At various times on this blog – and invariably in the postings of my annual Solstice newsletter – I refer to a cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia, that I’ve co-owned with friends since 1999. The cabin plays no small role in my General Welfare Quotient; it has permanently enlarged the scope of my Gratitude Consciousness; and it reliably raises to stratospheric levels my Momentary Serenity Index.
Banding together with some friends to buy that cabin over twenty years ago is one of the best decisions I ever made. It’s sort of a time-share arrangement, but because the ownership is shared among only a few other people, I get to spend up to a week there at least ten times every year. (Usually I stay three or four days at a time.)
The cabin’s main impact has been the fact that it guarantees me multiple “mini-vacations” per year on top of whatever more elaborate vacations I can afford. My stays at the cabin (and my meanderings in the nearby countryside) are also respites from the chores one is constantly aware of when one is at home, no matter how much you appreciate and enjoy your home, as I happen to do. The cabin provides, temporarily, a different – yet familiar – environment to spend a few days: it’s located in a wooded, semi-secluded environment, yet it’s near a town much, much smaller and therefore so much easier to navigate than Atlanta.
A trip to the cabin – especially when the weather permits sitting out on the cabin’s screened deck – always seems to result in several consecutive days of relaxation, including, most visits, more reading – longer, less-interrupted stints of reading – than I seem to manage while at home, probably because I’ve chosen not to take a computer up there! (We also don’t have a dishwasher at the cabin, but otherwise we have all the mod-cons that a non-camper like me could want, including connections to Netflix and Amazon television streaming services, so there’s nothing remotely inconvenient or rustic about spending time there.)
I doubt if I could overstate how pleasant it’s been – and how lucky I feel – to have periodic access to a fully-furnished, comfortable “second place” for me and my partner to get away to, with or without the companionship of our friends. These scheduled-in-advance but always looked-forward-to getaways are especially pleasant because the cabin’s located in a beautiful area that’s not too inconveniently distant from Atlanta. It also happens to be only a half-hour’s drive from where one of my sisters lives, so it’s a way to visit with her whenever I’m at the cabin. Having a get-away was particularly wonderful as long as I was working a full-time job, but even now, six-plus years into retirement, I rarely forego an opportunity to go there, and I’ve noticed that I always depart the cabin reluctantly.
(Top photo taken by cabin co-owner Kris Kane, bottom photo taken by cabin co-owner Nancy Ward.)