Do not bray.

I do not like February.

I have never liked it. It is an ugly month. It's not the holidays anymore, but it's always grey and drizzly. There are always really stale things going on around town... nothing really exciting. Globetrotters, Monster Trucks, stock shows... I have generally always hated anything that happens at convention centers. Especially in February. Especially when it's drizzly. And I can't ever get myself motivated to do anything because it's so blah outside. And I really hate pink, and February is all about pink doilies. I don't like doilies.

So there. Is it March yet?

I am so excited about March. We are going skiing!!! YAAAAAAAY! I haven't been to Colorado in 13 years. David and Punky have never been. Punky has never seen snow. It is going to ROCK!

I am such a mountain person. I feel so close to God in the mountains. I have craved the Rockies for 13 years, and it is so exciting to be able to go again.

But let me tell you, this trip is going to be very, very weird for me.

22 years ago, when I was about 9, my family went to a family camp with our church in Colorado. That was the last trip we took as a normal family. My dad got sick at the end of the trip, had to be hospitalized the day after we got back, and contracted HIV through a blood transfusion. The next several years were hell... and he passed away in '86.

That Colorado trip is my most vivid childhood memory. It's the last time I really remember doing things with my dad. I remember the lodge we stayed in vividly, from the snow tubing hill to skiing at Monarch to playing "Pit" with Missy Davidson in the Crow's Nest at the lodge to ice skating in the outdoor rink. There are so many memories of that week, and then everything became one giant blur after that as I tried my best as a kid to deal with a terminally ill parent. My childhood basically ended when that ski trip ended.

God works in crazy ways. Crazy! Last fall, when we went to Youth Specialties, I was walking through the exhibit hall and happened to pass a booth for this place in Colorado called Horn Creek. The woman I talked to invited us up for a "pastoral retreat" and mentioned that they also have summer camp for youth there. So we decided to take the pastoral retreat (and later take the youth) as our vacation and go skiing and just hang in the mountains.

But the more I thought about Horn Creek, which is near Monarch Ski resort, the more I kept thinking about that family camp 20 years ago. I knew it was going to be weird skiing at Monarch again, and that sent me down memory lane as I thought about it.

Today I talked to my mom and found out that the camp we went to 20 years ago was in fact HORN CREEK! Can you imagine? What are the odds? I couldn't have found the place if I tried, but here I just "happened" to stumble onto their booth at a conference in Dallas.

So it's going to be really strange going back to Horn Creek with my husband and son. My life has come full circle, and it will be very healing to revisit that moment of my childhood, the last bastion of innocence and joy before everything changed so very drastically. There are memories that have come up today that have been locked away for years and years. I am looking forward to unlocking more.


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