Friday, July 14, 2017

Ridgecrest…one more time

I’m at Ridgecrest Conference Center for the night. I’m not attending a conference but it is close to where I went today so I reserved a night. In earlier years some group from my church would go every year, mostly students in the summer, but I haven’t been here in a decade or so. Hmmm, it used to be Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center I think but I’m OK for broader marketing if that’s what is needed to keep our sole national conference center going. Glorieta, the other one, is alive only in the form of a Hail Mary lawsuit. It was closed years ago.

My state convention gave away one of our conference centers. I don’t miss it….only stayed there once, in a clean but very long-in-the-tooth room at a price of $200 for the night but that princely sum included breakfast and nighttime cookies. Shoulda complained.

Did I read that SC was selling their relatively new conference center? Things change. Markets change. Preferences and standards change.

There are new buildings here at Ridgecrest. Nice. My standard motel room is on par with what one might expect these days. Splendid. Workers have always been super here.

There’s a coffee shop, packed with kids and their chaperones. From the price list I see that I can not buy a $5 cup of coffee here just like at home.

Lots of kids here. All those years I came with a student group for a full week conference. I don’t think I ever got paid for those 168 hour work weeks…don’t miss ’em either.

Half the kids have cellphones in hand. Half don’t. Guess some Captain Bligh student leaders allow them and some don’t. There were always groups that ran wild here. “No you can’t do that and I don’t care what other pastors allow their groups to do.”

I lean on the balcony rail and watch small gaggles of teens walk around and try to look cool. They look young.

Ah, new buildings where the day care used to be. It was dated when our kids were little and we would drop them off. I’m a little nostalgic and sad. Nowhere were our children better cared for.

Same cafeteria. I’ll never forget sitting with a missionary from Panama 25 or so years ago who said, “If we’re going into the Darien we have to be self contained, take everything we need.”

There’s a flock of bright yellow goldfinches. Beautiful. Reminds me of the time up here when a common yellowthroat stunned himself by flying into our sliding glass door. I picked it up and waited a bit and he flew away. Closest look I ever had at that species. Kids,were unimpressed.

Keep up the good work, LifeWay.

I’m headed down to the Nibble Nook for an ice cream. Guess they still have that. I better not have to pay five bucks a scoop either.


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