We have access to an old family cabin up in Flaming Gorge. It’s not ours. It’s our relatives, but once in a while we get up there. We did that last weekend, just the wife and I.
The old cabin is running down. The furniture shows the years, older than my kids. The carpet remembers the Berlin Wall. Once a luxurious getaway, now it’s a rustic getaway, but a getaway it was.
For so many years it has been a part of my summer. A week there on the lake, in the woods, in the family room. Games, music, swimming, talking. The whole bunch of us. This time however, it was just the wife and I.
Little time we had, not the whole week, just a couple of days between shifts at the hospital, pressures of publishing pouring into my hourglass, concerns that would wait, but not long. So we took the not long and we went. Just the wife I.
Once it stood alone in a meadow, but now there are neighbors. Close and view-blocking. But they weren’t there this weekend. And it was just the wife I.
I had brought the usual. A pile of books coated in good intention, a computer for music, iPhones for internet tethering.
Do you see it?
The phone. The computer. It would not be just the wife and I as long as the world could appear in my screen. Many’s a trip I don’t change a thing about my daily routine except the view out the window and the mouse hair on my chair. Working as usual, distracting myself as usual, keeping up on things, which I’ve learned is more properly called “doomscrolling” in this hellish time.
How can there ever be space for just the wife and I under those circumstances?
Seeking that space, we went, but took the wire with us.
Without the other voices of the family. In the cooling cabin, under a four hour thunderstorm burying us in hail, we resisted the siren call.
We left it turned off.
We read. We sat. We walked. We ate. We drank. We talked. We saw a snake, a coyote, cows and crows, hummingbirds and mice. We were together in the quiet of the woods.
Unplugged for a weekend, in an old cabin in familiar forest, it was just the wife and I.