Halfway down one of our group says that she thinks two of her toes are bleeding. Mr and Mrs. Hostess are up in front, smiling and telling the other 4 of us to just smile, enjoy the scenery and in a flash, we will be back to the base. After about 15 min of continually going downhill, my knees begin to shake and are already feeling like jelly. Did the guy at the top say it would probably take us about 45 min to an hour to get down? It’s only been 15 min and I’m about to just sit on my bottom and scoot all the rest of the way down. I have no choice but to continue, there is no way I can climb back up to ride. We are told by Mr. & Mrs. Hostess that we have to stop and smile, every time we get to a sign that points us to the “hiking trail”. We let her take our picture, but we aren’t smiling. We finally tell her to take a leaping jump after the first 3 signs. We stop because a rock has bounced into my shoe. Have you ever tried to get a tennis shoe back on, standing, downhill, while standing on one foot? The only whipsers of love I have heard from Randy is, “if you don’t make it all the way down, I will be sure you have a proper burial”. After an hour, we reach the bottom of the mountain and because I now cannot even raise my leg to get in the car, Randy has to lift it for me. We ride back to the house and begin preparation to leave for home. We load the car and say our goodbyes and head back down the mountain, as it should be done, in a car……My knees and feet will never be the same. I figure that I will finally get the much needed rest when I am in the hospital having a knee replacement next week. We found out why this weekend is called Labor Day…but we are now headed home where we can sit in our Lazy Boy chairs and relax and read until our little hearts are content and feeling comes back into our toes. We truly had a most fabulous time with friends who we are now bonded to because of the cooking together, sitting around the table eating together, working together outside, but most of all the “challenge of doing something that got us out of our comfort zone….together” It was indeed a Labor Day of Love. Thank you Bonnie and Arnie, we won’t forget this very special time. I’m sure the after our bodies recoup, we will realize how good that was for us. But next Labor Day, I think we will invite some company to come visit, that way we will get some much needed rest.