Sometimes you just have to make an escape. With a busy week behind us and a long Memorial Day weekend in front of us…we headed for the hills. About 18 years ago we invested in a little cabin in the North Carolina mountains. We run away to it as often as we can.
In the early years of our marriage we always enjoyed day trips to the mountains. We lived in the Charlotte city limits at the time and took advantage of the fact that you could be on the Blue Ridge Parkway in about two hours. We explored little mountain towns, and really just appreciated the fresh air and chance to get away. In the hot months it can be 20 degrees cooler than it is in the city, a welcome respite. The summer after our oldest child graduated from high school we rented a cabin for six weeks, coming and going with different combinations of the family. We got a taste of what it would be like to have a place we could go to on our own schedule. The rental cabin was in a sweet little valley looking out over a perfectly bucolic setting of farmhouses, cows in the fields, and even a little church. The sun set in a notch in the mountain in front of us. We were smitten.
As it happened, someone was starting a new house just across the way on the same hill as our rental. We decided to walk over and give it a look-see. Turns out another homeowner on the mountain was planning a spec house, and after a little good ol’ North Carolina jawing, we had a deal. He would build the house we wanted if we could put it within the footers he had already poured. Just like that we became the owners of a vacation home.
Owning a second home was an ambitious project at that stage of life. We had four kids still to educate. But the opportunity to own this little piece of heaven was irresistible. We built a 3-bedroom cabin with the master on the main level, one on the basement level, and another on a loft level. We furnished it with leftovers and hand-me-downs. For several years we took not only our kids and other family members, but lots of friends of all ages. Many a weekend it was full of teenagers, with the boys in the basement and the girls in the loft and us in-between as hall monitors. Great memories made year round: kids skiing, rafting trips, zip-lining, 4th of July celebrations, exploring the backroads, visiting wineries, and just hanging out on the porch. I’ve taken friends for Girls’ Weekends. We’ve loaned it out to others for their own getaway. Last summer a niece and her husband honeymooned here. And youngest grandson, Maxwell Oliver, is so named because our house is on Oliver Hill Road and according to his parents that’s where………well………maybe that’s TMI.
My heart is full when this cabin is full. It’s lived up to our expectations. But I have to admit that I love our quiet weekends by ourselves. We can reconnect in a way that doesn’t happen in our hectic daily lives. Every marriage needs the batteries recharged sometimes and this cabin does it for us. We do the simple things, like working puzzles and watching sports. We get outside when the weather cooperates. We cook and enjoy a glass of wine, or two, or three. We read and rest, and we go home restored. And then we count the days until we can do it all again.