Apologies for going so long between posts, but I was swept away by Blair on Friday for a romantic anniversary weekend (Sunday was 12 years). I knew we were going to the mountains but I didn't know where. Turns out it was a delightful cabin at the top of Raven Ridge mountain in Virginia, near the Tennessee border. Stunning vistas and the promotional material said when you stand on the mountain you can see into 5 states - Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina, I think. Sounds impressive but when you're looking it's not like the state lines are mapped out on the ground so you have an awareness of it being 5 states. It's all just beautiful scenery.
We arrived at the cabin about 8 PM Friday and as Blair got out of the car I heard him say, "Well, hello there!" I questioned his tone for greeting the owner, as it sounded a little condescending, but I understood when I got out and was greeted by a huge and beautiful off-white Akita. It was Consuela the-wonder-dog. Such a sweetheart. She camped out on our front porch for half our visit and would take your hand in her huge mouth and gently tug every time you came outside as if to say, "C'mon! Let's go play!" Big curling tail constantly in motion. I was ready to take her home.
It took both of us awhile to relax. Saturday we drove 30 minutes to a cute little town filled with antique shops and such. We looked around but neither of us were really into it. At lunch, Blair asked what I wanted to do. "Go back to the cabin, read, take a nap," I said. "Sounds good," he replied. So that's what we did. Read and slept away the afternoon on Saturday. It was wonderful.
The cabin had a...shoot, I'm blanking on the name. Not a fireplace but a stove hooked up to a fireplace that you feed wood into. You know what I mean. Anyway, that's how the entire cabin was heated. Luckily there was a space heater for the bedroom. But after running it at night, we blew a fuse and couldn't get the socket to come back on. The fuse connected to the bathroom which meant we showered by candlelight, which was amusing. Also spent some time in the hot tub which was heavenly. To have it be 39 degrees and be outside, looking up at a twinkling star-filled sky while in a hot tub on top of a mountain---nice.
We arrived home around 2 on Sunday. Blair watched football and I went back to work. But it was good. The panicked feeling was gone and I tied up a number of loose ends. It's another mind-blowing busy week but I'm enjoying all my work so that makes it fun.
I had a little "come to reality" moment on the mountain. Blair and I were discussing how we could lessen the stress in our lives and agreed that stressful situations would never just go away. It's our personalities. I could be working the fryer at McDonalds (nothing wrong with that) and I would be stressed if there were a long line and my fries weren't ready. It doesn't matter if a project is big or little - I stress the same about it. So the solution might not be to downgrade work but rather to learn how to compartmentalize the stress and not let it become too much a part of life. I want to deliver as much as the next person but if I had to turn in an article on dogs a few days late, this is not a crisis in the greater scheme of life. No one gets hurt, the world doesn't fall apart. My ego will be a little bruised but it could probably use some bruising so there you go. Everything always works out. So the rest of the year will be a lesson on putting work into perspective.
Meanwhile, I miss Consuela. Such a big bundle of furry love. I'd love to have a BIG dog someday. I can just see introducing the cats to it. "Lucy, this is Consuela. Consuela, this is--No! Bad dog! We do NOT eat the cats. Put her down!"