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Well, after 18 days on the road, I'm home.

Actually, I got home Sunday morning around 1am. Many thanks to my daughter who picked me up at the airport!

I started the trip on March 20th, mere days after our Youngest Son and his hockey team won their Provincial title, coming from behind in the final (5 minutes left in the 3rd period, down 2-0) and then two of our boys score goals to take us into overtime, and then???

We WON IN OVERTIME!!! Yes, Youngest Son was in net, YES, I WAS A BASKET CASE!!!!)

Insert blurry (blurry and far away on purpose, because I don't have permission to show their faces) but meaningful photo here. You should have heard the Moms going IN-SANE. And no, the Dads were not standing calmly in the corner, sipping tea and discussing the physics of slap shots.

People had asked me prior to that weekend if I was getting excited about going to Mount Hermon. Yes, I was. But I knew what 4 days of Provincial play-offs would require in terms of energy, so I didn't let myself get all wired before the hockey weekend was over.

But after a rather triumphant weekend, Monday morning dawned like this...it was the day before I left for California, and that sunrise was as if God was saying, "Here you go, I've lit the day, now let's get ready."

I did all kinds of packing, re-packing, and running around. And yes, I was looking forward to seeing and feeling some California sunshine!

On Tuesday morning, I said goodbye to the two sons who live at home, and then my husband drove me to the airport for my 12:30 flight to Toronto. I had a 3 hour layover in Toronto, then a 6 hour flight to California. It was going to be a LONG day.

As we landed in San Francisco at around 7:40pm, it kind of blew me away to fly literally into the sunset.

No, this photo, complete with airplane window scratches, did not do the sunset justice.

Once I was safely on the ground in San Francisco, and I had my luggage, I found Thelma (of our Thelma and Louise fame) and we headed back to her house, where I visited and chatted and then got sent to bed.

But not until Thelma saw a BOBCAT outside her door!!!

Yes, I woke up at 3:17am on Wednesday morning. Welcome to the West Coast. Sadly, my brain was on East Coast time.

Once we actually got rolling on Wednesday morning, we did our traditional Tea-Savers-Panda Express run. It was nice to visit the rest of the day, and as usual, I was beat, and ready for bed, by 7:30pm. Then it was time to play "Keep Jennifer Awake". Sadly, that was also the day we found out that a dear friend K, who was due to come down on Thursday from her home near Lake Tahoe, was too sick to make the trip. Thelma and I were very disappointed, but K was SICK, and we felt worse for her than we did for ourselves.

Do I remember what we did on Thursday? Nope. Do I usually journal every single day of a trip? Always.

Did I journal this trip? Nope.

Do I know why? Nope, again.

Did I take pictures of the Bird of Paradise (which were in my wedding bouquet) blooming outside Thelma's front door?

Yes, I certainly did!

Did I mention that on that very same day, my home was getting smote/smited by another snow storm? I felt bad.

Sorta.

Friday dawned. Yes, it was The Day I'd Been Waiting For.

The first day of The Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference.

Was I nervous? Slightly, but I already knew quite a few of the people I'd see there. And my room mate was a dear friend we'll call Shelli. Mostly because that's her name and she tends to answer to it.

Thelma and I left early for the drive down to Santa Cruz, and yes, we stopped at a Peet's for tea and carbs. I do love the scones at Peet's.

Yes, I do realize just how "54 and aging" that the previous phrase sounds.

Thelma is a rock-star driver and we chatted all the way to Santa Cruz and I quite enjoyed the drive. Which is a nice way of saying that Thelma is a really great therapist and can drive, and talk me down off any ledges that I may have been hanging onto, at the same time. I had to say goodbye.

Yes, that was hard, because it would've been AWESOME to share the 5 days with her!!

But I wasn't alone, ad I wouldn't be anywhere close to alone all weekend.

So, hello Mount Hermon. Hello Redwoods, and hello 5 days of WOW.

Now, since Thelma had left, I decided to toddle around a bit, but I knew what time Shelli's flight got in, and I could sort of estimate when the shuttle would arrive, but what fun it was to see my room mate, who I've known for (4?) years, arrive and then run up behind her and surprise her after she got off that bus.

Commence girly-squealing!

Shelli is from Texas, so there is a slight language barrier...but oh, what a weekend we had!!!

~~~~~

Next week: Five days of incredible learning, hearing Liz Curtis Higgs speak, meeting Francine Rivers, and finding out the all-important 'with' in the writing equation.

#MountHermonChristianWritersConference #writinglife #California

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