We went away.

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe how rarely we steal away for a weekend. Part of it is this crazy, unorthodox lifestyle/schedule that we keep. I work Saturday-Wednesday, with Thursday and Friday off. That leaves Thursday and Friday (Chuck Weekend). You can call any days of the week weekend – but the weekend is Saturday and Sunday. Living a counter-culture weekend just doesn’t work very well. Besides, I usually spend at least part of those days working for CJDR, and they can be Aprill’s busiest days. (For anyone who has worked in an agency, you understand.)

Then there’s Henry. He’s not a child – but we have to plan pretty hard (and far in advance) to leave him. We love to take him with us. But sometimes, that’s not possible.

But last weekend, we threw a few clothes, some food and Henry in the car and headed for Lake Toxaway and The Cabins at Seven Foxes.

It was great. No work. No wireless coverage. No wi-fi. Just campfires and leaves and waterfalls and wood. One day was a complete washout. Rain, rain and more rain. We invested the time wisely in two movies we’d wanted to see and several episodes of Northern Exposure (one of the great, underrated television series of all time).

The other days were spectacular. There is nothing quite like an autumn day in the Blue Ridge mountains. Summer is long there, with mosquitoes and gnats and heat. The enormous summer canopy is green and seems to last and last. Winter is long, too. The canopy is replaced by bare wood, wind and snow. Both are beautiful in their own rights.

But autumn. Autumn is this short window of time when everything is different. Greens become golds and reds and yellows and oranges. The air loses its weight and, before it gains its bite, becomes crisp, clean and breathable. There are fresh, crisp apples and cider, and the first smell of wood smoke. The sun shines differently. I’ve never been able to put my finger on it – but the way that the sun comes through the trees changes in autumn.

I’m not the first person to say or write this. There’s something primal about being in a cabin in the woods in the mountains in autumn. I don’t plan to miss another.

“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourselves to the influences of each.” (Henry David Thoreau)

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