We are having a wonderful time in Sandpoint!
Here are the highlights and low points of the trip, so far.
1. The natural beauty of this 46 mile long lake! It is surrounded by steep green hills right next to a ski mountain,and surrounded by gorgeous rolling farmland. Beautiful! The town of Sandpoint is smallish and lovely, and has lots of character.
2. The people seem very warm and friendly. There is an interesting mix of artsy types and country people with big pick up trucks.
3. The minivan we've rented. Gosh, are we minivan people. I don't know how we ever got by without one. We're currently saving for one, and we'll be stepping up those efforts. We try to avoid car payments, so it will take another six months, or so.
4. The drive here. The majority of the scenery across the state of Washington is beautiful. From the Puget Sound to the skylines of downtown Seattle, to the mountain pass, to the piney forests and hilly ranch land around Cle Elum. So pretty!
5. Spending lots of quality time with my two favorite guys!
6. Just being somewhere new!
7. Still having total control over my appetite! God's power is something else.
8. Taking naps and having an extra set of hands around the house and with Nicknack. Although I struggle because I like things done my way.
9. The stars! And bats. I think bats are neat.
Okay, now for the low points.
1. The drive here. I'm a chatty person, but in bursts. I pause, at times. My mother-in-law is the "running commentary" type of chatter. And she's a sign reader. Any sign. Every sign. No matter how uninteresting! "US Bank. That's Evelyn's bank." Sign after sign, for six hours. But you know how I love to tell on myself. Twice I caught myself about to read a sign when a voice from the backseat stole my thunder! I guess I'm a sign reader, too, but I never noticed until someone else did it first. Poor Penn.
2. The minivan rental. While the most family friendly vehicle on God's green earth, it isn't made for the elderly amongst us. I'm not sure what we could have rented that would be easier for them to get in an out of, as comfortable as a Lincoln Town Car, and still hold all our gear. Maybe one of those handicap vans? I'm not sure.
3. The battle between my flesh and spirit. My flesh wants to roll my eyes in my MIL's direction, correct her when I disagree with something she's said, pout when I feel ignored, and sigh over her tendency to leave clutter on the kitchen counter. My spirit wants to be a generous, merciful, loving daughter-in-law.
Right now, I'd call it a draw. My spirit is technically winning, so far. I want to sulk, whine, or be disagreeable. But instead I'm quiet, quiet, quiet. Last night I was thinking about how I'm being pretty tolerant, but that's not enough. I imagined what it's like to tag along with a son and daughter-in-law. I don't want to just "put up" with my mother-in-law. I want to enjoy her and make her fell included and loved.
But when I woke up this morning, I could hear her singing upstairs (when she's not talking she's singing or humming) and my flesh just wanted to be annoyed. I took a breather on the front porch with my Bible and enjoyed some quiet time by the lake, in Matthew. I read about how our speech is the overflow from our hearts. I wondered about the difference between thoughts and words. I know our thoughts control us, but maybe thoughts are a little bit like temptation. Our thoughts are difficult to control, but we can refuse to let them control our speech and behavior. Even Jesus was tempted. Is temptation a sin? Or have we not sinned until we give in to the temptation? Maybe we get brownie points for resisting temptation.
At any rate, the rest of the morning was pretty pleasant. I made an effort to engage her more, ask questions about her stories, and ask her advice when I made breakfast.
So if you think of it, say a little prayer for me. Maybe it's because she is 80, but everything reminds her of something! Everything. Lots of old family stories. That I've heard before. I want to be the most gracious person in the world, but inside I'm such a brat.
I'll post photos of our trip when we return. Today we are driving up to Schweitzer Mountain to take in the view. Tomorrow we're renting a boat. Thursday we go to the water park and Friday we'll check out Coeur D'Alene Lake. Saturday we're going to drive around the western portion of the lake. And Sunday we head home. Somewhere in there we're going to fit a movie or two, and dinner, just the two of us.
Please excuse any typos in this post. I'm at a clunky old PC at an internet cafe and I've forgotten how to type on a regular keyboard, apparently.
Ta for now!