Respit

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A few days away sounded like heaven when he mentioned it. I latched onto the idea immediately. I didn’t care what we did or even where we went, the fact that it was to a cabin in the mountains was just gravy for me. I would have gone almost anywhere just to have a little break from my current reality.

Our short trip began in Nashville, with a trip to the Ryman to see Chrissie Hynde. A disappointing show featuring a grumpy icon was not how we wanted to kick off this impromptu break, but we recovered the next day with Jeni’s ice cream, thrift shopping and Trader Joe’s. It takes so very little to flip our attitudes.

We meandered along the rest of our trek to the mountains, stopping for a little shopping, again for a little dinner and lastly for provisions before tucking ourselves away into our home-away-from-home for the next few days.

A gas fire place, a comfy bed and a hot tub greeted us. What more could this respite-seeking soul want?

We reluctantly peeled ourselves away from the cabin the next morning, driving around a bit, perusing some other cabin rental possibilities, shopping in downtown Gatlinburg, hitting a yarn shop, snacking a little and pondering the rest of our trip. I spent too much time and money in our favorite pottery shop before we finally made our way to an evening show.

Thursday was less fruitful for us. We spent a good deal of the day in the cabin, venturing out for lunch and such. I was grateful for the quiet time. Time for reading. Time for knitting. Time for the hot tub.

On Friday we snuggled ourselves in deep. I wrote. I read. I enjoyed the fire.

In between we managed to find some moonshine, hit a few shops and track down some hot chocolate.

Saturday we bid a sweet goodbye to our cozy nest and started on the road home. A stop at my favorite bookstore, was of course, fruitful. We came home in the late afternoon to some very needy and welcoming cats.

It was exactly what we needed. A plan with no real plan. Not guilty over mid-morning naps. Nothing calling our name, except the warm fire and the gorgeous view.

Sunlight

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I can tell that fall is here just by watching the light in our house. The different slant illuminates the main living area as I walk through the door each evening, welcoming me home.

My knitting mojo is in full swing as I find myself drawn to accessories, primarily hats. . . but I’m always game for cowls too. Soon we’ll be using the handknits, adding a blanket to the bed and wrapping ourselves up in layers.

Storm

This week is a busy one. So busy in fact that I actually stopped to catch my breath yesterday. It’s all work-related. It’s nothing I haven’t tackled before. But it’s still a little overwhelming.

Last night Cynical worked and I was left to my own devices. We’d spent most of the weekend at home, relaxing and getting the “little stuff” done, so there wasn’t much for me to do other than wrangle the cats for medicine administration, fold a little laundry and clean-up after dinner.

It was rainy and stormy, so I spent the first part of my evening watching the weather and wondering which part of this massive storm would come our way. Luckily it was just rain and wind, we escaped unscathed. At some point the pitter-patter of the heavy rain just became soothing, once it was far less threatening and disconcerting.

In the midst of my stressful week, there were these few quiet hours where I sat, knitted, listened to the rain. I read a little, rubbed on my little striped cat, watched a little tv and even went to bed a tad early. We often get what we least realize we need. For me, it was respite.

Goodbyes

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The thing about goodbyes is that most of the time you know they are coming. But that doesn’t mean you are prepared. As much as you’d like to tell yourself that it’s inevitable, it’s just not helpful.

And that’s where I am right now. My youngest brother has been staying with my parents for the past few weeks as he transitions from North Carolina to California. As I mentioned, he’s my youngest brother and somewhere along the way, to use a very Southern expression, I took him to raise.

Most of my family lives away, the majority are about 7 hours away, in fact. So, I’ve never had the blessing of just dropping in for a visit, or hosting them spontaneously. We’ve never been in close enough proximity to help each other out with the day-to-day parts of life. I crave that. I covet that casual time where you just hang out, help each other complete a project, join up for a little dinner and a chat.

The last few weeks have afforded me that. He drops in. We meet up. We have impromptu meals and take last-minute trips. We have unexpected conversations and I’ve come to know him even better in those little moments in between. I appreciate his humor. I understand his kind heart. I see his creative nature.

He’s leaving this week and I’d like to say I’m prepared. This day has been coming for a while, but I’m not.

Last night he “came by” to clean out his car and start packing it with the items he’d stored in our garage. I watched out the kitchen window as he organized and prepared. I watched as he packed up his entire life for a move across country. And my heart broke.

As excited as I am for him to be moving closer to his own family, I’m just as filled with angst over the journey ahead of him and his landing spot once he gets there. There’s that selfish part of me that also wants him close enough to invite over for leftovers, ask him to assess a painting project or simply hang out and watch “Orange Is the New Black”. I’ve been spoiled to his company. I’m not ready.

Journey

I can be selfish. I can be selfish with my time and with my attention. It’s not something I am proud of, but it’s a battle I routinely have with myself. I rarely call those I love. I am awful about making plans or scheduling visits. I am.

I don’t visit my aunt enough. I should. I make excuses. It’s a two-hour drive or I don’t have time or I’ve talked to her and she’s ok. Recently, she’s been on my mind and I’ve been working to propel myself to visit her.

Last week she had a bit of a health scare that turned out to be nothing, thank goodness, but it was enough to prompt me to text my brother and invite him to join me on a little road trip to see her.

Whereas I was so looking forward to visiting with her, I must confess that I was not looking forward spending the day in transit.

What started as something I wasn’t thrilled with, ended up being something I will be eternally grateful for.

I had quality time, uninterrupted with my youngest brother. I had an opportunity to relax and “hang out” with my aunt, my beloved godmother. I had a beautiful drive just as autumn was coming to Kentucky. I had an opportunity to stop by and visit my dearest of friends, her husband and sweet family.

Somewhere among all of that we perused yard sales, meandered through a neighboring county, came home with a trunk full of treasures, a Trader Joe’s haul, more books and CDs.

My car was full of stuff, but I was full (get ready for the sappy stuff) of wonderful memories of those rare, sweet times with those that I love and love me back.

I don’t have a single photo, but it’s etched in my mind. My brother’s intense words as he talked passionately about his children. My aunt’s expression as we walked in the door. The wonderful, all enveloping hug my dear friend had waiting for me.

It is about the journey, isn’t it?

October

October, October, October, how I welcome you. You are always so full of fun activities, good food and wonderful opportunities.

Along with all of that, I hope to cram in a few projects and goals. Fingers crossed, here goes:

1. Water, water, water.

2. Stairs, stairs, stairs.

3. Make 3 Christmas gifts.

4. Purge my closet (again).

5. Read on the porch.

Knitting

There has been knitting, lots of knitting in fact. I’ve found myself drawn to one particular yarn and smaller projects, particularly hats. There are a few sweaters in there as well. Oh, and even a little crocheting.

I am truly in love with madelinetosh yarns. Not all of my projects lately have used it, but I find myself drawn to finding patterns to best showcase it. The red Plover hat was one of those, as have been a few assorted cows and such.

Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been up to lately.

red hat photo_2_medium IMG_4488_medium2 IMG_4486_medium2 IMG_4484_medium2 IMG_4471_medium2 IMG_4457_medium2 IMG_4453_medium2 Mitts