image“Takin’ Time Out” at the lake is always a very rewarding experience in my book!  Where I grew up it was very flat in Southeast Colorado, we had a very small lake just a few miles from what we called Two Buttes Mountain.  Most people might laugh and refer to it as a hill or a mound once thought to be active volcano.  Very unique and pretty in its own way with two buttes at the top of a mound.  Our family purchased a lot and we put a used full size mobile home on a hill overlooking the beautiful blue water.  There were some great memories made with family and friends. My best friend also had a trailer just down the way.   As a child we would spend hours building our make believe homes on a large flat rock in front of the house with the rooms being outlined with pebbles or river rocks.  I was able to dream, create and make believe with the sunshine beaming down!  My grandpa Charlie would take us fishing at dusk, it would take him hours unpacking all the fishing poles, chairs, tackle box, live bait or worms he had dug from the garden and placed in an old coffee can early that morning, then setting up the lanterns so we would have light when it got dark and spraying us down with mosquito repellant.  He had the patience of “Job”, we would watch the old fashion red and white bobber float in the water, waiting for the fish to bite and sink it so we could real them in…oh how I would squeal when I would catch one even if it was a little bitty carp but really excited if it were a trout. 

Speaking of the lake and fishing, Jesus loved the lake too.  He would preach and heal multitudes of people while at the lake.  In the Bible, Luke 5:1 states, “Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.”   This was located half way between Capernaum and Magdala. The passage continues to tell the story of Simon (later changed to Peter) learning to trust and believe God while fishing on the lake.  They had been fishing all day and had caught nothing.  Jesus told him to put his nets back in, reluctantly Peter did as Jesus told him to and his catch was so abundant he had to call for reinforcement as the nets began to break.  When they brought the boats back to shore he left everything to follow Jesus and become “fisher’s of men” rather than a “fisherman”.  I remember singing a precious little song in Sunday School, “I will make you fisher’s of men, fisher’s of men, fisher’s of men…” we would pretend we were casting our fishing pole out into the air and real it back in…do you remember that song?  Doesn’t it put a smile on your face and are you humming the tune??? Yes God created a lake for Takin’ Time Out, to be still, listen and obey his will for our lives!

As I became a young adult we would go water skiing.   I remember the first few times trying to have enough strength to be pulled up on those two skinny boards with a rubber mount for my feet, once you got up then you had to be steady enough to cross over the big wake made by the boat and brave enough to go back and forth or eventually jumping it, next you built up enough courage to kick that one ski off to go slalom or having two of you pulled up at the same time and not crash into one another?  Whew, what a workout but made you feel so good with each advancement or accomplishment along the way.  Makin’ memories!

When Greg and I married, his family enjoyed camping.  We actually were given a tent and Coleman stove for a wedding present.  The cool thing was living where we did in Texas we had a large variety of lakes to go to whether it was in Texas, Oklahoma or Arkansas we didn’t care; we were just ready to go.  One of my favorite spots is Beaver Bend, located in McCurtain County near Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  It is a State Park and no houses aloud on the shoreline. The natural beauty is almost indescribable and amazing to see.   The rolling hills remind me of the mountains just on a smaller scale.  I always liked to camp by the water but where there were at least public facilities close by so we could shower and have a few comforts of home, especially when the kids were smaller.   The challenge at night was to secure the groceries & trash so the night critters wouldn’t eat all our food or leave us in a mess the next morning.   They were pretty smart and could even open up the rubber made lids and coolers, you had to place rocks or heavy objects on top of them.   I loved cooking around an open fire, frying eggs, bacon or sausage and creamy white country gravy in a cast iron skillet.  Pouring a hot cup of coffee (I preferred my savoring hot tea) early in the morning.  We enjoyed watching the sun come up over the beautiful body of smooth crystal clear water with the dawning of a new day.  Some mornings we would have an even fog right above the lake…Absolutely breathtaking!   The kids loved roasting marshmallows on an old wire coat hanger and making traditional smores at night!  Yummy can’t you just feel the cool night air, are your taste buds coming to life and smelling the aroma of that open fire?  Can’t you hear the crickets chirping or the locust clacks.  Maybe there was an owl hooting above our head or coyotes in the background howling.  The highlight of course were catching lighting bugs and trying to put in an old glass mason jar!  We have now advanced in our older age and prefer to rent cabins with more modern conveniences and a fluffy mattress but camping truly was a wonderful experience.  God has created some beauty in nature for us to enjoy if we just take the time, stop, look and listen.  SILENCE!

Shortly after we moved to our current home, we had some wonderful neighbors move in next door and they had bought a lake house at Granbury.  So, we have some very fond memories with 3 or 4 couples, 6 to 10 kids and 4 dogs who loved the water.  The women would usually take off on Friday and head down early with the kids, dogs, groceries and to get things ready for the weekend.  I would drag our jet ski because I could launch that on my own and take the kids tubing around the cove in front of the house until the guys arrived after work with the boats.  We had so much laughter and what a relaxing time.  Definitely we were “takin’ time out” of our busy schedules during the hot summer months.  Saturday and Sunday we would pack some food and drinks and take the boats to the sand bar launch it with the anchor and hang out for hours, throwing the frisbee or football, talking, laughing & telling tales.  There were always other great folks we would meet up with as everyone there just wanted to have a good time!  The evening’s were spent cooking out on the grill, listening to some great music, playing some horse shoes, or botchy ball.I loved taking a great book and laying in the hammock or lounge chair to read! 

A couple or three times a year the girls would get to go.  “Girl’s Wanna Get Away Weekend”, a time to  break from our normal routine, responsibilities of taking care of someone else.  It was our Escape as indicated in last week’s blog…we would connect, bond, laugh and let our hair down. We sometimes would have a movie marathon…comedy, chick flicks and then as it drew into the night mystery or drama.  I will never forget watching “What Lies Beneath”, it was very dark and the movie was based on a lake with Harrison Ford oh my…I can still hear the screams, LOL! This was so good for our mental health and feeding of our soul.  One night we went into town to eat, there we were a group of women sitting around a large table, everyone talking at once because that is what we do and an older gentleman came up with his wife and said, “I am here to gather some eggs.”  We all cocked our heads with a puzzled look and he said, “With all you hens cackling I just knew there had to be some eggs!”   Yes, we all burst out in laughter and carried on.  True blessings and great memories.

We have another set of very close friends whose best friend from High School owns a lake house on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas. This amazing lake was formed in 1932 with the construction of the Carpenter Dam on the Ouachita River.   Ouachita is a Native American word that means “Good hunting grounds and sparkling silver water.”  It has almost 200 miles of shoreline characterized by small coves and inlets and is cover 7200 acres and stretches out over 18 miles in length.  The ritual of every trip is to go to the dam and jump in but you don’t want to jump very far from the ladder the average temperature of the water at the dam is about 45 degrees.  It literally takes your breath away and you feel a bit paralyzed.  But oh so refreshing after hopping back up on the back of the boat on a HOT summer day!  People always ask if we have takin advantage of the bath houses, spa’s and warm mineral springs Hot Springs has to offer, but I always answer “no, we just hung out at the lake”.  Several holidays have been spent through the years and we have watched our children move through the teens and most of them are now young adults, and some are married starting their own families.   I would say my kid’s favorite holiday in Hot Springs was the week we would take off and spend around the 4th of July.  The firework display over the large body of water and night sky as you are tied up with several boats in a row right in the middle of the lake is absolutely incredible.  They were also able to enjoy purchasing their own fireworks and setting off the bottle rockets, black cats, smoke bombs, sparklers and who knows what else?  The noise of the popping and bursting of fireworks is like no other holiday.  A holiday celebrating our rich freedom we so often take for granted.  May God Continue to Bless America! Land of the Free…

This past weekend was Labor Day the official weekend ending summer; we had the privilege of spending three wonderful days with two other couples just the adults this time.  A time to relax, connect and truly reflect on our blessings.  I enjoy being in the sun, having fun with our best friends and we renamed the owner, Mr. Everything with his new bride.  The food and fellowship was scrumptious.   I hope you can carve out some time to enjoy what speaks to your soul, if you haven’t been to a lake lately I highly encourage you to find one even if it is just to stop by for a few hours, look, listen and enjoy, “Takin’ Time Out”. 

I am a bit jealous of those who live on a lake, not mentioning my cousin and a few special friends.  (even with the minor hassle and upkeep, the spiders, sticky webs, and bugs or lack of water these days)  It’s a little bit of heaven on earth.

Remember to take deep deep belly breaths…drop your shoulders…pause…relax!  Escape for a little while and enjoy a savoring cup of hot green tea! May blessings abide until next time…


The enormous lake stretched flat and smooth and white all the way to the edge of the gray sky.  Wagon tracks went away across it so far that you could not see where they went; they ended in nothing at all.”  Laura Ingalls Wilder

“A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.  It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”  Henry David Thoreau

“Not every lake dreams to be an ocean.  Blessed are the ones who are happy with whom they are.”  Mehmet Murat ildan

One comment

  1. Charmaine McEndree says:

    Oh Sis, you are incredible!! Due to a few heavy rains this summer, Two Buttes once again has water and they are stocking fish and skiing. Our childhood lake being resurrected! Maybe we will have a chance to once again make memories there. Love you!

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