The News from Magruder 10/23-29

Hello loyal Magruderites. It's been a long time since we sent one of our weekly dispatches. We had a pretty challenging summer, and when there was extra time, we found it prudent to pour whatever we could into our guests' experience to be sure Magruder stayed as special to our guests as ever. But life now is settling back into a steadier rhythm which affords more time to send this little updates on life at our little camp.

We've felt a chill in the air that signals Fall is in full swing and Winter isn't too far away. We've had many wet, rainy days this week. If you forget your rain jacket on your way out during a week like this, you're going spend most of the day in damp clothes. The nights are coming on more quickly as well. In the evenings, as outdoor school forms the lines for supper, Carrier Dining Hall is lit up. There's such a feeling of warmth that exudes from a place like that on a rainy, chilly evening. Going in for a warm meal feels like going home--only the family is a little bigger.

Towards the end of the week, UMCOR Kit Camp started their 3 night long retreat. This group creates kits for United Methodist relief efforts in many places of need. If you got into the Edwards Lodge, you'll find it full of tables with sewing machines, irons, and lots of people dedicated to improving lives of people who don't have the supplies they need. They are sewing bags, diapers, clothing, and before the end of the weekend, someone will make a long drive to deliver what's produced to a major UMCOR depot in Salt Lake City.

Friday morning it was overcast and drizzly. It looked like another one of those days you'd need to keep the rain jacket close. Then just after lunch the clouds cleared and the sun began to shine like a summer day. The was staff jack-o-lantern carving day, so we went out to the picnic tables, and Jay pulled a wagon full of orange gourds out to our spot.

As we chose our designs, cleaned out the pumpkin guts, and began our artwork, the clouds cleared and the sun began to shine, making it feel more like July than October. We kept commenting on nice the sun's warmth felt as we laughed and carved our our jack-o-lanterns. As Fall moves along, and we find more time to catch our breath, it is a joy to share some of these moments with each other. To laugh at each other's attempts to make artwork. To enjoy this beautiful setting that we often overlook when there are so many tasks to complete. These moments are important, so we can know how to properly guide our guests to these renewing experiences.

Over the weekend, the weather continued to smile on us. We say two beautiful days that we were not expecting in late October. The Salem Photography Retreat went to Cape Meares, Netarts, and Barview. On Saturday, it was Big Mike's birthday, and the Hillsoboro High School Choir group very happily sang a happy birthday song to him at breakfast. Kit Camp made well over one hundred bags to distribute. And, our completed jack-o-lanterns are on display in the dining hall creating the atmosphere that speaks to how we are always growing as a family, how we celebrate this season, these people, and God's presence in it all.


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