Last week, my husband, daughter, mom, and I took a road trip to western North Carolina. From Texas, the drive takes about 18 hours. We broke the drive up into two days coming and going, stopping in Louisiana.
What a special trip! With the leaves changing, those beautiful old mountains craddling us, and my family to explore and dream with, my heart was brimming with peace and joy.
There is something about fall. And the gentle rolling mountains of Appalachia. If reincarnation is true, then my soul must have spent a lifetime or two somewhere in her damp forests.
We all had such a wonderful time. Byron and I got to squeeze in two morning hikes, just the two of us. Quiet, brisk, and then slow, and quiet, listening, pausing, sitting, watching, breathing. There is no better date for the two us. Mom and Beatrix got to bond while being back seat passenger buddies. They enjoyed each other so much, playing all sorts of imaginary games, and sharing plenty of cute conversations for Byron and I to eavesdrop on, which made us grin and chuckle quietly.
Sleepy dreams were nudged awake. The three of us were pretty much sold (again) on cabin life in the woods. One day, maybe, we'll find our way back to four seasons, tall trees, and mountains.
And as if a family road trip and the mountains weren't enough to feed the soul, I had the wonderful pleasure of spending time with Amanda! We've been reading each other's blogs for a couple of years now and I've long thought it would be so great to meet her and her sweet family in real life. The first time Byron and I drove to her house, I knew immediately which one was hers without even looking at the address because it just looked like her (and the glimpses I'd seen from her photos). Quaint, homey, and oh so lovely...
And let me tell you, Amanda went far and beyond to make us feel welcomed - all while juggling work, a visit with her grandma, and a poor, sick little one. I'm so glad we got to meet in person. Blog land is such a peculiar venue for creating friendships. Meeting her was all at once exciting, comfortable, and awkward. But mostly...it was just awesome.
On one morning, both our families went apple picking together. It was a perfect, fall day -- rolling hills, apple trees for acres and acres, two families, little girls and big girls giggling and getting to know each other.
Now we are settled back into life in Texas though a piece of my heart stayed in Appalachia, tucked beneath the mossy patches and the damp fallen leaves in those beautiful, misty mountains.