A bunch of girls that have known one another from way back…that’s who we are. We are The Sequoia Sisters, and aptly named because of the trees. These trees roots run all together. They do not stand alone. They need one another to stand as they do.
We came together around seven years or so ago, and decided to meet on a yearly basis. We are just women bound together because of a common faith in Jesus Christ. We are friends…deep soul sisters. We carry each others’ burdens, and we love each other.
There are some of us that have known one another for 40 or more years, and we still like each other, and care about one another. This is a very awesome gift.
Our parents knew one another, and were friends, and these friendships have endured, they have stood the “test of time” and have stuck, because we stick together….we do not run. We are open with one another…..We lift each other up.
We have seen death, such sorrow and heartache, lots of joy and laughter. We have held one another up in prayer, cried together, and laughed until we have had to run to the bathroom….a lot…
I have such gratitude and respect for these girls. We only stand tall because of Jesus, and his enduring, life giving love for us. He gives us courage. He gives us strength. He gave us one another to love, and to do life with.
The weekend began with the suggestion of a trip to Jo’s lake house in Washington on Lake Chelan. All I need is the suggestion of a lake visit, and I jump in.
Since it is May, I didn’t actually jump in. We soon were to realize the lake was only 59 degrees. Yes….Robin took a bold backwards dance off the back of a paddle board and discovered immediately that the clear blue depths were a little chilly for a swim.
She was a gutsy soul, far braver than I, and decided to take a stand on the board. She was doing so well…and then…well…she fell in. It was scary.. She could not catch her breath. As she swam to shore, her lips turning grey, and her face pale, those of us lounging on the dock , jumped up to help get her back up onto the dock, and draped towels around her, and warmed her up.
We are here for each other. We care deeply for one another. We are trees bound together, and are stronger because of one another. I love this visual.. The wind may blow our leaves, and cause us to bend and sway, but we will not break because we hold each other up…we do not stand alone, and we know this.
This is life. It is so much better to do it with friends, girls who know you. They have seen your junk, and they seem to love and accept you anyhow. We are flawed..we fall down, we make mistakes, and are far from perfect, but we do not care…we are here for one another.
The first day was sunny and the temperature was perfect. I think it was about 80. After a delectable breakfast of egg deliciousness, and blueberry baked heaven, lots of coffee, and fresh fruit…we were full, and primed for adventure.
The view from the deck onto the lake is perfectly sublime, and we would spend much morning and evening time breathing deep, enjoying the scenery, and telling stories, and sharing our lives.
I could have sat out there forever…this was contentment. In the cool morning, we grabbed a cup of steaming coffee, clutched a blanket under one arm, and cozied up on the deck together. We retold stories, and enjoyed one anothers’company fully.
Jo blew up a kayak, and paddle boards, and we had an adventure. Lest I forget to mention; our downtown walk that morning included the shops, and finding treasures, which eventually stirred up pangs of hunger. After our tummies made explicit ” yummy” noises, we decided to indulge in a delicious Mexican meal. Always a good idea!
Many of us took a round on the boards, and enjoyed the kayaks…it was great fun. Robin was the only one amongst us who graced the waters with her presence. Jenny even captured it on video which was shared , and watched with much enthusiasm.
It was a delightful day. Since we are chicks, and usually tend to avoid carbs, we ordered an assortment of pizza for supper. Wine and pizza…. Food fit for a queen I say!
It was decided beforehand, and a brilliant suggestion I think, to rent electric bikes, and tour wineries together. Such a grand time ensued. This day was cooler, and clouds were in the sky. It was grey outside, but our moods were bright.
After a hearty breakfast of frittata, and delectible french toast we headed off to meet Merrick, Merv, or Mercol… He was a Brit, was cheery and outgoing, and our brilliant tour guide. We giggled about his name, some were not quite sure of what it was. He, and his lovely wife and daughter, ran this electric bike business. They were a delight.
We had such a blast! It was an excellent experience, of exercise, combined with an electric motor on our bikes that assisted us, and went 20 mph. We visited several wineries, enjoyed tastings, and had an amazing lunch along the way.
The air was cool, and damp, but as we glided by freshly budding trees the air was intoxicatingly sweet. Flowers bloomed, and their aroma filled the air. One could breathe deep here in this place, and so we did.
Is there anything more delicious than baked Brie in pastry coupled with wine, amongst friends? A little taste of heaven upon earth me thinks.
Things were going so well…..that is until the last steep hill…. To be fair, our enthusiastic tour guide who instructed us to say, “we ride,” every time we started up , did warn us about this hill. But…being 40, 50 years plus in the age bracket, we certainly were not going to back down from a challenge of sorts.
He did tell us it might be good if we got off our bikes, and walked them up this incline, and some did….however, there were some of us, who thought we would take a run at it, peddle madly and pray for a miracle, and would ascend to the summit without further incident.
Well…with the use of the motor, some were successful, and some…not as much. We lost two on this hill. Butts were in the air, and road rash was felt..ouch…I think our tour guide may decide to not take cyclists on this particular hill again. I think we scared him…yup..we did.
The view from the top of this hill was absolutely incredible, and worth the climb. Once we all ascended, and safely sat in our Colorful chairs, enjoying our surroundings, we laughed heartily about our adventures, or perhaps our misadventures..ha.
My friend Kathy, or “Canada Kathy,” as I call her, coined a phrase, and I love it.. “God and girlfriends” get you through life, or at the very least they are a very important aspect in this life.
Family, and their unconditional support of us is also such a crucial aspect to living well. Being there for one another especially during the pain and heartache is especially sweet. Walking through our valleys together, makes the mountain peaks of joy that much fuller.
One can never know the twists and turns that are ahead, but when you find yourself drowning in a lake of loss, loneliness, and sadness, it is such a comfort to know that if we reach out a hand, there are those who not only pull you into the lifeboat, but will throw a towel over you, and paddle right along beside you and take you safely to shore.
These lifelong friends are irreplaceable, and they are like that. They are quite simply the enduring gifts that keep on giving. I am hopeful that I will be fortunate enough to enjoy more of these outings together. I’m grateful that some of our Mothers, And Mothers in laws have also been able to join us on these get togethers.
We have travelled to Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, Daytona Beach, Billings….to name a few destinations. I wonder where we shall end up next..?
Lest I forget to mention….On our way back to Seattle, we visited a delightful Bavarian village called Leavenworth. Picture Switzerland, Austria…but in Washington state. There were even men adorned in lederhosen and women in dirndls, dancing about the town square to live melodious music..it was just great.
I even saw a beagle…..which made my heart leap for joy.
We finished off our outing with brats covered in sauerkraut and hearty mustard, and beer… Some enjoyed fresh pretzels with cheese dip, and others, a German potato salad.
What a weekend! I will think on this and carry these memories in my heart for a lifetime. I’m just so thankful to the depths of my being for God friends. Ha…that was a typo.. The “God friends” was meant to be good friends, but somehow this seems more appropriate. Thank you God for my friends…