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

Spring

Spring

It’s the first day of Spring after a long winter. We’re nearly overwhelmed with everything that has to be done at the house while still maintaining our regular lives and responsibilities, like you know, work.

But with Spring comes new things. And right now we have a yard just waiting to be worked. It will be tilled, fortified, hoed, planted, watered and good things will come of it. We’ll start small this year, or at least smaller. A few raised beds near the front yard made with scrap lumber we pulled from a friend’s yard. A few long beds in the back, maybe someday they will be raised as well. We’ll add a little mulch to the landscaping around the house, take out a few dead shrubs, plant a few trees that have been patiently waiting in their pots.

We’ll finish the fencing, add a few gates and move Chappy into her new home. We’ll add a fresh coat of red paint to the barn and white to the fencing and it will be lovely.

Just like the inside of the house, the outside is a blank slate. We can do whatever strikes us. And we are dreaming, planning, hoping for a wondering Spring.

Growing things

Growing things

Spring rose

Spring is the time for growing things. Beautiful things. Green things. Delicate stems bursting forth from rich soil. Perfectly shaped petals unfurling to reveal a lovely blossom. The colors surrounding our home are rich and bountiful.

New plants

Pansies

And in the garden such things are growing. Good things. Nourishing things. Delicious things. Before long, these greens will be laden with bright red tomatoes and plump green beans, sweet cantaloupe and crispy cucumbers.

Thyme

Elephant garlic

Tomatoes

Growing garden

Potatoes

A seed of hope for Easter

A seed of hope for Easter

Spring flowers

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Easter, considering the recent tragic loss our family has endured. Thanksgiving and Christmas were hard–both because they came on the heels of our loss and because they are supposed to be such joyous occasions. But Easter…it was hard to anticipate.

It turns out that Easter was like a reflection of what our lives have been. A lot of sorrow, humility, heartache mixed with a seed of hope. And I pray that just like Easter, this journey will also come to a place of joy and victory.

The weekend also reflected these feelings…there were pockets of productivity, moments of rest with friends, and a few hours of hopeful togetherness. The weather began chilly, damp and drizzly, but with a break in the clouds and a burst of warmth on Easter afternoon.

We took full advantage of that moment of hope and took the pup out for a mini-adventure. A new park is pure bliss for Ginger. But amid her excitement, even she had to stop and smell the flowers. Because Spring is coming, full of hope and promise, with a few cloudy reminders of sorrow mixed in.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 6 months since we lost Michael. Just a few months ago, we wondered how we would make it one more day and one more day after that. Here we are, 6 months later, exhausted with grief and sorrow yet fostering a small seed of hope that tomorrow will be better and someday, some glorious day, this world will be made new and all the hurt and pain and suffering will be gone.

Ginger stopping to smell the flowers.

Ginger at the park

Vibrant flowers.

Right around the corner…

Right around the corner…

Hiking with the puppy at Northwest River Park.

I’m beginning to learn that some of the best adventures, the most memorable memories, are right around the corner.

I’ve spent so many years searching for adventure. As a teenager, I went to South America five times. I chose a college 41 hours away from home. I have traveled, taking trips, internships, and jobs in random states. I love to travel. I love to go. It makes great memories. It makes life an adventure.

But I’m learning to be content where I am. Life has changed and, right now, international trips just aren’t in the budget. But there are different kinds of adventures, like figuring out this whole marriage thing. And the challenge of living life to the fullest on a frugal budget. So we’re learning to do things like camping locally.

Husband and I spent Friday night through Sunday afternoon at Northwest River Park, literally ten minutes from our house. It’s a delightful little park, with a number of hiking trails (and bridal trails, I’m thinking that might be another adventure in my future), a river (obviously), and a wonderful campground full of mature shade trees.

Our camp site.

We’ve only taken Ginger camping once before, and it was a bit of an adventure. This time she did wonderfully! (Only minimal separation anxiety when one of us would leave the site to find water or something…but not at all afraid of the tent this time around!) She’ll be a camping pro before long =).

I’m so glad that while I have scaled back the funds required for these adventures ($40 for camping plus $5 for gas), I haven’t had to reduce the enjoyment and refreshing rest they offer. Husband and I both come from families who prize camping above just about any other kind of vacation. Sure, cruises are great and islands are nice, but camping? Camping is THE BEST!

I hope it’s a tradition we can pass on to our children.

Aside from a few ticks, some annoying mosquitoes, and a chilly first night, our trip was perfection.

Loving the little things.

Despite the fact that we purchase a brand new bone, Ginger preferred her sticks.

Despite the fact that we purchased a brand new “camping” bone, Ginger preferred the plentiful sticks littering our campsite.

There's nothing quite like breakfast made over a camp fire.

Hiking some boggy trails.

Steak dinner by lamp light?

New definition to reading by the fire.

Hiking puppy!

Paw print.

Tuckered pup.

Camping with Husband.

Cyprus trees.

Looking forward to making many, many more such memorable trips, right around the corner…