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A week in the woods

Well, we’re back from spending the week at Tim’s Ford State Park near Winchester, Tennessee. While we were there, we dropped down to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama and drove over to the Lodge Cast Iron Factory Store. We also made a list of other things to check out the next time we are there!

Here’s a few observations as we get back to normal life around here:

1. Second plans can be better than first plans. The first plans were to stay in a hotel for 2 nights to do the Space Center, then go stay with friends or other hotels to finish off. The friends part slipped through so we had to improvise. The change was to find a cabin that was more nights for the same money. We did, and were much better off. The pace of life, relaxing in the cabin, was much better than constantly having to be in the midst of everything.

Of course, that meant we cooked more meals. But that was better as well.

2. There’s something about going away that makes home a touch more “homey.” That was almost the primary benefit of the trip. We came “home” to our place here in Little Rock.The absence made it feel more like home. Our stuff is here. Our books are here. The one surviving cat is here.

And we’re growing into realizing that our relationships and friendships are here. This is home, even though it took leaving for a little while to recognize it.

3. Social media is tough on vacations. On the one hand, you want to tell people where you are. On the other hand, you don’t want to tell people your house is empty and ready to be ransacked. Plus, do you really want to see the bragging that I got to go on vacation? Even if it was a nerd trip?

4. James the Big Cow is not happy that he didn’t get to go into the Space Center.

5. Rest is crucial. One thing that we have to do (all of us, not just me) is learn to rest. Activity does not equal usefulness—nor does inactivity equal peace and calm, but that’s not the point—activity is just activity. We are not machines nor gods, we are human. And that means we need, from time to time, to detach and recharge. Our emotional and mental health need it.

Those are some of my reflections from our week in the woods. We’re plotting next year’s week in the woods already. Probably same place, just a different time.

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