Friday night I left staff training and drove the 106 miles back home. On Saturday Sally Jo I packed the clothes, sheets, blankets and towels we would need for the summer. Elaine Naysmith had warned us that in the Adirondack Mountains it can snow in July – we tried to be prepared! On Sunday morning we went to church, had lunch with neighbors, and, while the Harro’s took Jenna (14) and Dirk (11) for a hike in the Catskills, Sally Jo and I did final packing.
Monday morning we loaded the roof and inside of the station wagon, put the pigeons Jenna had brought from Texas into a large cat cage, and headed to Albany where we had to stop by the American Red Cross office. Both excitement and anxiety were real: Sally Jo had only been to DL in winter, and our children had only seen pictures of the place.
After lunch at McDonalds we were on our way to pick up the candy order in Amsterdam. Out came boxes and boxes of candy which we pushed and shoved into every available corner. Jenna joined us in the front seat with the pigeon cage on her lap. I packed 2/3 of the back seat to the ceiling with candy and then packed the remaining candy around Dirk. This was not a good situation: Dirk gets car sick!!!! Neither Sally Jo nor I can remember who placed the order, but it must have been candy for the whole summer!
Even now the road from Amsterdam to camp can seem to take a long time. Picture four anxious people packed like sardines – no reasonable way to get out and stretch, or to make a potty stop! It was not long before Sally Jo and I began hearing “are we almost there?” Eventually we gave in to Dirk’s request to have a candy bar. Just a few more hills, a few more curves – we are almost there…yes, almost there…just another hill. Finally… The Pig.
The road into camp was beautiful and excitement was building. Anxiety was also building. The fork…around the parking lot, by the maintenance building to park at the dining hall and the Store!!
It was dusk as we walked down the path to the Lookout, our DL home for the next twenty three summers. Over the door was a banner that read “Welcome Home”, and on the table were fresh wild flowers. Staff member Bill Pianki was there to greet us.
Our anxiety was being overcome by excitement and joy. The kids loved their small rooms – and going up into the loft was a bonus! When we walked back up the hill to the station wagon, several staff had gathered, and with their help, it took only minutes to unload the station wagon and take our “stuff” down the hill into our cabin.
It was time to light the gas lamps, unpack, and make the beds. It was time to smile, to hug each other, and to crawl into bed. The next morning mist on the lake was soon replaced by the warm sunshine. A beautiful day at the Lodge!
A simple banner and a bouquet of wild flowers spoke volumes to this nervous, tired family. Was Bill’s action the result of his up-bringing, his sensitivity to people, his desire to be a Good Samaritan, or his being guided by the Holy Spirit? We will never know, nor is it important. We do thank God for Bill’s thoughtful action through which our cabin more quickly became our home and our hearts warmed more quickly to Deerfoot Lodge.
The actions of one person, walking In Partnership With God, made a huge impact upon our family.
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is …serving, let him serve; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” — Romans 12:6-8
Bill seems to have used all of these Spiritual gifts. We can too!