Y’all, I gotta admit: I’m exhausted – happily exhausted.
The past 10 days were a whirlwind of travel and activity, and while I enjoyed each and every moment, I have never been so glad to pull into the driveway, hear the crunch of gravel beneath my tires, and see our beautiful homestead in the moonlight, as I was in the wee hours of this morning.
My best friend’s 40th birthday was this month, so of course I had to plan a trip out east to see her. We met in college and I still can’t believe it’s been nearly 20 years since we first met and decided that we were BFFs for life. It seems like nothing and everything has happened since that time.
I decided to bring my 4-year old son along, so that a) his dad wouldn’t be stuck at home alone with two small children and b) my son could visit with some family that he rarely gets to see.
(Notice, I decided to take ONE preschooler with me, not BOTH. I’m crazy, but I’m not insane. The youngest stayed home with daddy.)
The first leg of our journey brought me home to Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where I am steeped in several hundred years of my family’s history. We got to traipse around the old family cemetery around the graves of our ancestors whose stones date back to the 1700’s.
We played in the back yard of my grandmother’s old house, splashing in the brisk waters of the Town Run that wends its way through this historic town. I remember playing in the Town Run when I was little, throwing sticks and leaves into the water and chasing them as far as we could until they disappeared from view, and rolling down the gentle grassy hill behind my grandmother’s house. Riding bikes at the Rumsey Monument park across from her house. When I am here, it’s like time has stood still.
My dad has been slowly restoring the house and filling it with antiques that remind him of the way it was when he would come here as a kid to visit his aunt, who lived in the house before my grandmother did.
Stepping through the rooms of this place I feel surrounded by the memories of my ancestors. It feels as though my grandmother (“Muddy,” as we called her) will come walking around the corner at any moment, speaking gently in her wonderful, slow southern drawl.
And my son got to meet the cows that live next door to my dad’s house, which may have been one of his favorite parts of the trip.
After hanging in WV for a few days and catching up with relatives there, my best friend, my son and I headed to an AirBnB in Norfolk, VA to play beach bums for a few days. The weather was a little stormy, off and on, but we basically had the whole beach to ourselves and it was super relaxing to soak up some sun and sand.
Carolina Beach, NC
From Virginia, we headed further south to the shores of Carolina Beach, NC. My dear friend, and former step-mother, hosted us for a whirlwind weekend that included an epic trip out on a fishing boat (my son was such a trooper on waters that turned out to be a bit rougher than anticipated, and it was so beautiful to see both the full moon and the sunrise out on the open waters).
Home Again, Home Again
After 4 flights, over 1,000 miles in the car, several dozen miles by boat, several dozen miles more on foot, and over a dozen hours of 80’s playlists that we sang along to at the top of our lungs, we were ready to say goodbye to our east coast adventure and return to the wilds of the Inland NW and our family homestead.
I am so grateful for the time we shared with the friends and family that we don’t get to see nearly often enough.
I’m also grateful for the return to cooler temperatures and an arid climate. The Mid-Atlantic and the Southern regions in late summer are no joke, with temperatures hovering around 100 and suffocating humidity to go along with it.
There is a hint of early fall here in the Inland NW, and I say bring it on! We ended summer with a bang and I am ready for everything to slow down just a little bit now.