Thursday, May 22, 2008

In case anyone is wondering...

.there are 28 days, 15 hours and 33 minutes until we get to Creation. 32 minutes. get the point. Ever since I can remember, my sisters and I have had a "countdown to Creation". Starting in January. (I only wish I were kidding, because then you might not possibly think I'm a TOTAL dork.) Before the grand and glorious age of computers and time-left-countdown tickers, Gwenn and I would make a chart on January 1st. We'd take a piece of paper from one of our Trapper Keepers and write "Creation Days" on the top. Then we'd make columns of numbers, starting with one hundred eighty-whatever days there were until the day we left. We'd affix said paper to the back of our bedroom door and attach a pencil with a piece of string and some tape.
The tragedy would come when we'd forget for a day or two to cross off a day and then have to re-count on the calendar. (You'd think that two gals as smart as Gwenn and I would have come up with a better, you know, writing the days on the actual calendar.)
Creation is my happy place. Everyone has one. That's mine. I started going to the Creation Festival when I was 4, almost 5. (Incidentally, there is a month difference in the age I was and the age my son will be this year at the festival. I wonder if he'll remember it?) We started doing staff/set-up when I was 9, in 1985. That was the second year that the festival was at its current location. That was the year I met Jay, who is the friend I've known the longest that I still keep up with. (Good LORD did I have a crush on that boy!)
I started out cleaning bath-houses and port-a-potties with my mother. I've since moved on to other jobs, but the smell of Tackle (which, for those not in the know, is now marketed under the name "Clorox Clean-Up") will still take me directly back to when I was 9. (And 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.) When I was 16, I started climbing steel for the set-up.
There are so many people who have come into my life because of Creation. I won't start naming names, because I'd be sure to forget someone. I've met my (literally) best friends there. (OK, naming names...Heidi and John!) I've met some total and complete whack-jobs there. (REALLY not naming names here, but if anyone wants to comment with some guesses, I can't control that...)
I am thrilled beyond anything I can say that my husband and my children have such a love for it. Jon mentioned to my mom today that "this year is my 10th Creation".) Both of use were completely taken can this be? You're the "new guy"! (haha) I say that only because this is Mom and my 29th Creation. That's totally crazy to me. (And in case any of you were wondering, I DO count 1995 and 2006. I was there. I set up. I played worship music for y'all! IT HAPPENED.)
I'm attaching some pictures of my happy place here. If you're a Creation reader, please comment on one (or more!) of your favorite Creation memories. If you have a picture you can e-mail me, I'll post that, too. If you've never gone to Creation, here's my 10-words or less description: Jesus Woodstock. Camping. Teaching. Killer music. Rockin' kids ministry.
If you want to know more, go to (I go to Creation East, although I've been told the West version rocks, too!). The catch-phrase of their promos says, "It will be the highlight of your summer...maybe your life!" I know it is and always has been for me.

The whole campsite crew

Fred! (Micah says, "He's pretty much the reason I go to Creation")
Marlowe and Elanit, our own personal Mary Poppinses
Heidi (I mentioned Heidi, didn't I? lol)
My favorite sound guy :)
I think Micah's singing here (at least I hope so)
Abbie's leading worship with me
Yes. You stink.
Me and my babies at the lookout
My favorite part of Creation
Astroturf nap. (Look how BLOND my boy is!)
I can only imagine the Newsboys are playing here.
After my first time 4-wheeling (and John, whom I mentioned)
Nanny and Abbie
Yes, she pretty much stays dirty the whole time
Paul (Cabana Boy) and Madison and...some other people....
Hey, that's a pretty nice stage we built, Mr. Rollhauser!
Micah on stage with Bigsby.
Micah and Bob the Tomato.
Another sunrise over another tear-down. (love this picture)


Melody Strayer said...

My favorite Creation memory is the year that you and Gwenn dropped me on my head when you were trying to do the Monkee walk or something and I was hideously maimed for the entire festival.

Oh, and meeting my husband. Close second. :)

Anonymous said...

my first creation i was 24 years old. mother of two. i am now 52 and the grandmother of 7. i started the year chris strayer was born...a lot has changed but much has stayed the same. i love creation.i wish gwenn and nick could come and their kids and daddy...

ctf said...

Oh gosh... well here's memory #1...Literally. My first year ever at Creation was because my brother was playing. (aaron... rainchildren...). So, I was all geared up to go for my first time and get a call from Fred... hey can you come up early? hey can you be a supervisor at gates... we really need a supervisor and we think you'd be great. HUH. Never been there...let alone been on staff... but sure. So my mom and I drove up, got lost on the way, and pulled up to see Kurt Weaver looking really dirty. We got escorted by someone on a 4 wheeler... I think it was Ben Bryson... to the camping site being shared by the families of Jawbone Hill and Rainchildren. WEEE. I'll probably be back with more...

Gretchen said...

oooh...Rainchildren. I miss them. I (big puffy heart) your brother Aaron.

Randy Neal said...

With just 5 years of Creation under my belt, I have two memories from recent years that come to mind.
1. Maybe that crazy lady is just really good at Bigger and Better.
2. Bob's in the pooper.

Joshs_Rebekah said...

I remember...
Gretchen's graduation party in the barn...
'95...everyone in the dining hall crying, or near it...
setting up camping with Dad ALWAYS sticks out...

Connie Garlick said...

Oh, my - so many memories...'95 walking to the dining hall late and thinking the person coming out telling us the news was telling some sick joke til we got inside. Have been going since '86, but will miss my second in a row this year (I don't count 06 as missing since I was there, however briefly). Hope to see you all in 09. No, pray to see you all back in 09.

obxsigndancer said...

my first creation was I believe in 2000? I was quiet and shy then. Then my first job as RN was here!! Many fun memories with friends and family. I love Creation. See u all there :)

Heidi said...

I have the most fun at set-up! I almost wish it could be set-up the whole festival.

Favorite memories?
-Driving around with Dave Ebersole for set-up. He was literally the only person, other than Rich, I knew at set-up and my brother really didn't plan on having me tag along with him for 5 days.
- Playing in traffic overnight at crossroads when Public safety still was in charge of traffic.
-The "Roll 'em out Rollhauser" incident where I almost coughed out a lung laughing so hard with Stephanie. (Ask John about it)
-"Ooh, ooh, if they all die I'm in charge of public safety", and finally
-Zooming around K field on golf carts to "respond" to the report that people were driving around recklessly and knocking over porta-potties. Why would anyone ever do that?

I can't wait for Creation this year. Yesterday I had the same thought, it IS the highlight of every summer!

Love ya Gretchen!!

Joshs_Rebekah said...

Remember John Musser's twin grandsons, Chris and Chuck? BIG crush on Chris at age 10 or 11...

My first "job" at Creation - I volunteered to work at dc talk's booth...The only thing I didn't do there was sleep and go to the bathroom!

Rebekah (Taylor)

ctf said...

Some of us had a yearly tradition of driving around the perimeter of the festival on Sat night on a golf cart. Kurt Weaver, Stephen Weaver and Jeremy Aten and I... A few years ago we ran into a strange scary man in a red truck lurking out in the back corner of K field. Kurt questioned him a bit and then he tore off, knocked over one guy with his truck, etc. They finally caught him and he was some kind of navy seal. WHAT THE! But those Saturday night tours of the festival are always amazing... especially since we live up at gates and don't see the entirety of the festival that often. PS... I agree that set up is my favorite part of the festival.

Allie said...

awww gosh, this makes me miss the festival so much! i can't wait!

my first year was '99. i haven't missed since, and don't intend to. my first year, i wasn't signed up for set-up but ran into ms. denise scrubbing bathhouses and decided to help her. that's how i got introduced to the whole shantytowne family. i guess i'll probably always be the 10y/o runt tagging along everywhere, but i'm okay with that =)

my favorite parts of creation -
a)sunday morning worship - gretchen, ya'll do an awesome job!
b)campfire worship with just the guitar and the voices =) amazing

and yes, heidi, set-up is way better! why does the festival have to get ruined by those people coming in =P haha


Gretchen said...

oooh, Rebekah, I ALMOST mentioned Chris and Chuck in my original post. Yes, they were definitely hot. (Good job on those ones, God! lol)

An-Sionnach said...

You know Creation was certainly one of my favorite places, it's just unfortunate life had its ways of getting in the way most of the time. But I still remember the days well, whether it was at the Agape Farm or the soaring heat of Hershey Park.

It's amazing to see all these memories come flooding back, out of it all the thing I miss the most is the friends.