There is no denying that the beach is my happy place. I have always said that the beach makes me feel at peace, and inspires epiphanies. I don't ever want to live outside of driving distance of the beach it would make me not happy, at all.
Here's the thing though. These past couple of months the cabin has also become my happy place. Granted, in a completely different way, but still a happy place. When I'm at the cabin I feel more myself then anyplace else. The rest of the world can't intrude on your time at the cabin. Everyone else is more at ease at the cabin too. It's a place of calm and relaxing. You can do a whole bunch of stuff, or absolutely nothing, and it doesn't matter. The nap couches are there for use whether it be morning, afternoon or evening. And the happy hour spot by the river just gets happier and happier the longer you sit there. And it doesn't always have to do with the amount of alcohol you're drinking.
The cabin inspires it's own epiphanies. The cabin makes you want to be better, and live more simple. The cabin makes you question why you put up with the craziness of regular day to day life, day in and day out. I suppose that could be a negative thing about the cabin too. Not for me. That cabin quality certainly helps you remember what your priorities should be.
The cabin also connects me to my roots. It's funny because that's something that I never really understood until this year. Maybe it has something to do with being in my 30's, up until May, the last time I was there I was 27, and rather self absorbed. That's something that never makes the "Things that are different in your 30's than they were in your 20's".
The first night spent in the cabin was 40 years ago this month, on my dad's birthday. My dad's family, parents and grandparents, built the cabin. A journal has been kept since that first night and I have a habit of getting sucked into reading them each time I'm there. The first journal was missing until my parents were there in May when mom found it under the kitchen sink? Much screaming! When I was there with Josh and PJ in June I realized that the past 40 years of family history is contained in six spiral notebooks. The journals were a place to record the whether and cabin progress at first and then at some point in my childhood they turned into the place where you told stories of what happened while you were there, and sometimes divulged the latest reason for escape.
My dad spent his teenage years there "picnicking" with his high school girlfriends (when I read that passage I couldn't believe how naive my grandmother was). My parents had their honeymoon at the cabin. I took my first steps there. From what I have been told , my brother was conceived there. Almost every childhood vacation was spent there. I can remember my dad getting off work and piling us all into the car at bedtime to start the drive so we could sleep the whole way there. I spent my first honeymoon at the cabin, five months pregnant with PJ. PJ's dad fished for the first time there. Josh and I made some important life decisions while happy houring into the wee morning hours and Josh taught PJ how to fish. Plus, a million other stories. Anyone who has ever visited the cabin has their own. And those of us to have spent a lot of time there have thousands.
There isn't a person in my family that doesn't feel some sort of reverence for the cabin. I also don't know anyone who has ever been to the cabin that doesn't understand and feel it's importance. There is no denying that the cabin is magical. The souls of all of the people that have touched the cabin that are no longer with us, and all of the laughter and tears and memories that live in the walls, fill it with the kind of magic can only be found just off of Highway 2, about 20 miles West of Leavenworth.