Adventure: A Kentucky Cabin

Adventure: A Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky CabinMy brother has a cabin in Kentucky, a small, two-bedroom, *mostly*-finished cabin in the woods. It doesn’t have an address. He needs to call the post office about that. It doesn’t show up on Google Maps, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t have a bathroom, yet. Someday it will. March snowfall has made the road to it nearly impassable, but he has four-wheel-drive and he can pick us up at the bottom of the hill.

Kentucky Cabin

We came from all around — Peter and his family from Ohio, John and his family from Georgia, myself from Virginia, my parents from another place in Ohio. Only one couldn’t join us this year, the brother in Washington, D.C. I guess it’s a city that never sleeps, or takes a vacation.

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Nieces and nephews were everywhere, tumbling over each other in the tiny space. They’re all getting so big.

Islay is nearly 11. I was her nanny when she was a newborn. Hard to believe how time passes.

Ian is nearly 10. He wears glasses now, and looks so studious.

Tessa is 8. I remember being there when my sister-in-law learned she was pregnant with child #3.

The twins are 9, they hang on every word Ian says, fascinated by the boy. Their only brother is 2 years old. It shows.

Sarah is 6. She just wants to be included with the big kids.

And little Peter (little Peter to differentiate from big Peter) is two. Adorable. Precocious. He tries his mother’s patience, but makes the rest of us laugh a lot.

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin

I want to treasure the memories. Islay showing us her gymnastics skills and recently-won medals. Tessa sitting on my lap to play Battleship. Sarah playing Sorry! over, and over, and over. The twins sharing their love of reading with me. Little Peter putting on a “show” (ie. turning the lights out and singing one line of “Let it Go”). Big meals shared around a giant table. Warm fires in the wood stove. So many wet boots, hats, mittens, and snow pants. Knitting and talking and more knitting. Hikes, walks, tromping through the snow. A truck stuck in the mud. Laughter. So much laughter. These are moment to cherish.

Kentucky Cabin

I desperately hope Husband can join us next year at this Kentucky cabin, and my DC brother. To be complete. It would mean so much.

Kentucky Cabin

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin - Zipline

Kentucky Cabin

Yarn Along – Seed Stitch Cowl

Yarn Along – Seed Stitch Cowl

What I’m knitting, and what I’m reading

Seed stitch cowl

I really enjoyed this easy pattern as I joined my family in a backwoods Kentucky cabin for a weekend. Easy to knit and chat, set down and pick up amid other goings-on. And I do love the look of the seed stitch, as easy as it is to create. I find that it makes to a tightly woven cowl, especially compared to some of the drop-stitch cowls that I’m used to wearing. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And, more than anything, I now have a lovely cowl to wear with so many of my black work clothes to keep me warm in my frigid office.

Seed stitch

And I’m still reading Persuasion, because I like to savor the reading of any Jane Austen and because I can hardly keep my eyes open to read at night these days.

Joining Ginny at Small Things.

{Moments of Inspiration}

{Moments of Inspiration}

“Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them;
for those experiences have left an indelible impression,
and we are ever and anon reminded of them.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

So many moments of inspiration this week after spending several days with all my nieces and nephews in a two-room cabin in the backwoods of Kentucky.

So many “moments of inspiration” this week after spending several days
with all my nieces and nephews in a two-room cabin in the backwoods of Kentucky.

Adventure: Bluestone SP

Adventure: Bluestone SP

Cabining in West Virginia

From the day we arrived and took a deep breath of fresh mountain air at Bluestone State Park in West Virginia:

This is perfection. Right here, right now.

I sit quietly in a one-room cabin in the mountains of West Virginia. It’s cold outside, and the chill pierces the room every time the door opens. But a cozy fire in the stately stone fireplace keeps us warm. I love watching the flames flicker, adding even more to the soot that has for many years stained the tan stone.

Knitting by the fire

Husband is grilling steaks and mashing potatoes as I sip hot tea and watch Jane Eyre. The puppy is curled up on the bed, which is covered with a well-worn, well-loved quilt once purchased at an antique store in Amish Country.

Quilt

In this place, I feel peace. I am at rest — all of me. My heart, my soul, my mind. The concerns and responsibilities of our life are just melting away and leaving behind a purer version of myself. Giddy and grinning, I made a dash for the door when we first arrived, excited beyond belief that we had finally arrived. Arrived at stillness. At quiet. At peace.

Peaceful

I know it won’t last, in a few days we will head back to our real lives. And I remind myself that that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it is the “realness” of our lives that make it worth living. The messy relationships, the heartbreaking work, the dreams and aspirations. Without them, I’m not sure what life would be. But for the next three days, we’re here. Just here. Just the two of us. At peace.

So tonight, I’m looking forward to a tasty meal. A roaring fire. Perhaps even a hike in the coming days.

Cabin

Adventure: Cabining

Adventure: Cabining

Is cabining a word? It should be… because, really, what else could so accurately describe a rainy weekend tucked away in a rustic cabin along Glade Creek in West Virginia? Cabining.

Our favorite cabin

In Virginia Beach, Spring is in full swing. The flowers are a blaze of color, trees in full leaf, and all kinds of growing things are reaching for the sky. Our garden grows more verdant by the day, tiny seeds burst into green spindles, pushing up out of the rich ground. Spring is lovely.

But traveling to West Virginia last weekend allowed us to go back in time three or four weeks and once again watch the wonder of Spring as brown, dead-looking trees begin to sprout the tiniest, brightest green buds. And here and there a tiny wildflower turns its bright face toward the sun. That too is a beautiful, lovely sight.

The West Virginia Mountains

There’s something charming and elusive about a rainy weekend tucked away in a cozy cabin. We had reserved Cabin 8 at Babcock State Park–a favorite.

Babcock is a heritage that I’m just now learning about. Husband and his family have stayed at these beloved cabins for years, sometimes this group sometimes that. Sometimes hiking, sometimes rafting the New River, sometimes exploring the tiny town of Fayetteville. My first time here was when we were engaged, family came from all around–Virginia Beach, Washington D.C., Binghamton NY, Wooster OH–his family and mine, together for the first time, planning our wedding and getting to know one another. It was during that trip that I learned my father had often vacationed here as a child himself, coming up with his parents and sister from the suburbs of DC for a weekend away. See? Heritage.

The mill at Babcock State Park.

Path to Cabin 8

To reach Cabin 8 you have to walk a winding moss-covered path from the narrow road down to the bottom of the ravine where the cabin is tucked in right next to the rushing Glade Creek. The cabin was originally built by the CCC boys (Civilian Conservation Corps) in the 1930s, made of logs and chinking, with a great stone fireplace. In fact, although electricity, a tiny bathroom, and small kitchenette have been added, the cabin is still heated solely by the wood-burning fireplace. This is why we love Cabin 8.

To Cabin 8

To Cabin 8

Cabin in West Virginia

We didn’t mind the chill and the drizzly rain that defined the entire weekend. Really. In fact, we rather enjoyed it. It meant that we spent most of our time inside, in that snug little cabin, relaxing in the rocking chairs as a warm fire crackled in the large fireplace. This was bliss.

Rocking chairs in front of the fire.

Making cinnamon rolls.

We spent the majority of our time reading, writing, baking cinnamon rolls from scratch–in other words enjoying the beautiful things of life. But we did manage to get out a little. We stopped in the small town of Fayetteville to visit a favorite outfitters there, and explored a few back country roads. We chose a short hike that turned out to be quite the workout (2 miles of vertical trail–down, then back up).

Rocky Trail

Swinging bridge in West Virginia

Hiking Rocky Trail at Babcock State Park.

Hiking in Babcock State Park

Rushing creek

Hiking in West Virginia.

Swinging bridge

It was Husband’s birthday, so we also did a little antiquing with some money I had set aside just for him. We bought a shabby table and five almost matching wooden chairs. I’ll share more about that project as it comes along.

We also spent one night camping at Crabtree Falls Campground, a discovery from last year, and thankfully this time it did not rain several inches. And we visited a favorite antique shop, an outfitters in Waynesboro, and The Cheese Shop where we loaded up on all our most used baking goods–bulk flour, oats, brown sugar, yeast, cinnamon, butter, raw honey and, of course, our favorite Birch Beer. We only pass through here about twice a year, so we stock up.

Celebrating Husband's birthday.

In all, it was the weekend we needed–away from the grind of everyday life, a chance to renew ourselves, our relationship, our energy. Just enough time to begin missing out puppy and our own comfortable home. And so when we packed up it was with promises to return to Cabin 8, hopefully soon. And long off dreams of someday having our own little mountain hideaway, a rustic cabin near a lovely stream. Someday.

Cabin weekend

Linking up with Annapolis & Co.