Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Life at the Cabin

Well folks, another holiday weekend is rapidly approaching. It's time to squeeze into my new "slimming" black one-piece, spray on the bug repellent, and fire up the explosives, because the Fourth of July is happening this weekend and I couldn't be more excited (or more ready) for our annual getaway.

My family owns a little cabin not far from my hometown that sits right along the riverfront, and every Fourth of July all of our family travels back home to spend the long weekend there. The cabin consists of four rooms (one of which is a giant screened in porch - perfect for afternoon napping) and has no running water, but there's an AC unit and plenty of beds/cots/couches to accommodate our entire family (and it definitely beats sleeping in a tent).

When I was younger, our entire family would cram into that tiny cabin. I'm talking 15+ people in a house less than 1,000 square feet. We would wake up as soon as it was daylight, devour the most delicious homemade biscuits and gravy, throw on our swimsuits, spend the entire day floating down the river and playing on gravel bars, then head back to the cabin for BBQ and fireworks. It was our version of "roughing it", and we loved every second of it (except the bug-bite-and-aloe-covered sunburns that were inevitable).

Now that I am older, I still love spending time at the cabin almost as much as I did as a kid. Only these days, thanks to time and distance, there are far less people shoved into the cabin. This year's trip is especially exciting as it will be Taylor's first. And even though she's too little to remember anything now, I hope that she is able to experience some of my favorite memories as well as create new memories of her own throughout the years to come. I want her to experience the parts of small town, country life that I enjoyed as a little girl. And this cabin is a huge part of that.

Packing for our weekend getaways used to be a breeze. Jake and I would throw our swimsuits in a bag, grab a case of beer & a few bags of chips, and hit the road. But with Taylor in tow such is no longer the case. I have been making lists upon lists all week in preparation for this trip. And, of course, that means several last-minute trips to Target, because (duh!) baby has to have a life jacket in order to go on the boat. And since she's too little to use bug spray containing harmful chemicals (the kind that actually kill the bugs rather than just "repel" them), organic bug spray has to be purchased. Then there's the pack 'n play and her glow worm that she can't sleep without and so on and so on. It's a good thing only a handful of people are coming this weekend, because I fear we will need the extra room!

Regardless of what I forget to pack (remember this disaster?) or how feeble my mommy brain is, I know this will be a weekend to remember. I can't wait to see Tay's expressions during her first boat ride or how she'll react to the fireworks. I'm ready to stretch out on a raft and sip a few icy cold beverages. But mostly, I just want to relax and enjoy some quality family time and home cooked meals. Nothing tops breakfast made in a 50 year old cast iron skillet followed by a good cup of coffee and a walk by the water. The cabin is simplicity at its finest and being there is my favorite part of the summer. I just hope that Taylor enjoys it as much as we do!

Anyone else planning on wasting away on the water this weekend? If not, what are your plans for the holiday weekend?