Monday, October 23, 2006

Mountain Climbing Adventures

We've been out of town the past few days, visiting a nearby city with some friends. The place we went is famous in this Asian country for its high mountain which has spiritual and cultural significance. We are told that in the past this mountain was a place where offerings were given to the Most High God, but now, sadly, it is a place of superstition and idol worship. It was striking to see many people buy huge, red incense sticks and place them in the fire, hoping in vain that their prayers will be heard by a nonexistent god. What heart-rending foolishness.

The ascent to the mountain top was easy--we took a bus halfway and then took a cable car the rest of the way. Between our families, we had four children under the age of two, so climbing the 6,660 steps was not a viable option! (Actually, let's face it, climbing that many steps was not a viable option for me even if we weren't taking the children!) But we didn't miss out; happily for us, there was still plenty of climbing to be done after we arrived at the mountain top. John was a real trooper and carried Chloe the whole day, and Clara Anne a lot too!

We hoped that the weather would clear as we climbed higher but instead we found ourselves at the top in the midst of a cloud. The wisps of cloud would drift by, sometimes obscuring our view even a few yards ahead. But despite the lack of a view, we still enjoyed the experience--the air was fresh and clean, we got some wonderful exercise, and only about 147 people stopped us, wanting to take pictures of us and our girls! It's true, in this Asian country sometimes we think we know what celebrities feel like!

Clara Anne enjoyed rock climbing at the peak, but was getting a little too comfortable in some dangerous places for this mama's comfort. She loved wearing a new gift--a Dora the Explorer sweatshirt (she actually has only seen Dora once, but her friend Emma loves Dora, therefore Clara Anne loves Dora too!). I'm sure Dora would have loved exploring this mountain!

Chloe seemed to enjoy the trip just fine; of course, she didn't need to do any climbing, so that made it easy! She was happy to get a chance to wear her fleecy purple hat before it gets too small.

So all in all, we had a great trip. It was refreshing to spend time together, whether we were hiking on a mountain top, studying Nehemiah, praying together, or playing some intense games of Scrabble! But, it's great to be home, too--as all of you moms know, life in a hotel room with two small children isn't quite the vacation that it seems like it should be. I'm thankful to have us all in separate bedrooms again! So, now I just need to tackle my own personal mountain . . . of laundry!

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