The 36-hour weekend.

“A change is as good as a rest,” is one of the many sayings Peter attributes to “his ol’ Granny.”  That bit of English wisdom carries a lot of truth. I was never exactly sure what it meant until I experienced it. Now I know.

Peter and I can no longer take the weeks-long adventuresome trips we used to, but we now have access to a place that rivals some of our long holidays, Martin and Leslie’s log house in the  mountains not too far from here. It’s a wonderful spot — serene, isolated, with a river running past. Calmness wafts over me as soon as we drive in.

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The island idyll.

Generally we arrive Saturday mid-morning and leave before dark on Sunday. Just 36 hours or so, but those hours really are as good as a week away.


Leslie hides.

We don’t do much there. Sometimes we help with gardening or other projects, but mostly it’s a place to kick back, relax. Leslie and I play cards, and we’ve recently rediscovered coloring books and the concentrated joy they bring. We also spend a lot of time looking for mica-studded rocks that glitter in bright sun. The whole area shimmers as if a fairy godmother had just wafted through with brilliant sprinkles.

Martin fishes in season, but Peter excuses himself because he’s “not a water person.” In truth, he can’t swim. A few weeks ago, Leslie convinced him to put on shorts and water shoes, then wade through ankle deep water to  the stoney island where we have lunch, read, snooze, or just be.

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The fish were biting that day.

Leslie and Martin swim, but I like to float in an inner tube now that the river’s flow has changed just enough to create a calm spot that allows me to stay put rather than drift away to the Atlantic. A few weeks ago, the two of them tubed together holding hands. Cute until Martin yelped and jerked upwards. Leslie shrieked with laughter then she too cried out. Mart yelled, “THE FISH ARE BITING OUR BUTTS!”  They returned to the safety of the island, laughing hysterically.

Peter revisited his stone-skipping prowess that day. He’s still a champ, sometimes getting ten or eleven skips per stone. I watch him and think, our travels of several years ago were terrific, but really, it doesn’t get much better than this!


Peter still has the technique.

Photos: A favorite retreat.

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 

14 thoughts on “The 36-hour weekend.

  1. What a lovely site seeing Peter skipping stones ….. and with a short drive a piece of heaven to revive your spirit. Will have to make sure I visit this place on my next visit!

  2. I can just hear Martin and Leslie giggling…great post Mom….feel like We were there with you guys!

  3. So glad you two have somewhere so nice, and so close to get away. It seems to suit you both. 😀

  4. Great pictures and description — your Virginia scenery reminds me always of Mohican. Why am I not surprised you are into the new coloring books! My cousin just visited and brought me one (we’ve colored together since early childhood) and now of course I’m hooked! Glad you have these varied outlets for R&R. cj

  5. Lovely writing…I could actually feel the peace you were writing about. I think Peter is right. Those short changes of pace are like an oasis in the hustle and bustle of life.

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