I’ve found in any conversation, there are at least three parties: you, the other person, and God.
Let me tell you more …
Last weekend I was able to spend some one-on-one time with a beautiful group of ladies.
I’m not sure about the exact details of how it all came together, except I’m grateful that I said ‘yes’ to the invitation.
The invitation came from Ree, The Pioneer Woman, to come to her ranch in Oklahoma for the weekend, for “fellowship and a little cookin’.”
That’s it. Nothing more.
A girl’s weekend. A mini retreat. A time of togetherness.
Well, except for a little excitement rounding up the cattle.
Marlboro Man saddling up Georgia (photo by Ree)
Georgia, Amy, and Wendy
Me, Bridget, and Georgia (photo by Ree)
Heading back to the ranch
My pal, LB, who was very good to me.
What I didn’t know was that this weekend would be much more for me …
More than the food … or us. It had very little to do with us ladies or even our blogs.
It had more to do with ‘our conversation’ and being together.
With a few words, I’ll try to share the blessing of the time we had together…
Up at 5:30 am, just me and God.
One hour of quietness.
The sounds of nature, cows mooing, a slight breeze in the air, warm sun on the lodge.
Early morning fantastic breakfast, cooked by Meseidy. Yes, I enjoyed it in my bed (and love her!)
In this beautiful room.
Let. The. Day. Begin…
First, Charlie stole the show.
Cooking class was with Rebecca, Foodie with Family, who came from the Amish country. Rebecca homeschools 5 boys, comes up with the most fantastic recipes, bakes bread every day, even makes her own cheese. Oh, and raises chickens (I’m hoping she can help us get started out in Oregon.)
We made fresh mozzarella cheese.
What Rebecca doesn’t know–my first time meeting her–was how giddy I was to finally spend time with her. IRL!
I was blessed to already know Wendy, Amy, Robyn, and Georgia, who I met 2 years ago in San Francisco at BlogHer Food. (“In Real Life friends.”) Ree’s friends also came to the lodge for the day; Julie from Another Chance Ranch and Stephanie, and Shari from Really Most Sincerely and her aunt joined us. Awesome ladies!
Besides making cheese, we baked bread, canned tomato jam, and did lots of tasting and smelling. (A really easy recipe to come on RE, stay tuned.)
Back to “the table …”
For hours. Talking. Deep conversations.
Not about business or fluff or even others.
We each shared parts of our lives that, well, … brought laughter and tears.
We got to know each other more. The true beauty of hospitality.
It really made me think about our words. How we can build each other up by listening and encouraging.
I came home from this weekend inspired to be a better person and to work harder toward several goals. After all, isn’t that what mini retreats are all about? Inspiration!
Miz Ree, The Pioneer Woman, was so real, gracious, fun, beautiful in every way – and showed us the essence of hospitality. She knew how vital it was to consider people more important than plans. Her plans, busyness, our agendas. It’s easy to become frazzled and overly concerned with details, but I watched her graciously spend time with each of us, cook, help in the kitchen, set aside time for us to get out there on the horses. Her family members were just as hospitable, so awesome to see. We felt like family!
We had no set agenda, besides eating, cooking, and just enjoying each other’s company.
What I appreciated the most about these ladies was their authenticity; and their love.
So, saying our good-byes was not easy.
And also “bye-bye” to my sweet roomie, Bridget, who I’ve always dreamed of meeting.
Heading back to the city, leaving the ranch-life-beauty behind, Georgia and I stopped for our last photo.
And continued on for a few more hours in the car …
My only regret for the weekend? We did not sing more together. I just know we were capable of 3-4 part harmonies. Next time …