Mt. Hermon Christian Conference Center in Felton, CA was my destination.  I was to join three others and share in the speaking duties for a weeklong Dallas Theological Seminary summer conference.  The tabernacle was filled.

Each day we had three speaking sessions.  The afternoon was free for swimming, zip lining, hiking, boating, train rides, beach trips to Santa Cruz, crafts and every kind of sports event in the gymnasium.  Food was as abundant as fun.

One of the food events was an early morning pancake breakfast.  It was held at pancake ridge.  At the top of the hill two permanent fire pits with cast iron grills that could be raised or lowered by large wheels was the center of attention.

What we enjoyed before arriving at the site was what was very special.  Our driver of the golf cart took us past Ponderosa Lodge.  It is an upper camp that is used for youth camps. 

In 1974 I was at this camp during a Christmas retreat for College and Career young adults.  I was very busy that season.  Graduate school was occupying most of my energies.  This was a time for a respite. 

But, the sovereign plan of God was going to surprise me.  It was at this beautiful place that I met the woman who captured my heart.  She and I fell in love and were married three years later.

This would be Yvonne’s first visit back to this special site since the day we met.  She saw the cabins of the lodge and pointed them out with excitement.  We had no memory of which one she stayed in that week but it was enough that we were back on the site itself.

The grand lodge was nestled among the giant redwood trees.  A balcony that we walked on skirted the perimeter of the old building.  There is a beautiful swimming pool that has been added since we were there so many years ago.

What remained was the distinctive cabins.  They were attractive, spacious and perfect for making great spiritual memories for youth.  We both had been counselors for many young people at these retreats.

For this return to our beginning we had a special treat.  One of Yvonne’s counselees was there this year.  Now she was an adult, married and with her own children with her. 

It was a time for all of us to smile.  Our driver smiled too.  Memories are such special possessions.

photo credit: mt hermon image