Highland Retreat Get-a-way

I took a personal spiritual retreat in May of this year to Highland Retreat. I had such a wonderful experience, I decided to visit again with my husband in August. We stayed August 9 – 12. Check in was 6:00 p.m. on August 9 with a later checkout on August 12 at 2:00. Because our cottage, Creekside, would not have internet, we meal planned ahead of time and printed out the recipes. With little access to a grocery store, we shopped ahead of time and packed the car full of groceries to make meals together.

Some of our favorite recipes were the following:

Beef Stroganoff

Crab Quiche

Cast Iron Sweet Buns

Poached Eggs with Hollandaise

Our home was directly beside a creek that we would skip around in and collect rocks. We had a great backyard with a picnic table for morning coffee and devotionals.

The trails are an adventure filled with dragon flies, butterflies, a pond, a treehouse, evergreens, nature tabernacles, and spider webs. I made Parish go first on the trail so he could be the first to go through the web! I started calling him my personal spider man.  We walked 3 ½ miles!

Not having internet or cell phone service provided opportunities to “camp out in the bed” with a lantern and play games, complete a 500-piece puzzle, read, talk, and cook together. I’m a great chef’s assistant. I love going through the recipe and measuring all the items out and then he cooks. Apparently, I had downloaded some music, so we had fun listening to random songs. One of the albums was famous guitar riffs and we made it a game: Guess the song. You would be amazed at how many songs have “the riff” that made it famous and catchy. Think of the song Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones.  Right?! I bet you are playing an air guitar right now!

Parish brought a guitar my dad gave to him. It is a good travelling guitar. We thanked my dad in heaven for the gift that keeps giving. Parish wrote the song for me that you hear in the video below around 18 years ago. It’s just a little portion of the song for the memory.

At least once a day, we would walk up to this one spot where we could connect to the internet and quickly text loved ones that we were okay and to check on them.

Without the distractions of social media, work, and television we were able to play, talk, and fellowship. It’s good to know that we are able to play well together and remember our friendship. Friendship is so important in a marriage.

Later in the evening on Thursday, we ventured out to The Lost River Grill. A great place for a home cooked meal. They had a lovely screened in patio. At 4:30, the breeze was blowing across the field of a dairy farm. How beautiful to see and feel nature. It was interesting when our phones started to have a signal, and we could check email and text messages. I noticed we became more outward focused and stressed. The conversations took a turn toward our worries and concerns. Unplugging has been good for us.

Off to the fair! We went to Bergton County Fair. We rode the Ferris wheel, played the duck game and won the consolation prize which consisted of a small unicorn pillow. We watched the pageant for about 30 minutes in the bleachers while eating the famous Ruritan fried chicken and fries while sipping lemonade. I sat next to a great-grandmother who was there to support her great-grand daughter in the 0 – 24-month-old pageant. How fascinating to sit, watch, and listen to the community gathering. We finished the night with a funnel cake and walked around in the building that had all the prize competition squash, quilts, jams, and photography.

We were reminded of the first prize ribbon we received at the Gloucester County Fair over 32 years ago of Victoria and Parish at Maymont. She was a tiny baby and we called it “Father Daughter Love”.

We both explained how the cottage reminded us of our little trailer we lived in our first year of marriage in Gloucester. We rented a small trailer on the York River. At that time, we had a set amount of money for food, one car, and we could barely make ends meet. One Christmas we went into the neighboring field and found a small Charlie Brown Christmas tree and put it in a washed-up crab pot. One of the best Christmas memories.

There is a song that makes me close my eyes and remember. It’s called “The House that Built Me”. Tanya Tucker did a remake. She sings the song from the perspective of a parent re-visiting a home versus the child. This song came on our random selection while cooking. I changed it. I told Parish I just can’t do that “sad” right now. I then shared that we all have a choice to push fast-forward on a thought. We agreed that there is a time and place to reminisce and remember. In the writing of this post, I am thinking about that song. So many homes, places, and memories that built us. Thank you, God, that the consistent memory is our marriage and your Love for us. Homes are built, we move, life changes quicker than we ever had thought it would; yet, no matter where I lay my head my hope is in you, my Father, my Friend. Just imagine heaven, Parish. Our eternal home. Until then….

I love this place. It’s so beautiful and simple; yet magnificent.

Thank you, Highland Retreat, for ministering to the world with God’s beautiful handiwork!

A video with all our pictures.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlene A. Belangia says:

    You two are a very special couple !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Char, thank you. We are purposeful in working on our marriage. No easy task. It takes work and a lot of prayer and grace.

      Like

  2. ashleythomasrn says:

    Such beautiful scenery! So many butterflies and dragonflies! Loved experiencing your relaxing trip through photos! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ashleythomasrn says:

      I also meant to comment how much I loved the CHRISTmas tree in the crab pot!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ashley, those were beautiful years filled with great love and amazing provisions by God and family.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I highly recommend going there if you ever get the opportunity!

      Liked by 1 person

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