Since my wife and I moved to Long Island five years ago, we’ve been saying to one another that we would make a trip upstate. The open space, the mountain views, the slow pace — it has almost a majestic draw. At least from what we’d seen online.
But year after year, that trip never happened, despite promises to ourselves that this would be the year. Life just always seemed to get in the way, as they say.
This year, we’d finally had enough. It’s not like we had any spare cash lying around compared to previous years, but we were determined to stop life from getting in the way this time. And we did.
It took us five years to do it, but last week’s trip to the Catskills was a breath of fresh air — literally and figuratively.
Ashley and I rented a small cabin at a lodge in a hamlet of about 300. It’s tough to find rentals anywhere that allow dogs, so we were very excited to find one that did — and didn’t have bedbugs when we arrived.
It’s kind of hard to recap what we did while we were up there, because we really didn’t do much for the two nights we were gone. And a lot of the things we did, we could actually do right at home in Wading River, which makes the trip actually sound kind of lame. I finished my book. We split in two games of Scrabble, sat by the fire outside for a little while, walked the dogs in the woods and by the water.
We drove around a couple of small downtowns in the area, popped into some small antique shops and had lunch at a diner.
Nothing too special, right?
One thing we can’t get in Wading River, though, are those mountain views driving along winding roads — which makes all those other things that much better. Luckily, we had some wonderful weather and the sight of a mountainside full of trees, with a little stretch of downtown Americana in the distance, on a sunny day is really a thing to behold.
To steal a phrase from perhaps one of the greatest movie characters of all time, Ferris Bueller — a phrase that’s been lifted in many a speech, and with good reason — “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while you could miss it.”
Life moves slowly when you’re surrounded by the outdoors, mostly because there isn’t much going on around you to speed it up, and there’s no cell phone service.
And that’s refreshing.
Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not packing up my belongings and moving into a van by the Esopus Creek anytime soon. I think life is pretty darn good down here.
Every once in a while, though, just a quick trip to recharge the batteries with a change of scenery can do wonders. Don’t let life get in the way. I wish I hadn’t.