Winding along the road, I spotted a few leaves that had started to change colors. We saw the little church. There is the Sonic Drive In advertising happy hour prices for slushes and sodas. We passed the small grocery store where the townspeople linger in aisles asking each other about their families and what they are going to do with the roast in the buggy (because it is called a buggy here). We drove a little bit farther and the high school was to our left with its octagonal pod-like buildings letting us know that we were almost there. We pulled past the big white fence and I remembered that somewhere nearby or behind that fence was the enormous home of a celebrity couple, a married actress and singer. A few black and brown dogs ran across the road in front of us following after their owner who was using a walking stick to help him up the road.
Using her whiniest voice, I heard my four year old daughter ask, “Are we there yet?”
“Not yet, but almost,” I said towards the backseat.
She was not amused. We had been telling her that we were almost there for the past 15 minutes. “But how much is almost?” she asked drawing out each syllable.
“Just a few more minutes,” I answered with an exasperated voice. We got in the car the day before at 4:00 in the afternoon and we didn’t arrive in Nashville, Tennessee until midnight that night. This morning, we woke up, got ready and ate our complimentary breakfast. We loaded up in the car to make the 45 minute drive from Nashville to my husband’s grandparent’s home in Ashland City, Tennessee. My daughter decided that she had had enough of sitting in the car and the meltdown ensued.
Daddy J saw the bend coming up and turned around.
“We are almost there. Count to ten and we will be there. It is worth the wait,” he said as his voice sounded more excited and a little bit breathy, “It is the prettiest place I know.”
As we turned into the driveway, my daughter made a sound like the one that she makes when she sees a Disney princess or a special homemade treat on the kitchen counter.
“Daddy! It IS the prettiest place you know,” she exclaimed in that same breathy, amazed voice as my husband.
And it is. The log cabin is situated on a hill and as you pull into the long driveway, you can see the front porch with its two swings attached to the overhang. Bright red flowers dot the garden beds near the stairs. It is just a short walk from the Cumberland River in one direction and in the other is a forest complete with a creek bed, logs to climb over and an abandoned red truck missing its bed. We still aren’t sure how the truck got there in the middle of the woods in the first place but we are positive it has been there for a long while.
The expansive backyard is large enough to play a game of soccer, baseball or freeze tag. There is a 12×12 cement basketball court off to one side with an old, rusty basketball goal that has been there since before I started joining my husband on these trips. There is a beautiful shade tree that has orange and yellow leaves as it prepares for winter. The rocky driveway is a perfect place to play that game that grandpa made many years ago.
It is a box made out of plywood with a round piece of plastic PVC pipe in the middle. Land a large washer inside the pipe and you earn three points. Land a washer inside the box but outside of the pipe and you earn one point. Whoever gets to 21 first (or eleven if you are playing with 4 year olds) wins. This game has been around for as long as I have been visiting the cabin. Kids and adults alike have spent many summers, Thanksgivings, and other holidays throwing washers painted in their team colors into the box.
Every year we say we are going to get back up to the house more often but we have not made as many trips as we would like. We made this last minute trip for personal reasons…reasons that prompted a quick trip where we spent more time in the car than we did visiting.
Next time, we aren’t going to wait for the next three day weekend or holiday not already delegated to another relative to make the trip. We are just going to throw a few bags in the car, pack the cooler, and begin to drive towards that beautiful cabin in the woods on the Cumberland River that is as special as the family that lives inside it.
Please stop by Mara’s over at Mother of All Trips to see what she is dreaming about. Do you have a Monday dream? Be sure to link up!