While traveling (OK, getting lost) on the back roads (a.k.a goat trails) of West Virginia on my way to the Chickens in the Road Retreat, I ran into two other women who were as lost as I was. Deb and Betsy were stopped in the middle of the road, talking to two local women, trying to find out if they could help us figure out how to find Camp Sheppard.
Betsy took down directions and we were off again. We drove, and drove; avoided drop-offs and pot-holes; took photos of the scenery and didn’t stop to check our directions with the scary-looking men wielding chainsaws at the side of the road (true story).
We stopped after a while to try to figure out where we were, and this sweet older couple stopped to ask us if we needed help. We told them where we were going, and they offered to lead us to the road we were looking for! (God bless those kind people!)
After a few more minutes of driving, we came upon a better-maintained road…a road with yellow lines painted down the center! CIVILIZATION!!! I have never been so happy to see a double-yellow line in my life! A couple more minutes took us to the road we wanted, and the camp was another 1.5 miles away.
We made it! With 2 minutes to spare before the first class started.
We hustled to get our stuff into our cabin and get to the first class, which for me was Soap Making: Bar Soap.
I walked in and I could feel that I was surrounded by people who, like me, treasure the natural, the homemade, the simple things in life. I knew immediately that I could make lasting friendships and learn from the people around me.
They didn’t question why I’d rather make my laundry detergent than buy it. No one looked at me strangely when I said I’d read about and started washing my hair with a baking soda/water mixture instead of store-bought shampoo. I actually had company who was as excited as I was when my bar soap made lather!
Not feeling like an outsider? Priceless.
I had found my tribe.