Tuesday, September 04, 2007
The Long and Winding Road
A few weeks ago, my mom called and asked if I would be interested in taking the kids to a cabin in Chattanooga over the Labor Day weekend. My sister lives about half an hour from there in Dalton, Georgia, and she was throwing a party for my nephew's second birthday. A friend of my mom's told her about the cabin, and it sounded great, so I agreed. I did so knowing that Big Daddy would most likely have to work, and that I would have to drive all four kids myself for the five hours there and five hours back. And that's exactly what happened.
It went well, for the most part. Genevieve took a decent nap each way, and the older three were pacified as usual by "new" movies from Netflix on the van's DVD player. There were moments when Genevieve was awake and no longer willing to be bribed with french fries or cookies, but we survived. Once we arrived, we were immediately taken with the mountain views. The yard was flanked by two beautiful weeping willows in addition to a huge fig tree loaded down with fruit. The cabin was really more of a small house, which had been remodeled to very nice effect. Huge porches span the house across both the front and back, which looked out on the sloping lawn and the river. Floating on a raft off the back dock, I was completely surrounded by mountains. It was really peaceful and relaxing.
The kids were not so much with the relaxing, but they had a great time swimming and playing on the rope swing.
The place turned out to be twenty minutes up the mountain, which required the passage of a very dark and twisting road to get anywhere. My sister's house turned out to be well over an hour away, and Saturday night found me driving my children and my parents back up said road after 11:00 pm. Even the highway through Chattanooga is winding and dark. I have to say that the white-knuckled drive back made me acutely aware of how dangerous an enterprise driving really is, and how much we have to block out to be able to hurtle ourselves and our loved ones along at break-neck speeds mere inches away from other hunks of metal traveling equally fast in the opposite direction.
So there was a lot of driving, some of it scary, but for the most part we had a really great trip. The kids loved being outside all day, and when we left, Joshua was heard to say "I wish we lived here!"