Thursday, July 25, 2013

I Suck At Being In The Woods


My parents, children and I rented a cabin in a state park in West Virginia for a week, of which I managed three nights before begging for a hotel and internet.  Here is my travelogue so far:


Ahhh, the woods. Well, the joke's on me with all my bags. The cabin is too small to bring them inside!  I had to unpack just enough for one drawer each person.  We have a tiny log cabin built as a public works project during the depression and it's small and quaint and cute. It is a perfect romantic rustic getaway, but it's a little tiny bit on the small side for 3 adults and two children.  There's no TV and you can't even text here. Whoa. 
I was very glad to see that my parents also ignored the NO ALCOHOL sign. We all brought wine. Wine helps in close quarters.

We have a beautiful view of a sheer drop off right outside our cabin, and a nice road to walk on unless a car is backing down the mountain; not that many hazards for small children who forget to listen.   It's green and mossy with a lot of ferns.  I don't exactly recall what to do with nature.



I grew up in a suburb, but we spent a lot of time in the woods. Summers we spent in Alaska, a fair amount of our time spent in the woods was also without electricity or water. I used to know how the woods worked. I used to know what to do in them, how to look at them and how to picture magic fairies and elves and how to picture myself the size of a fox running through the woods. I'm not sure I remember anymore, but I will try.


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I miss my own woods.  I can see the beauty here, but it doesn't invade my soul, though I wish it would.  I don't long to run down dirt paths here, but maybe it's because these paths aren't mine.  Maybe it's because I feel like I'm borrowing someone else's peacefulness, renting their serenity for a week, and it doesn't fit right.

I'm not used to mossy rocks and sheer drop offs.  I'm used to welcoming trails and  trees I recognize.  My woods look different. I am a bad traveller.  I am in a beautiful forest and miss my own. I know how the sunlight in my own woods reaches through the trees to tickle the dirt road. I miss the fish in my pond. I know the turkeys there and the deer that are browner than the ones here.  Can one be homesick for woods while staying in the forest?

Maybe it's the confines of the tiny cabin stuffed with too many people. I can't write, I can't read, I can only visit. I am in the woods but I have no solitude.  I hear more buzzing humans - all members of my family - than I hear birds.  I only hear birds when I first wake up and everyone else is still asleep. 

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So I was all rah, rah, nature! Slept in the same room as my two kids and my mom. went on a paddle boat, canoe, and made home made ice-cream. Yay, woods!



Then, as I was snuggled up with a book on my cot with my plastic encased pillow, I found that nature had followed me into bed.


A big black ant.  Not the worst, I get it, but it was on my arm while I was in bed. I'm against nature invading my covers.  Like really against it, but I couldn't scream or even say anything to my mother who I know would sympathize, because my eldest was still awake a mere 18" from my head and if he knew that nature was meandering into our bedclothes, he might never sleep again for the rest of the trip. Or he might want to capture it and make it his pet and name it George. Hard to say, but still not a relaxing end to the evening.
http://www.geofffox.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Carpenter+Ant.jpg



Hotel.  Internet.  Television. Shower stalls wider than 28 inches.  Beds without ants in them.  Things that I am missing horribly.

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Nature. Beauty. Fun. Great. I am over- peopled and unable to write anything anymore. Put parents on notice that I am unlikely to survive week, but will keep trying. Plastic pillow cases mean no lice, right? Like it's an impossibility, so there's that.

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My parents say we can leave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Now I get to carry five people's belongings up this staircase:



At least it's picturesque.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! Pat's definition of rustic means primitive (to me). WV has different levels of cabins, from very rustic (sound like what you got) to what I like, cabins with air conditioning and easy access to all of life's amenities. Last time we stayed in a cabin (not rustic) I brought my air purifier to help with my allergies (to everything outside). One thing is sure , the fact that you survived a week was a labor of love! I too love nature, but I don't need to BE ONE with nature to appreciate it! lol Next time send them with an iPad ~ let them stay in a cabin and you can facetime them from a hotel!

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