Sunday, August 9, 2009
A Known Place
You know a vacation has been good when you are ready to go home, but a bit sad about leaving. We spent this last week up in Idaho and Washington, enjoying the family cabin. It sits by a small lake; it is perfect. I've been going to this place for 10 plus years now. It feels very comfortable to me. I think I have almost started to say, "Our cabin," even though it is my husband's families. This cabin was actually the first place I met my future in-laws.
When my husband and I were not even dating yet, he flew me up for the 4th of July and drove me straight from the airport to meet the family and the cabin. I can still see where everyone was sitting, the lighting was low. It was dark and late out. I was nervous...it all worked out because we all still gather at this place of first introductions.
Memories continue to be made in this place. My memories span a decade, my husband's his entire life.
My family never went anywhere more than once. Our vacations were all about seeing new things. I still crave the new and the adventure into uncharted waters, but I also appreciate the comfort of the known. Coming to this place is like putting on an old, warm, cozy sweater.
When I first arrive, I always climb to the second story and sit and look at the wood ceiling. I think it is beautiful. I like to pull open the blinds and see the sun dance on the lake below. I crave and anticipate the traditions of a crackling fire, swimming off the dock, the paddle boat, the 4-wheelers, picking and eating huckleberries.....OK, so I never pick them, but I enjoy eating them. Huckleberry picking is hard work....another blog....
A year doesn't seem complete without a summer visit to the cabin. A winter of snow and fun seems empty without it including this place and the family attached to it.
I love seeing my children anticipate these same types of memories that my husband had as a child. This makes generations now gone somehow connected to the living of our boys. Even though they will never know their great grandparents, they will know a place that started with them. And in this place they will feel complete and comfortable. This will be their sacred space where they grew and discovered.
I like that.
I am home now, and it feels good to get the suitcases unpacked and clothes put away. It is good to be back to a normal routine. There is always something nice about coming home, but when we leave the family cabin it is always bitter-sweet because we are saying goodbye to a friend or even a piece of ourselves. As we drive away I always try and get one last glimpse of the red roof before it disappears for another 6 to 12 months.
This time my husband said, "It feels like the year is now complete. December never feels like the end of the year for me. August and our trip to the cabin is my time of reflection."
And so it is.