A few weeks back the Reverend and I decided that our 20 years of marriage may need a little tweaking here and there, So, we decided to take advantage of a Marriage Retreat that was being held for Pastor’s and wives. It happens right before the Pastor’s and Spouse Retreat in Lake Louise. I am spending some time confessing to God that I am a little jealous that some pastors will be spending the much of the whole week in the mountains. We chose that this year, and that’s OK. I hope they all have a fabulous time recharging and reconnecting.
We’ve had challenges in the past for finding childcare for the four days of the Pastor’s Retreat, which is held during the week. So, we figured that a 2 day Marriage Retreat in the mountains was a much more doable feat, child care included, than the four days. We were right we found excellent options for the children when we split them up into pairs. That way, while we were gone, we knew the chances of their weekends also going well were higher than if they were all together. The set of boys came to Calgary to stay with relatives and the girls hopped from place to place back home. Both were eager for their mini-vacations from each other.
Our travel destination was lovely Canmore, Alberta. I may start thinking of this place as home. We’ve been here a few times in the last few years, thanks to our family that owns a place here, and lets us use it now and again. We are thankful for a church division who sees marriages of their pastoral staff as important and that our church made a way to make our marriage a priority as well.
Speaking of travel…it was supposed to only take us a few short hours but I had chest pain in serious amounts as we hit the mid-way part. I thought I was having a heart attack! I had been reading a book, all quiet and relaxed (mostly) when chest pain and tingling hit. It was freaky. We ended up calling 911 from the roadside. Thankfully, it was probably just a reaction of the gluten that I’d had just a bit before. You can barely find adequate solutions in fast food places when eating GF. Officially, it was a “panic attack” that I’ve not had the like of since the early 90’s. I have had a smaller scale reaction to gluten happen before but never that kind of chest pain/sensation. The Dr. sent me away with a “Go to your Dr. at home because you must get a few things checked out.” and off we were. Back on the icy roads of Alberta weather (Storm watch kind of stuff). We were all so thankful it wasn’t my heart!!
When we got to the hotel and saw our room, we were about to go check to make sure they put us in the right room. It was so incredible. Clean kitchen! I had a clean kitchen without working for it! Delightful. The Living area had a fireplace, right beside a window that could give us a spectacular site of the mountains if we weren’t socked in with clouds and a snowstorm for part of the time. We had a bedroom with a TV! The bathroom…oy vey! Such a beautiful place. A glass shower plus a separate large bathtub. Then, THEN I opened a door and there was a laundry machine with soap. “They expect us to do our laundry…what?” I thought to myself. Like I was going to! Who stays at these places anyways? It was a beautiful hotel. The hot tubs outside looked incredibly inviting when we looked off from our balcony. The snow was drifting down and the steam was rising up. It was an ideal time for a frigid walk to a warm delightful piece of relaxation.. I looked forward to my foray into the heated water…except I forgot my bathing suit. Darn!! I didn’t think the other patrons would appreciate a chubby skinny dipper dive bombing their hot tub….it’s a high-class place and all.
Second thing we did was take off all of our clothes…and this is where you should turn away…just kidding! Our travel clothes seemed much to formal to order pizza and watch movies in our room so we entered into hibernate mode and put pj’s on.
I am nervously excited that we get to spend this time together. We are blessed to have a church that values our marriage, a District who provides the retreat for the pastors and excellent caregivers for our children, who we trust will have a great time.
Oh, and I’ll make sure to buy a bathing suit, just in case you were nervous about the whirlpool thing…