Taking a break from blogging and the internet in general last week was food for the soul. Things had gotten to a place in our day to day lives that made it feel a bit too hurried. October was full of fun and big plans with so many great friends, plus parties and school functions for the boys; Halloween, parent-teacher conferences, and just daily life kept us moving constantly. But with all that fun came a hurried pace to which we didn’t want to become acclimated going into the holiday season. Our summer had also meant a lot of travel and teaching for Andrew, and I could see him becoming worn down and tired.
We had wanted to rent a cabin in the Ozarks for years. Andrew found a place isolated enough to be private, and big enough to house our family and our friends’ family. We stayed for 5 days, the first and last with only our immediate family, the middle 3 days shared with Ingrid and Brent and their girls.
We brought all of our own food, as the nearest grocery store was over 10 miles away, along bumpy dirt roads and winding narrow ones. To have everything we needed at this place, no pressure to get back into a car for nearly a week, was sublime. The setting was magnificent: mountains speckled with orange and yellow trees, a sparkling river with smooth stones, pathways through the quiet woods, and a huge yard situated on a hill overlooking it all. We could hear the sound of the water from the back deck of the cabin, and the sunshine warmed the main living area and bathroom throughout the entire day.
The bathroom was amazing!
Exploring the inside of the house was so much fun. There was natural wood everywhere, plus bits and pieces of color and nature brought inside. A wood-burning fireplace heated the main room, while a gas fireplace heated the master suite and several small bedrooms off of the main one. There were cozy nooks everywhere with lovely little details. These blue tiles in the kitchen were some of my favorite!
The care with which this house was built was not lost on me- the entire back of the house that faced away from the driveway consisted of two stories of windows which followed the sun- maximizing the light and heat for efficiency and natural lighting. I was in such a good mood getting all that sunshine! And lying down on the couch with my biggest boy for a little cuddle wasn’t so bad either!
The first full day, we rose early and threw together beef stew to simmer all day in the crock pot while we went out to explore the land. We had beautiful warm fall weather and stayed outdoors all day, only stopping back in to stir the stew or grab a slice of pumpkin bread and an apple. The coolest discovery was a prayer lodge just down the trail from the house near the river.
Most of the entire trip consisted of walks in the woods, playing near the water, and building little dams and stick forts throughout the property. Just being there in the silent peace of the woods, I felt like I could breathe again. It was so easy to be present- no distractions, no schedules, just the woods and us. I spent a full half hour sitting in the sun watching Emil drop acorns down a tube (which he called an elephant trunk all week long) and giggle when they came out the other end and rolled end over end across the deck. So simple, but I will never forget his joy during those moments.
It was perfect peace and perfect timing.
*** I will be splitting the cabin pictures up into three posts- I just couldn’t narrow it down to anything less! Tomorrow I will share part II***