One of the greatest things about the Professor is that he gets me better than anyone ever has or probably ever will. There’s something to be said for your spouse when he gets you as it makes for pleasant birthday surprises.
I turned 46 years old this past Tuesday marking my time on the planet, not my actual in my head age of 22. My kids were gone to the beach as it is their Fall Break, my oldest bonus son is at college, and my bonus daughter lives with her mom and we don’t see her much, sad to say, so it was only me, the Professor, and my youngest bonus son. No cake or ice cream, I don’t eat sugar, and for dinner we ordered Steak Out and I had a fabulous cobb salad. It’s the best, y’all! Quiet, simple, and lovely if you ask me when it comes to birthdays.
The Professor rarely remembers my birthday, which I am just as guilty not remembering his other than it’s in June . . . we also don’t remember our anniversary too well either, hence me getting a picture of a heart drawn in the sand with our names written inside of it and on the side of the heart, our anniversary date. A cheat sheet if you will. I know some folks would think this is nuts but dates don’t matter so much anymore when it comes to the two of us. All we know is that we were born, somehow found each other, and got married. That’s really all that matters to us because we just want to love each other and not make it complicated, ya know?
So Mr. Sneaky Pants decided to surprise me with a 3 day 2 night trip to an undisclosed location only sending me the weather report and that’s it. A few days before we were to leave the Professor says, “Um, I’m not too sure about this place but I’m hoping for the best.” Say what?
He tells me it will take about an hour and a half to get there and that was great news to me because I get very stabby in the car if it is more than 4 hours, hence my bursting out of the car after 8 hours of driving hell to get to Destin this past summer nearly taking out an innocent family just trying to go out to dinner. This stuffs real, y’all, not kidding.
Well, at some point along the way, the Professor had to tell me where we were going because I was driving and I was so excited to hear that it was Fort Payne, Alabama. You see, a few weeks ago, we were catching up on our show ‘The Voice’ when a commercial about ‘explore Alabama’ came on and they showed these beautiful falls that I had no idea existed. I loooooove waterfalls as they have a lot of meaning to me because of the movie ‘Dragonfly’ starring Kevin Costner. Not a lot of folks know about this movie but it is INCREDIBLE not to mention, I have a ‘thing’ for dragonflies, just ask my OT kids and have a gander at my left foot! I have the movie if you want to borrow it.
As the commercial finished up, my beloved had already typed it into the search box and we discovered that it was a close trip, though I didn’t realize I’d be there before I knew it at the time.
As a little girl, I had very specific dreams about things I wanted to do and opinions about things I liked. I always wanted to live in Grand Junction, Colorado and although it was for only 5 months on an internship, I ‘lived’ there for a time. I loved fishing, loved log cabins, camp fires, the outdoors, the beach (later, after we moved to Alabama), dogs, horses, and farms. I wanted a log cabin near a lake with mountains all around. I wanted a couple of horses and a good man to grow old with and have farting contests . . . just kidding, but not really, you just have to know me.
This is how life works though . . . as I said, I lived in Colorado for a bit, I have passed my love of fishing down to my son who is great at it and get to do it here and there, I own 2 dogs and they are both sweet but my rescue is so skittish and shy, something I am not good with especially in people, although I rock it with my OT kids for some reason, and she drives me nuts oh, and she sheds. Its my cross to bear, y’all, could be so much worse, just ask those poor folks of Las Vegas. I don’t own a horse but I get the honor and privilege of having several friends who own horses and I do Hippotherapy with my OT kids. I now have, after 16 years of unpleasantness, found the man who just so happens to love the beach, praise the Lord, oh, and he loves Mexican food, woohoo!
I live in the mountains of Alabama as they surround my home, and I have a lovely home with a gigantic backyard that I plan on building a pool in not only for use with my OT kids for therapy but for my family as well.
I don’t own a log cabin near a lake but I’ve got the Tennessee River just down the road from me by 10 minutes, I love sitting by that river with the Professor on a cool night and watch the sunset. That’s heaven, y’all!
All of my desires aren’t exactly met but really, they are if you think about it.
So, back to the trip . . .
Without GPS we would not have found this place. As we pull into the road that would lead to the greatest thing ever, I observed the Professor holding his breath. As we round the corner and looked to our left, the most lovely log cabin is sitting up on the small hill and I squealed like a crazed girl at a Beatles concert. It was perfect and the inside was beautifully decorated to boot and . . . there was a fire pit and a jacuzzi and two comfortable as heck rocking chairs on the front porch!!!
The Professor sighed with relief as I gave him a big hug and a kiss thanking him for such a wonderful surprise and as we got ourselves settled, I marveled at how blessed I am to have this man for a husband and thanked him a million times for ‘getting’ me.
As we sat on the front porch in our rocking chairs, drinking a shumaling, and just breathing, I felt myself relax for the first time in a while. It was lovely and therapeutic, I can assure you.
After a time, we decided to go for a walk up the road some to see the other cabins, the land, the pond, and the pasture. We ran across a raccoon and then spotted a couple coming towards us. The woman was walking and the man was in a quadriplegic sip and puff wheelchair. Now, me being who I am, I haaaad to talk to these folks as I hoped to find out what put him in that wheelchair. As we greeted one another and met their little dog, we talked about all kinds of stuff from the tragedy of the Las Vegas shooting, religion, and finally what put him in that wheelchair and it broke my heart, y’all.
This couple was probably in their early 70’s, retired and all. The man tells me that he had ridden and raised horses all of his life and was in the rodeo. Horses where his life and he told me that he got on a horse that he didn’t know because the girl who was trying to ride it was having trouble so he wanted to get on the horse and see why and in a split second the horse bucked, he fell, and he suffered a complete C3 spinal cord injury. Do I dare look at the Professor’s face learning of this as he knows how much I would like to own a horse of my own someday. I didn’t look at his face and as we moved on from them he says, “See, you owning a horse could get you in a wheelchair.”
As I sighed I said, “Anything can land you in a wheelchair. I refuse to live life for fear of being injured or dying, ya know?” It was at this point that I realized that the Professor is afraid of dying. I’ll have to revisit this with him someday.
Moving on . . .
Without getting into too much TMI, we made great use of the jacuzzi and the fire pit as we had complete privacy.
We saw the falls, hiked, ate at this great local Mexican restaurant, saw the antique mall, downtown, and anything else we could fit in. At night, we slept like rocks and in the morning, I loved waking up first to sit on the front porch in my rocking chair just breathing. The Professor said that he loved hunting and gathering kindling and logs for the fire, he said it gave him purpose and exercise. I loved that.
On the way home, we passed through Scottsboro and ate at another awesome sauce Mexican restaurant called Margarita’s, which had a Mexican buffet and some delicious margaritas to boot. After that, we went to a place I’ve wanted to visit forever called ‘Unclaimed Baggage.’ You have never seen so much STUFF in your life.
The Professor told me to get whatever I wanted and he’d buy it for my birthday. I got a few things but I got one of the coolest spoon rings I have ever seen. It is the most unusual atypical spoon ring you have ever seen. The sales lady said that if she had seen it before me she would have bought it on the spot. I told her to back it up that it was mine. She laughed, it was cute.
Arriving home safely today with 2 more days off, well, except for my 2 yoga classes I teach tomorrow morning to the kids, I’d say it was one successful trip and I had a ball. I’ll tell you, the Professor has got to be the funnest person to be around and I love him so much. Thank you Jesus for letting me find him.
If you are fried and burning the candle at both ends, stop a second and make plans to visit Bear Creek Cabins in Fort Payne, Alabama. If that’s too far, explore your surroundings and find a place to decompress, Lord knows we need this more often than not. And if you are lucky enough to enjoy it with someone you love to bits, well there’s your cherry on top.
Love y’all and praying for our Las Vegas folks and families!!♥