This weekend we had the privilege of escorting our friend Augustin to visit our good friend Paul, temporarily serving as priest of St. Jude in the Mountains Anglican Church in Tehachapi, CA. Tehachapi is north of LA about 2 hours, in the mountains and near the high desert, so we weren't sure quite what to expect. A poor, rural, mountain town? A cowboy community? Turns, out, Tehachapi is a small but thriving community, that bills itself as the 'land of the 4 seasons' and is where many people like to retire to.
After coming through the desert, we were so impressed at the rolling green hills around Tehachapi. It really is picturesque, with cattle and horses grazing on the hillsides and patches of snow hiding in the shadows. We went to dinner at a small italian restaurant called La Bella Amore Italian Bistro, which had great food and nice live background music. It was such an inviting restaurant that we hung out there for an hour after dinner just to talk and listen to music!
The highlight of the weekend was going to church, of course! Bob and I love the way that Anglicans really focus on the Eucharist in their service and have a sense of the sacred privilege of being in God's presence. Our friend Augustin is now a bishop in Rwanda, and it was wonderful to see the communion and connection of this small church in rural California to their fellow Anglicans in Rwanda. Below is a picture of their altar area (Sacristy, is that the proper term?), and all of us in the church.
Then we took a drive through the area, appreciating the scenery and looking for a patch of snow so that Augustin could experience snow. It had just snowed a couple of inches 1 week ago, but we were glad it had warmed up to the 50's by the time we were there. :)
We learned that the hundreds of windmills around Tehachapi are a source of power for Los Angeles and also one of the major source of income for citizens of Tehachapi. One large windmill can produce enough electricity to supply 600 homes!!
After church when we were talking to people, we heard several people recount that they had considered places all over the US when they retired, and settled on Tehachapi (given, most of them had kids within an hour's drive...) We did actually start joking about buying land for retirement...we decided that we could buy land and share it between the 4 of us...Augustin would use it first, since he is oldest, then Paul, and then us. :)