Monday, October 26, 2015

Tennessee

We pulled out of our drive six days ago. The leaves were just beginning to turn and the week was our gift. So, we traveled South, a good eight hours, and when our wheels stopped turning, we'd found a certain paradise.

And that wasn't even the best part.

 

The sun was chasing the mountains and all we saw were trees. When we woke up the next morning, Calvin showed us the fog rolling up off the surface of the pond.

We got to work with our hooks and our books, cups of tea and mugs of coffee, shoes that could get dirty, and morning blankets on the porch swing.

There were no hair brushes, no agendas. Heck, there was barely enough cell signal to send a text.





 
We moved through the day with our own rhythms guiding us. If we wanted to play, we played. If playing seemed to hard, well, we rested.

For three days, the only problems that needed solving were a 300-piece jigsaw puzzle, deciding whose turn it was to steer the boat, and choosing which book to read first.


Oh, and how to catch a fish.
That turned out to be a major problem, but one that was somehow more motivating than frustrating.

 





When it seemed they would never catch a thing, they turned their attention to crawdads and, despite conflicting research, they boiled one up and ate its meat.

But that most certainly was not the best part.


Every half-day or so, we'd wonder how long we could all keep this up. How long could we live like this, so removed from the world around us, so utterly drawn together from all sides?

We settled officially on quite a while, because calendars and math had no meaning against a back-drop where every good thing was seen in double.

Somewhere after our thirtieth hour, we figured out how to work the satellite TV.
Then realized we didn't even care.

We ate hot soup around the table with a fifth chair brought over from the desk. We painted, because I suppose that's what your hearts asks of you when you find yourself in a place where so much beauty bangs up against so much quiet.

We snuck wedges of cake. We laughed our heads off, playing games after dark.

We bickered.


We fell into bed rested.
Then did it all over again.

But that wasn't the best part.

By the start of our fourth day, it was time to pack it all in. Three miles down into the holler, the kids were all car-sick. Only once did we see another vehicle - a tractor! - so we edged up to the shoulder and let him through, a farmer with a handlebar mustache. "You know he's lived his entire life in these hills."

We drove north.

And we drove, our hearts full of remembering that we are a family, even when the fish won't bite.

We crossed the tracks and our city blazed gold and persimmon.

The kids were running across the yard to see the vecinos before Cory had even killed the engine. They couldn't be bothered with dinner, so we let them play until dusk.

"It feels so good to be home", Calvin said.

And that is the very best part.

~
 
We stayed here, and I can't speak of it highly enough. It belongs to my legendary friend, Edie (we all love Edie!) and I adore the grace with which they offer this gem to you and to me. It might take some doing to get there, but it's SO affordable, especially considering you're not going anywhere for a while, once you're there. :)

Stay tuned! I'll be sharing what we ate on vacation (with recipes!) and what I read on vacation later this week. Because a vacation without good food and good books is one I don't care to ever experience.

*half of these pics were taken by the illustrious CMB, aka, The Bearded One. :/

7 comments:

  1. Sheer bliss! I live a couple of hours south of this place and the weather last week was near perfection! I am SOOOO glad you guys had a get away!!!!!

    I'm currently reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. What an incredible "untold" story!

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  2. Shannan,
    I haven't stopped by your blog in a while and today it was calling to me! This post was absolutely what I needed right now! A reminder that the simple things are what is important in life! I always admire your writing style and pictures. And I can't wait to see what you cooked in the cabin! Oh, I adore Edie and I could only hope to convince my husband that we need to take our two girls here!

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  3. I was wondering if it was Edie's place when I saw the first photo. Gorgeousness. It sounds like a perfect getaway. But you're right. There's no place like home

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  5. O wow. It looks like absolute perfection! I think I'm going to be jealous. No, I'm not. I'll just be happy for you instead :) :)

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  6. We moved to TN from Alaska 8 years ago... And it's the trees and leaves that helped out with my mountain deprevation. It really is a pretty state but it took time for me to see it!

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