Posted by: Judy | October 12, 2017

There and Back Again Day 5

The first full day of ALEP started with First Breakfast. Only S and I chose to pay for the breakfast buffet at the Trustees’ Table, served here:

Bacon was a must. I also enjoyed yogurt, roasted potatoes, and delicious spiced apples. I passed on the sausage, eggs, and grits.

My friends took me on a tour of the area. It’s been nine years since my last visit. They shared stories of ALEPs I’d missed. It’s mostly walking everywhere. The shoes I’d bought at our local Renaissance Fair, about 12 years ago, were prefect.

We kept lunch simple, eating in our living room from things we’d brought. I put my feet up for a while. My plan was to attend the lecture offered by Dr. Michael Drout, who teaches at Wheaton College, in Massachusetts. His flight was cancelled, and he didn’t make it until that evening. He loves Tolkien, too, and has studied him extensively. I remember him from my first ALEP. He hasn’t missed any.

Thursday night, I chose the green skirt and a blue peasant-type blouse. Dinner at the barn included Cider Glazed Pork Loin, veggies, rolls, and a Brownie. More entertainment. We also had a special tribute to one of our own. Jef Murray was a gifted artist. I met him at the first ALEP, but became better acquainted with him and his wife on social media. Two years ago, I was waiting for him to post his Tuesday picture, always a treat, and it never came. The next day it was posted that he had passed away suddenly. We’d all lost a dear friend much too soon. A beautiful slideshow was prepared, and those of us who wanted to carried the lanterns from the barn back to the dwellings. Master Baggins and a few others who created and ran ALEP offered fond memories of Jef’s enthusiasm in the ALEP project. He was also an original presenter and never missed. His absence is deeply felt, even now.

I took some time to find a quiet moment alone. The moon was full or close to it. The skies were clear and stars filled the black expanse. I’m able to see a few stars here in the Valley. Orion is visible. There, in the village, there’s only the lights along the paths and shining from within the buildings. I’d forgotten what a blanket of stars looked like.


  1. I’m really glad you got to take this trip. It see,s to have been good for you.

    • In so many ways. 🙂

  2. Sorry to hear about the loss of someone you admired.

    • Thank you. ❤

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