Vacation…all I ever wanted.

I can’t even hear the word vacation without launching into my best Belinda Carlisle. If that reference is lost on you then I’ve kindly attached the video for that GoGo’s song. Watch and learn, grasshoppers. It’ll stick to you forever.

you’re welcome.

In any case, I’m headed out on vacation this week. So if you see or hear less of me then that’s the reason, though I am not opposed to you believing instead that I’ve been abducted by benevolent aliens who are teaching me the secrets of the universe. Good sci fi logic and storytelling insists that I’ll forget all of those secrets when I’m returned safe and sound next week to Chicago. Sorry about that, humanity.

In the meantime, I will entrust the internet to you all. You can have a few friends over but NO UNDERAGE DRINKING and try to keep the music down. I’ll be at Lyric Springs, walking the overgrown trails, breathing in the fresh warm air and splashing in the pool if the forecasted rain lets up.



living deliberately…

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”

We have this log home in the middle of nowhere. For the most part we rent it to people who want a getaway but if the calendar is clear for the house and for the Carlsons we come down.  Each time we come I think back to when we used to live here, full time. We’re about 20 minutes from a decent grocery store and 30 minutes from a Starbucks. At that time, nearly 7 years ago, I had moved from the bustling city of Chicago to 18 acres 500 miles away from everyone I knew. I was homeschooling my 8 year old daughter and my boys were ages 1, 3 and 5. It was quite a shift.

When people ask us why we bought the place, why we moved so far away Dave and I kind of look at each other, shrug and say, “we have no idea.”  But the truth is we did have an idea. We wanted to live deliberately. We needed some time away from the world because the world was crushing, pressing in from all sides. We thought a change of scenery would be good for us and the real estate market was exploding in a good way.  5 years later, when we’d had enough of the country life and were moving solidly toward re-enacting a scene from The Shining the market was exploding in a bad way. We were stuck, upside down on our mortgage, unsure of what to do next.

It turned out well, having stumbled upon the “vacation home” idea. Lyric Springs seems to be made for this and we’re glad to be able to offer it for that purpose.  We’re thankful to be able to come here and reconnect with a glimpse of what drew us to rural Leiper’s Fork in the first place. Each time I sit in the Great Room and look out the immense windows I’m reminded of this hope, to live deliberately.  What I know now and what I believe Henry David Thoreau discovered eventually as well, is that to live deliberately is a daily task, regardless of situation or setting. It’s not a place, it’s every place.  It is not a time period but every time period. It is not a certain group of people who surround you, it is every person who comes into contact with you.  Living deliberately is something we’re meant to carry with us at all times, like change in our pocket so that when we walk we can hear it jangling, we can feel its movement. It offers us the reminder that the time is always now, that this moment is really all we ever have.