Before Jared and I left for Uwharrie (alone), my plans had been to hike, to sleep, to love on my husband. The latter two were accomplished; I did not, however, get as much of the former done as I'd thought I would. We did hike. On misty, drizzly Sunday morning I pulled on the indestructible cargo pants Grandma ordered for me from her work surplus and my Crocs that match the forest floor (I never got around to shopping for proper hiking boots, but the Crocs served me just fine) and we ambled easily down hill for a half hour, then climbed our way back up. We returned to the cabin and I napped for I-don't-know how long, longer than I'd hiked, I'm sure.
Even though sleep, real sleep, had been a big part of my plan for the weekend, I still feel guilty about that nap as I type this. Our last (and only full) day at the cabin, and I spend a good portion of it unconscious. On Grandma's days off, she wakes up early--the same time she wakes for work, possibly even earlier--so that she can experience her entire day, rather than sleeping her time away; a day of autonomy is a very precious thing to her. I don't typically "sleep in." Even before motherhood (Martigan will not stand for me sleeping in), I never slept in longer than an hour. Probably it's my training that prevents me from doing so, and also being married to a man who wakes before dawn to immediately get started on being Really Useful (as is his wont), and it may also be the memory of my mother sleeping entire days away, which I hated as weakness when I was a kid (read: tough little brat). I needed that nap, though. I probably need entire days of naps. I've only slept through the night a handful of time since Mads was born, and for those keeping count: the boy is turning three in a couple of months. Nearly three years without real, uninterrupted sleep--somebody should do a medical study on me.
Aside from the sleep (and the short hike, and the love), most of our stay was spent sitting in back of the cabin by the fire pit. We did make one exploratory venture out to Troy because I'd seen a sign for Troy's "historic district" on the way in. (Probably, this trip was my grandmother, again, her voice always a part of my own.) I'm not sure what I was expecting, but there was not much to be seen. I did push open the door of an empty storefront in a big, old building and stepped inside thinking I'd explore a bit (this was definitely my grandmother). Jared did not follow but stood at the door waiting for me, and when I heard a thump upstairs (or possibly in the next room?!) I skedaddled. "High tailed it," that's what I did because I have seen one too many horror movies, and I won't take my chances.
No, mostly we sat by the fire pit. I read. I drew a couple tarot cards. Wolfman cooked and listened to music. He grilled lobster for the first time. I read every message in our cabin's guest book, read passages from the funnier ones aloud to Jared. We made s'mores (or tried to, the chocolate did not melt properly, so I gave up and just ate toasted marshmallows instead). Then, Sunday night, our last night alone far away, we sat together in silence and watched the fire die. When anyone has asked me, my takeaway from this weekend is this: I'd forgotten what it felt like to just sit and do nothing. And what a pleasure to sit and do nothing next to the man I love.
Our first weekend away without the baby ("the baby" is actually not a baby at all, but a nearly 3-year-old boy). I'd forgotton how quiet it was when it was just the two of us. It rained much of the weekend, not hard but a drizzle. We managed one venture into historic Troy and one wet morning hike. Otherwise, we were close to or in this cabin, reading, writing, casting, cooking, lounging, loving each other. Built a fire in the pit out back, roasted marshmallows, watched the fire slowly snuff out. How long it's been since I've just sat, without words, without aim. Just to be still, what a luxury. Michelle & Jared, Apex, NC