Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hugo and Irene...Starcrossed Lovers

The Sky Lodge...Clinton, PEI


Sometimes, the best experiences are unplanned, surprises from God. My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this past month and wanted to do something special. Cruises, jewelry and being far from home don't excite either of us too much, so what do two Fuddy Duddies do on such an occasion?? Going to a movie and dinner is just lame for a 20 year mark.

We spent our honeymoon on PEI for 4 days. Four days on a beautiful island, during hurricane Hugo...and we were both very sick. Not your ideal dream vacation. I had always thought about having a "do over" honeymoon there someday, so that seemed like a good idea for the Fuddie Duddies. It just so happened that we met a lovely, musical Christian family early in the summer who run a lodge on the Island and welcomed us to come anytime and stay with them. Ok...the plan is coming together.

Neither of us is very good at sitting on the beach and walking around site seeing for a very long time either, so we kind of wanted something to do too. Well..it just so happened that a very well known author/speaker we both enjoy was scheduled to speak in Charlottetown that month...good! Something special to do too! My plan is REALLY coming together now.

I don't know if we had a moment of insanity or if we are just suckers for punishment, but after realizing that the conference speaker, Joshua Harris, is someone our kids really enjoy too, we decided to take our two teenagers along with us...on our second honeymoon...on our romantic Island getaway...early dementia is definitely here. So, the four of us headed off into he sunset, rap music blaring from our little Civic, skateboards in tow. We just can't seem to get this getaway thing right. I know...it's our own fault.

The next three days were the most delightful days we have had for a long time. The weather was perfect, the Island beautiful, the conference inspiring, the time and conversation with the boys was unforgettable and the Lodge...well I just can't say enough about the Lodge. You just have to see it to appreciate it. Not just the place itself, but the people we have come to know there are, in the words of Anne Shirley herself, kindred spirits. We have found another home away from home...in a wonderful vacation spot.

We were a bit stunned at the blessings poured out on us this particular weekend...mostly spiritually speaking, but physically too. We really needed the peaceful retreat of the unfamiliar countryside, the joyful music of the conference band, the wise guidance of a respected speaker...and lobster...we really needed lobster. After driving around several red backroads, we finally found a REASONABLE price to enjoy our traditional anniversary meal. Honestly, you would think these scavengers held the "pearl within" for the price they charge to have one. My conscience just couldn't pay it. But God, in his graciousness, performed a miracle and prevented us from having to endure one more Big Mac by candlelight...and I slept fine that night relieved from fiscal irresponsibility. It was entertaining to watch my two big boys eating with bibs again :)

There was a sense of romance to the weekend too. Our friends at the Lodge just would not hear of the 4 of us sharing a room on this occasion, so they arranged a room for our boys, two floors below us...we had the honeymoon suite...lovingly arranged with all the romantic features we seemed to miss out on 20 years ago. Fortunately, the boys are of the age that we can dump them and take off occasionally...so we did that too. They were chomping at the bit to skateboard. They enjoyed a couple of hours at the town skatepark, while we strolled along the shoreline, then downtown Charlottetown, with it's quaint shops and bistros. We enjoyed gourmet Greek nachos at one such yuppie hangout, as we analyzed our fuddie duddieness with snickers of contentment.

I cannot tell you how unnecessary, but completely welcome romantic moments like this are. This date reminded me of how complete I am in my relationship with my "Guy", how everything we have been through together has shaped and defined who we are now and how I have absolute faith in God's design for marriage. I really didn't when I was younger, but His faithfulness has proved His wisdom and we are reaping the joy of following Him.

God knows what you need and when you need it. We couldn't have planned this weekend any better than He did. I wasn't your prescribed treatment plan for romance and relaxation, but it was exactly what we needed. Having the boys with us and the unique conversations we had with them were like reminders of what our long term love was producing. They expressed their appreciation to us for including them in this getaway, and we had no idea of the impact it had on them. They really are deeper than the comic books they read.

We returned home just before hurricane Irene hit the Maritimes. There was NO WAY I was going to share another weekend on that beautiful Island with another torrent like Hugo. They were not invited to our party 20 years ago, nor this time. Our boys were welcome, but not the storms.

I've been surprised by this truth. Romance is overrated, but love is not.

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