Well, my first travel itch has been scratched! For the past six days, I’ve been on a long overdue vacation with my family in the Smoky Mountains. For the first time ever, all 14 of us were under the same roof for one night. Luckily, we were staying in a cabin large enough to house the Tennessee Titans so personal space wasn’t a problem.
Four individual families, three children, two teenagers, a twenty-six year old readying to head to Israel to enter a master’s program, two coffee pots, one tea maker, endless board games and toys, spread out through the cabin. The writer in me studies people and how they mesh, and I must say we meshed well! We all carved out our own little niches throughout the cabin and settled in like we’d lived their all our lives. (And having five bathrooms helped too, I must say!)
The view from our bedroom was incredible. On the last morning, fog had settled in the valley below, and I awoke to the image above. I’ve seen the mountains before on many occasions but never do they cease to amaze me. Their beauty is exquisite, their charm intoxicating. Our cabin was on the edge of the state park and behind us was nothing but hundreds of miles of wilderness.
On our third morning, a visitor from the park stopped by.
We all were talking, which couldn’t have been a quiet thing, and this bear leisurely strolled across our deck in search of a morning snack. Glass walls separated the bear from us which gave us time to snap pictures…but still, he was a little too close for comfort!
I hope this wasn’t a once in a lifetime trip. I hope we all do this again soon…but if it was, I’m thankful for the time we had together. Riding through the mountains, stuffing our bellies with too much food, laughing as the children played, and simply being together was a priceless gift. Family is a gift…one I think we all take for granted way too often. Life spins us in many directions all at once but stopping to simply be together has to become important, too. We may never all be together under the same roof again for longer than a few hours, but this trip pulled us together for a snatch of time. For a few special days, we were able to simply be.