In the spring of 1981, Bethany had a group of parishioners going to the Lutheran Retreat Center called Holden Village, transformed from an old copper town, situated in an remote wilderness area near the north end of Lake Chelan. Not knowing much about this place, the wife took charge of the arrangements and packing for us . I was just hard at work getting ready to be away from the office for a week.
That particular Friday was very busy and I worked all day without any break for food. Arriving home just in time to load up and board the 5:30 pm ferry to Seattle. On the ferry, the line for food was long and I sacrificed getting anything, besides, the price was outlandish. Then we drove to Wenatchee, WA, arriving after all restaurants were closed. The next morning we all went to breakfast at a cafe. My kids ordered eggs, bacon, pancakes and such that I was sure too much for them to consume. I planned to eat the leftovers and just had a cup of coffee. Totally surprised, they ate everything, leaving no leftovers at all! We then hurryingly proceeded onward to catch the ferry to Holden from Field’s Point Landing. The ferry ride was more than 3 hours. On the ferry, they were announcing how welcomed the Bethany group was and how the Holden community was eagerly awaiting our arrival for dinner. Having heard that, I was equally happy and looking forward to having dinner with the Holden brethrens.
Finally, we reach our destination and disembarked with a small crowd of warm greeters. We proceeded directly to the dining hall and heard a few speeches. Finally the meal was served. It was cabbage soup, mixed green salad and home baked bread, none of which were my favorites. And where is the beef? Or even fish?
A surprisingly new revelation came to me. Just then I realized that there are people who just eat to live. God bless them, but I am diametrically the opposite, I live to eat. I look forward to every upcoming meal, and I savor all foods. I had always been on a ‘see-food diet’, I see the food and I eat it. No meal is truly a dinner if it were without meat! I soon ascertained that Holden was a veggie complex (at that time.) I told myself ‘Settle down and be prepared for a long week of fasting!’ Internally, I was craving and anticipating and also preparing myself for a nice, perfectly cooked, juicy burger on our return to civilization.