My girlfriend Andrea is living her dream come true - after much sacrifice, saving, and budgeting, she bought a cabin in the local mountains. Can you say priceless good times and memories for her family? And, while we share the same dream (I've always wanted my own cabin, too), I know right now it's not a reality for my family, but I'm honestly thrilled for her. It's inspiring to see people you care about realize their dreams. And, the next best thing besides owning your own slice of the rustic life is having a thoughtful friend who wants to share in the good times.
So, very lucky me gets invited at the last minute to join her and her family at the cabin this weekend. I say YES!!!!, knowing full well that it would not be a weekend of relaxation, but mostly to help bring up supplies and furniture, help with projects, and oh ya, enjoy a total change of scenery with some fun people. The thought of getting away for two days is like someone offering to rub your shoulders when they feel sore - a total welcome relief. With bags packed in anticipation of an early departure, my husband wakes up with a tremendously painful lower back. You know, the kind where you can't walk and the stabbing shooting misery makes you cringe and cry? Awful. But, with beyond excited kids and a truck full of my friend's stuff for the cabin, there isn't much of a choice but to go on without him. I pamper him as best as I can (show him where the good drugs were) and set off with the kids. And since I've done the two hour drive many times, I have no fear of the unknown, but rather ready for some fun.
The cabin is just as I pictured it - circa 1958 with deer wallpaper and vintage stove, looking mostly like it probably did fifty years ago. A total charmer. But, with the charm, comes a ton of work, and there isn't much time to kick back. And, besides, the four kids (her two plus my two) were wild and crazy beyond excited, like a hyper dog who just escapes it's owners clutches after having a bath and a towel dry and runs around the house with wild abandon. No, they did not just eat an entire chocolate cake - they are six years old and can't contain it any longer...freeeeedom!!! It's all good, though - they obviously need it just like me.
When not a single match or lighter can be located to light the pilots, and since hot water and heat are kind of important when it's 38 degrees at night, I offer to drive to the store to get some. It's kind of nice, actually, to steal away for a few minutes of quiet. As I'm driving back, I witness one of the most stunning sunsets I've seen in a long long time:
This picture doesn't even do it justice. There are no buildings or homes blocking my view. The magnificent colors dominate the WHOLE SKY. As I stand there next to my car parked alongside of a field taking pictures, an older smiling woman comes out of her house across the street and starts taking pictures, too. She says "It's just soooo beautiful, isn't it?" and I respond in "ohhhh yes" agreement. Sharing that moment with someone else, even if it is a total stranger, makes it all the more sweeter.
If all I did was drive up the mountain, see this sunset, and then drive home again it would be worth it. It's the rare good thing that makes time stop forcing me get out of my head for a while. All my troubles melt away. It's like I was meant to go out alone to get that lighter just so I could see that sunset. I wish I had tivo of the mind, where I could rewind to that moment in my brain and be right back to that sunset whenever my head is stuck in a bad or sad place. I guess sometimes life is about those special, almost magical moments and I'm happy with myself for taking the time to notice...and for remembering to keep that little camera in my purse.