I could write quite a bit about the rest of our summer panned out, apologize profusely for my absence in this space (an apology that would mostly be to myself – I’m likely the one who regrets it the most), and try to somehow make up for all the time that was lost.
But I don’t really want to.
One of the more beautiful things about growing up (though I still have much, much more of that to do) is realizing that I really can just do what I want. And right now, I want to tell you about our weekend.
For the last few years my husband’s aunt and her husband have been trying to get us up to their camp. Many years ago it had started as a hunting lodge, a place for the menfolk to rest their bones after a long day in search of that prize buck, but has since evolved into a very cozy space and a wonderful spot to spend peak leaf peeping season in Maine.
We arrived late. We didn’t get on the road until four in the afternoon on Friday and while this is not the furthest north we’ve driven in Maine, it was still a pretty fair distance. But it was a clear night, with a gorgeous number of stars, and it made our destination seem as luxurious as any resort hotel once we arrived.
Of course, it’s hard to not feel like you’re sitting the lap of luxury when you arrive to a hot fire, cold beer, and good company. We were up late that first night, kids included, chatting by the fire and drinking lots of fall themed drinks. Even though we’d spent much of the last few hours sitting, it still felt really, really good to spread out in a recliner.
Whether we’re camping or, in this case, enjoying someone’s sweet cabin, the deep woods in the morning is a precious sight. There is a lot of promise in the mist rising off that distant lake, and a very long and wistful goodbye being had by the turning and falling leaves. So many emotions and actions are mixed up in this picture for me, a tumult of feelings that I frequently carry with me through this season.
Per our unspoken agreement about traveling away from home, my husband made sure I was not responsible for any meals and he and his uncle made breakfast for the family. I was utterly charmed by this kerosene stove, which, my husband’s uncle explained had been in his parents’ first home together over fifty years ago.
And then there were these two. I mentioned on Instagram how I had forgotten to bring anything to entertain them with for the weekend. Not even a book. I was a bit panicked that first morning, when both children rose far too early considering their past-midnight bedtime, but it soon turned out they needed very little. This most played with “toy” this weekend? Jenga blocks.
(On a side note: this lack of stuff and technology weekend was a really helpful reminder for me. I was sick for about six weeks and during that time became far more dependent on technology and screen time to keep E. and M. entertained so I could catch up on sleep. Like, an embarrassing amount. Going away this weekend and finally feeling just about 100% better was an excellent reminder of how the kids are perfectly capable of playing with very little and helped refresh us all.)
We spent just about all of Saturday out on ATVs. Let me just say now, if you have never driven an ATV you need to do it. Like, now. Seriously, go find someone who has one and ask them to borrow it. You may not want to give it back. I’m not much of a thrill seeker and am that very typical nervous mum, but I managed to have a tremendous blast on those things. And I drove very fast (and probably almost killed myself a few times).
In addition to discovering my need for speed, we also so some gorgeous foliage. It was officially peek for the leaves up north, so we had come at just the right time. Even though I have lived in New England my whole life and go leaf peeping at least once a year, I’m still just astounded by the colors. The depth and richness of them is nothing short of glorious, and my paltry iPhone photography just doesn’t do them justice.
We also checked out a few other sites of interest, such as Wiggle Rock (no idea if this is an official name or just something my husband’s uncle came up with). This is the rock that lost E. a bet. Her uncle bet her he could move the rock pictured above, and E. thought of course that he could not. Turned out she was wrong, because though he couldn’t move it any great distance, he could certainly get it to wiggle, which counts as moving. (Turns out the boulder is situated just so on top of another rock under ground that if one gets enough momentum he can rock it side to side…hence the name Wiggle Rock.)
We also drove down to see some massive wind turbines. We have next door neighbors with a windmill for their home, which feels quite big but is truly miniature compared to these monsters. While many might call them eye sores I found them absolutely entrancing and eery (but in the best way). I loved seeing them spread out in the distance, a hopeful reminder that we are capable of creating sustainable and clean energy.
This was a restorative weekend for me. I didn’t realize how much I needed it, but goodness I did. I also realized, while riding around on that speedy ATV, that I needed to be back here, in this space, writing about things that mattered to me again. I am very good at forgetting to do things that are good for me. Like eating well and exercising and writing. God, do I need to write more. I thought about a fair number of other things that I ought to do to (and not the usual kinds of ought-to-dos that tend to include endless cleaning) and hope to do them, the big one being caring far less about what people think of me and how I do things. So, to start, here I am in a fairly atrocious outfit, unsuccessfully attempting to wiggle Wiggle Rock. (Many thanks to my husband for taking this picture of me without my knowing!)