Down By the River

This weekend we left our routine life in the suburbs and drove a short way out to the country for a getaway. It is amazing how refreshing escaping the daily grind to immerse in nature can be. Despite the conditions being against us from the start, with impending rain all weekend and my daughter and I holding onto our stubborn colds, we had a fantastic time. And I had a giggle all weekend about my van being parked down by the river.

There was no television or radio in the cabin which I was happy about giving my daughter a forced break from watching her shows. We packed a board game, puzzle, paper and crayons for my daughter (Big R) and blocks and cars for my son (Little R). However, the first thing I noticed when we arrived at our river cabin was that it had no phone service or internet connection. I shamefully admit that I felt a mild panic. I justified that part of the panic was because I felt a bit nervous not being able to call for help should something happen. The other was the shameful part being bummed about not reading blogs and checking emails.

We started off our weekend by playing in the river, exploring the woods, playing tic-tac-toe in the sand and making S’mores. The next morning, we rallied the troops including my sister (T), her boyfriend (Chef), and all of their kids to have a canoe trip before the rain, which according to the weather was supposed to be later in the afternoon. By the time we all were ready to get rowing, it was only minutes before Little R’s nap; I figured a slow drift down the river would be a great place for him to nap while I could get some snuggles in as he slept on me.  We floated down and the weather was great as the cloud cover kept the hot sun hidden and there was a light mist over the river.

For about 40 minutes, we happily enjoyed the serenity, and then the rain started. It was a sprinkle at first and we sought refuge under a tree. Then, it slowed and we kept going feeling optimistic until we heard thunder. Luckily, Little R nestled into me and fell sound asleep even as the sky fell out above us.  Hubs turned on his turbo power rowing skills and pushed us down the river pretty quickly for another 45 minutes. Big R sat completely still, head bowed silently plowing through the rain. I sat in a puddle on the floor of the canoe while Little R snored on me throughout the entire episode. I had him covered with life jackets and towels to keep the assault from rain pelts to a minimum.  As we landed safely on shore, he woke up saying, “Wet!”

We headed to our cabin, got in dry clothes and fired up the grill. The rain stopped and we grilled burgers, hot dogs and roasted marshmallows for S’mores. All six kids ran around playing and exploring while the adults tried to finish one or maximum of two conversations amid the fun chaos.

When the day slowed down and T, Chef and the kids left, we took some time to relax. Completely disconnected from the world, Hubs napped, Little R played cars and Big R played with my hair while I rested on the couch. Later, we colored, played a board game and climbed into bed after a busy and fun day.

I loved the simplicity and disconnect from technology while being in our cabin on the river. I loved that my kids explored nature and had fun throwing rocks in the water. I loved spending time with T and seeing her in a happy, fun and supportive relationship with Chef. One of my favorite things about our trip was having time to reconnect with Hubs in a way we forget to do at home in the bustle of daily life and routines. We spent two nights by a fire having drinks and chatting about all kinds of things funny, serious, trivial and contemplative.

As Chef said as they got in their cars to leave, “I’ll look forward to reading about this in your blog,” I laughed and agreed he probably would. While I don’t like to be transparent, I do love that my writing is reliable. I love to write about meaningful moments, experiences and things that make me happy or touch me in some way. And this weekend was no exception… it was filled with happiness. We made memories that were relaxed, fun, chaotic and not always under the best conditions but they were shared and they were ours.

And just as reliable as my writing, the morning we packed up to leave, the kids began arguing over whose turn it was to play with this or that as the novelty of weekend adventure wore off and real life loomed ahead. Big R & Little R were playing on the floor with his fifty or so Matchbox cars, trucks, and construction vehicles when Little R squealed and Big R yelled out, “He tried to hit me with a forklift!” R & R, literally and figuratively, were finished as serenity from the river can only last so long.

For those of you following my Facebook page, you know I’ve been back on an Indigo Girls kick, here’s another for your listening pleasure..”Down by the River”

17 thoughts on “Down By the River

  1. I did giggle when I got to the forklift part! But, I love camping and the way we get out of our everyday lives and back to nature! There is nothing better than the time we get to spend grilling all the meals, playing in the water and entertaining ourselves! I’m glad that you guys had fun and were able to get away from it all, even if just for a little bit!

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  5. Your trip, aside from the downpour… sounds like something we need to try! How lovely! The disconnect from phones/computers/anyone but our own family sounds lovely.

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  8. That sounds lovely (even with the rain!) because being disconnected makes us MORE connected where we should be. I am planning to disconnect again for a whole weekend again soon, like I did awhile back. 🙂

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