It wasn’t at all what I expected, but then again much of life is exactly that. I got away for a weekend in the Hocking Hills of Ohio. I stayed there alone in a tiny cabin. Why alone? I needed a break from all the noise of life: diabetes, college, work, house remodel, and business; the list seems to go on forever. I needed to hide from the face of humanity. However, one thing I didn’t need a break from was writing. I’ve gotten so little lately; it was refreshing to finally get back to typing.
After an intense search, I found a little cabin in the woods. I wanted rustic, and that is what I got. Why did I go? Well, it’s quite simple, my wife was going to Ohio on a business retreat. We decided to ride down together. We got some quiet time to talk without the constant interruption of 4 kids and diabetes. So I drove her to her location and then voyaged off to my weekend alone.
The week dragged on like a torrid hell, it lasted forever like a dripping faucet on an insomniac filled night. Friday came in like a fog off the early morning lake and we were off to points far away from diabetes.
We stopped in Bowling Green and ate a nice lunch at BW3; they even had Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA on tap. That went really well with a burger.
A few hours later I dropped my wife off at a jaw-dropping mansion, built of stone and brick. All her friends were there to make things all the merry for her.
I set my GPS for Logan Ohio and I was off. The roads were mostly 2-lane so it took me a while to weave down the hilly roads of the Ohio back-country. The beauty was masked by the night fall and smattering of snowflakes. I did have a half-hour of sunlight and I could see how picturesque this area was.
I couldn’t find a cabin close to my wife’s retreat, so I had to settle for one 65 miles south. The drive ended with a small driveway back in the woods. I stopped atop a hill not wanted to go no further. I called the owner and ask where do I go? He said “drive all the way back, you won’t get stuck”.
I knocked on the door of a very nice log cabin and entered at the behest of the owner. Near the door was a large dining room table and a bit of a portly man reclined there; I was warmly greeted by his two dogs. They were all the sorts of me, I guess they gave my visit the approval. Fast friends me and the two canines became.
He pointed out 2 very old cats. I scoffed at how old he said they were! But I was a bit shocked at the near “Pet Cemetery” look of the old mangy one eating his food. “Dang,” I thought to myself, “that old boy better not fart, he’d turn to dust”. The other old cat sat perched on a table and looked frankly dead. Don’t think I saw a breathing movement at all.
I gave the old chap his cash for the cabin and he told me which one it was; I’d get to stay in cabin number 2.
I drove up and backed my car up near the door at took to grabbing my gear. I walked in finding a finely built little cabin. However, my eyes must have misinterpreted the picture, for there was not a gas log fireplace.
Two overworked electric heaters trying their best to keep things warm. Don’t think the place got over 61 degrees. It was around 10 degrees outside, so any heat was welcomed. Nonetheless, the place had a certain ambiance to it that seem to fit my liking.
For 75 more bucks a night, I could have gotten a bit bigger cabin. Most assuredly would have had a fireplace and an indoor toilet. This one had a port-o-john; that made bathroom trips an adventure. A crapper is worth 75 bucks more, especially in the dead of winter, trust me. Sure glad the jon had a heat lamp in there; if it had not, surely my buttocks would have resembled a child’s tongue on a frosty school bus window.
The old rocking chair in the corner was inviting for a weary traveler like me. It served well to sit in and try to read. I used my extra blanket as a cushion and propped my feet on a kitchen chair. It was all significant in my relaxation.
I took plenty of snacks, chicken salad for sandwiches, water, and some moonshine. The shine tasted really good. Frankly, I ate a lot less than I thought. I did make fried eggs on a charcoal grill with a cast iron pan. Worked pretty good too I might add.
My niece had stepped forward like a great gladiator of ancient Rome to watch the kids for the weekend. Diabetes always plays the antagonist role, always shows up at the worst time, and that’s what it did to Friday night.
My wife was on the phone for an hour while a friend helped my niece with a site change. Later at night, the girl’s BG’s had climbed too high. Audi would need a shot for a correction, so I walked my niece through that over the phone. She handled the worst of diabetes could offer on Friday night.
I had all the confidence in the world in her. She did graduate at the top of her class in high school and college. Smart kid and she did great. Taking care of 4 kids, 2 with Type 1 Diabetes isn’t easy, even for a veteran like me.
The weekend wasn’t what I thought, but it is what I needed; a secluded break from humanity; a break from the pressure, a break from the stress, a break from the house projects, a break from working in my shop, a break from diabetes, a break from everyone talking to me. I hardly spoke to anyone from Friday night through Sunday morning; only a person at the store where I bought milk and the owner of the cabins was my only contact with humanity.
I needed a break, a quiet break, to let my creative thought flow through my brain again. Once again, the mind pulsed the thoughts that have sprung from it since I was a young boy. It feels renewed a bit. However, the rest of my body remains worn. But my brain is sharp again, and that is a good thing.
How long it will last, I don’t know. Having creative thoughts again without the aid of liquid inspiration is priceless. My liver is so happy. Writing ranks high as a catharsis in life. I did finish a short story I had started some time back about a father taking his two young boy camping in the winter. You’ll have to wait until my collection of short stories is published to read that. But I had fun writing it.
I’d like to go on a week-long adventure to somewhere in the Caribbean, or even Cuba. Somewhere to relax, fish and down margaritas. Or lock into a nice rainbow trout in a stream in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Those things seem to be disconnected from the stress of things. However, time and money won’t allow those right now. So a little cabin tucked away in the rolling land called Hocking Hills will do. It’s not ideal; it’s not what I thought, but it’s just what I needed.
Thank you Hocking Hills; I’ll be back again, Lord willing.
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