Wednesday, March 05, 2008

My Weekend Retreat

Last weekend, I had a nice little getaway to our cabin in the woods, just me and Zach, our Aussie. I had planned to go down for a work weekend with my brother, but he couldn't go due to other obligations. It was okay, really, because it gave me some much needed quiet time...time to do some manual labor...time to reflect.

Our cabin is situated on an old strip mine in eastern Sullivan County, now known as Greenbriar Lake. I had to pass through Clay City: Mayberry of the Midwest to get there on Indiana's back roads. Tracy and I get a kick out of that slogan for this sleepy little town, so I stopped and took this picture just to make her laugh.
It worked. :)
The Doyle cabin, built with my grandfather's hands and a load of discarded telephone poles, is rustic, at best. Plumbing draws spring-fed lake water into the shower and kitchen sink. An outhouse provides the only other "facilities." I went down, in part, because my uncle is in the process of installing a new two-sided outhouse with a real septic system. He left a large pile of debris from an old shed and some downed trees that needed disposal by match. There was also a pile of concrete that needed breaking and disposal by tossing lakeward.

When I arrived Saturday morning, it was a frosty 30 degrees or so. There was a thin layer of ice over a majority of the lake where some Canadian geese had sought refuge. I was able to snap a couple of quick pictures, first thing. There's a small sample to the left.


After Zach and I had unpacked, opened/airated the cabin and settled in, we got right to work. It was an exhausting day of log-splitting, concrete throwing, debris burning and general back-aching chores, but it was long overdue. I needed a good physical work-out like that. And it gave Zach a chance to explore and get a good work-0ut, too (mostly chasing a neighbors cat, the geese and some squirrels).


We cooked that evening over open flame and enjoyed a clear, starry sky that night. We awoke to a warm, spring-like day and morning clouds soon gave way to sunny skies by 10:30. I had already rekindled two fires, begun packing, cleaning up and preparing for the 2-hour drive home by then. I also had time to snap a few more pictures, including this one of Zach and I on the pier just after sunrise.
The drive home, though I was quite sore from the day-and-a-half workout, was very nice, thanks mostly to the 6o-degree weather and some good tunes. I was home in time Sunday to play with my daughters for awhile before taking them to dinner and putting them to bed. And while I hate being away from them on "stay-home days" this was a much needed retreat for me...one that I'll cherish for some time.

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