Sitting in a cabin in the woods . . .
This is where I always thought I would write my first best seller – in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the Ozark Mountains. This has been a bit of a dream of mine for over 20 years. Now, here I sit, in a strange house not three miles from the home I thought I would write my first novel in. But you know how things go – times passes and many want-a-dos don’t get done.
I have missed these mountains. Tears flowed when I reached the hollow of Ponca – I knew the switchback was close . . . bittersweet tears. Tears of joy that I was lucky enough to come through here again for the first time in years, and tears of sadness that our home in these misty mountains now belongs to someone else. This is a place truly like no other I have ever visited or lived. It holds a piece of my heart and that will never change. I had convinced myself I would live in this area for the rest of my life – just didn’t happen that way.
We were reminded just where we were once we arrived and got settled in. We tried to call home on our cell phones and experienced not having service for the first time (we live in the city now) – no network was found. When I tried to use the phone in our rented cabin to call collect, the phone wasn’t set up for that so I was unable to make a connection. When I called directory assistance, just like when dialing zero – I got the message, “Call cannot be completed as dialed.” WE were really remote 🙂
Not only was this the first time in years we were able to spend the night in a place we considered to be heaven, no one, and I mean no one, knew where we were or that we made it safely, with the exception of Ruby Ray and Bobbie. They had been our neighbors (maybe six miles away) that lived off the blacktop and we had stopped in and visited with them when we got here. No one would ever think to call them. I didn’t write down where we’d be staying and only mentioned it in passing. There was no letter or email confirming our reservation.
For some reason, we found it quite amusing that no one knew where we were or could get a hold of us – this was the first time in years we had disappeared off the face of the earth, or so it seemed. It was also just a bit disconcerting in the event there was an emergency back home. Making our daughter a little worried though, we thought that might be good medicine for her – make her think about her own actions at times and how she has made us worry. Yeah, we are kind of ornery like that sometimes. Regardless, that’s not the way we planned it – it’s just the way it happened.
I could tell it’s been awhile since I have experienced this place and its ruggedness – when we made the turn off the blacktop, I was a little nervous about driving my car in the rocky makeshift road. I had to go back to a time in my mind when I knew, when I didn’t get all freaked out, when I just did it as part of my daily experience. I’m kind of a city girl, but I took to life up here like I was born to live here.
That morning we could hear the balls from the sweetgum trees hitting the tin roof, and the birds and squirrels in the trees, with the occasional elk bugle thrown in just to remind us of exactly where we were fortunate enough to be. And the smell – not really sure how to describe it – fresh, green, woody, smoky, wet all at the same time. In October the colors are amazing, a sight to behold – red, green, orange, gold, brown, and purple. It is absolutely beautiful, and one of the things I miss most about living in this part of the country. I could just sit on the porch all day and look at nothing and everything all at once. There’s a lot to see if you pay attention to the little things.
People say they go to the country for peace and quiet. It’s peaceful for sure, but it’s rarely quiet in the mountains. It’s just a different kind of noise, and often times it is loud. Squirrels chirping, birds, crickets and frogs singing, trees dropping things and creaking, wind whistling (if there is any), and animals moving about. Yet you can still hear the silence within all the noise.
God, I miss this place . . . and I still haven’t finished the novel . . .
Just something I was thinking about today . . .