My husband and I have the tradition of going to our little cabin in NH at least once a month. We have had a real challenge raising Marie and Steven lately, so this weekend was especially timely. Right now I am sitting in a comfy chair, feet up, air warm around me, and a cup of hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows sitting on the table next to me, adding steam to the air. I am smiling thinking of how this cabin has served us well over the years.
When Steven came to live with us, his obsessive compulsive disorder, extreme hyperactivity and severe sensory integration difficulties were not conducive to family vacations in hotels and such. My father, who adored Steven and saw many of my brother’s mental health traits in him, generously purchased this little vacation home. He himself had always wanted a house in New Hampshire, and he was proud to be able to give me something that would last a lifetime. The cabin is full of his carvings, including a sign that says “RELAX!!!” It might be a reminder to actually relax, except on the sign is a carved eagle with a beak so sharp and long and eyes so wildly life like that it kind of scares me instead. Fortunately, I have learned to look on this sign with love, a reminder of my dad and his “quirky ways”.
On the wall of the cabin are pictures of the kiddos through the years; Francis water skiing, Dinora standing gloriously in front of Mount Washington, Steven holding up his bucket y.of frogs, one frog in his hand thrust towards the camera looking huge next to his tiny body, Andy wildly waving a sparkler on the Fourth of July and Marie holding up a huge fish she caught ice fishing, almost too heavy for her to hold. There are other pictures of all of us together, or the kiddos playing in the sand at the beach, cuddling on the deck of the cabin, or hiking in the woods. The pictures are a nice reminder that we have been parents for a long time, and our children have led full and happy lives with us.
While staying in the cabin is reminiscent, it also serves as a retreat for me and my husband. It is very quiet here. No telephone reception. No multitude of cable tv channels. No internet. No neighbors. No housework. No stress.
The weekend is a wonderful interlude to our busy lives, an interlude where we are free to nap all day, laugh at silly things, eat wonderful concoctions Raymond dreams up, (last night it was shrimp rolled in bacon and topped with cheese,) and spend lots of time loving each other. While we are loving when at home, we go into overdrive in the secluded cabin. No neighbors can hear our screeching laughs. No children can walk in on our sexual escapades, and no one cares if I walk around bra-less. We are “free and easy”, and the stress just melts away…
Today, the day we will be packing up to go home, I am sitting here writing this, content watching the snow slowly falling outside; soft, fluffy, amazingly beautiful snow! Peace surrounds me now. I am well rested and have laughed and loved my stress away, and I am ready to go home to face whatever challenges may come my way. Bring it on!