Today Patrick had to go to Santa Barbara to do some work at Family Care's new Santa Barbara location. Jason and I tagged along so that we could go look at some flooring (We need to do some replacement after living in Casa Zalamea for 10 years now... and if we ever decide on something, there will be cause for celebration!) Note to self: do not ever again attempt to take a toddler to Carpeteria. I won't even regale you with tiring accounts of how I chased that boy through a huge warehouse!!
On a good note, I got to have a couple unexpected excursions along the way. Patrick stopped off at Camp Rancho Alegre along Cachuma Pass to get some info regarding the Men's Advance in October. I absolutely adore camp. Now this isn't to be confused with camp-ing, which I could take or leave... mostly leave, because I have poor circulation and just can't ever get warm. But I am a very happy 'organized camp' camper!!! I love the rustic cabins, the mess hall, the bonfire pit, the big cross up on the hill everyone hikes to at dusk, the counselors with names like Rabbit and Tex, navigating the lake in a kayak or canoe, the camp songs and corny skits, the way the pine trees smell in the morning and the sky is brilliant with stars at night, walks on dirt roads and narrow trails, ziplines and rope swings, horses and archery (but not together), the snack shop... oh, I could go on and on. I have such special memories of times with the Lord, enjoying His magnificent creation, as well as serious talks and goofy moments with friends.
So while Patrick was seeking out the camp director, Jason and I frolicked in a clearing surrounded by beautiful pines and the not so distant sound of a babbling brook. We watched as students set out for nature hikes and wished we could join. I definitely need a refresher course on lichen and why moss grows on the north side of a tree. Jason found a perfect walking stick with a knobby top, and we couldn't resist bringing it home... perfect walking sticks don't come along every day, you know! It was certainly an unexpected and shortlived camp experience, but memorable none the less.
Later in the day, Jason was getting stir crazy and Patrick was still working away, so we decided to take a stroll. We had gone no further than a block when we happened upon a beautiful cemetery complete with tall iron gates, rolling hills and grave markers of all shapes and sizes. Could this day get any better?? I am just as enamored with cemeteries as I am with camp. For different reasons, of course! I feel very calm and peaceful in a cemetery. As I look at the beautifully etched stones, I am reminded that I have a great God who is overseeing my life and knows exactly when and how He will call me home. One woman had 'Psalm 46' below her name... oh what an encouraging portion of Scripture. God is my refuge and my strength... there is no need to fear. And yet I am also saddened at the many souls who probably didn't know the Lord. I came across one headstone which was so weathered and covered with a green growth of some kind, that I wasn't even able to find a name. I felt sad that this person's name had been erased, and yet I realized it doesn't really matter if one's name is engraved in marble. What matters is that your name is etched into the Book of Life, and that God recognizes you as one of His own through the blood of Jesus. So I hope this anonymous person's name is etched in a book where thieves cannot steal and moths cannot destroy, because I would be delighted to meet him or her someday.