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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Escape from Reality.

In 12 days we are making one of our great escapes, off to Shawnee State Park in Southern Ohio. Small cabins nestled in the woods of southern Ohio. Despite being so close to each other the cabins seem isolated and alone. You can feel like the only people on the planet if you just use your imagination. And, I never feel too alone when I am with my wife. 

The internet is almost non-existent, phone service is spotty and the television is more like a snowy, flashing display, you can make out the shapes and decipher some sounds, but it is more of a challenge than I want. So, even if it is turned on we don’t really pay much attention. In the fall we were in a cabin during football season and it could have been tennis or baseball. So we turned it off and went kayaking. From there we drove over to Midnight at Moonville. Where we walked through the haunted tunnel, finally found the Moonville cemetery, listened to some very talented local musicians and had a good time. 

Afterward, we went back to the cabin, discovered we didn’t have a corkscrew (since then we added one to our “go box”), drank a few beers, grilled some steaks, and relaxed in the comfort of seclusion. After dinner we built a fire in the fire pit.  There is something cathartic in watching a fire roar on a chilly evening, the crack, pop and sizzle as the orange, blue, yellow and white consume the logs. The smell of conversion as wood is transformed into light, heat and smoke. A perfect chemical reaction, nothing wasted, fuel turned to energy, smoke and light, but you can forgive me if I forget the science and enjoy the warmth, the pleasant heat of the fire, the intoxicating touch of my wife’s hand cradled in mine. 

This spring we are going to someplace new. A park with two lakes, hiking trails, and not far from Portsmouth, Ohio. In Portsmouth there is a bakery (Heaven Scent, I think) with donuts are supposed to be almost unbelievably good. I will let you know, in detail. Lake Hope is one of the most beautiful, magic, haunted places I have ever been.  It’s black water captures the sun, the surrounding woods, the hills that climb from it’s shores in stark, clean portraits. It is almost terrible in it’s magnificence. But, we have high hopes for Shawnee State Park, tucked away in the wooded hills just north of Kentucky. Primitive and deep, they hold thousands of years in every foot, every step, every moment. 

And, that is why we are going. The moments. I have always believed life is best lived by the minute. Simple snapshots that define what you hold important. It is easy to forget what makes you happy when you think about an hour, there are too many minutes, too much to process. But in those minutes where everything has stopped, the world is waiting for you and you’re with the person you love it is easy to understand what really matters.