When my sisters and I recently discussed getting together, we originally thought we would probably just do our usual – meet at IKEA, have lunch, and take bathroom selfies. It’s hard to plan activities, because two of my sisters often have to work weekends. For us to be able to have a Saturday to spend hanging out is a blessing.
About a month ago, we figured out that we would all be able to spend a weekend together because for once, everyone’s schedules were free! I was thrilled and figured we would have a simple get together, however, another plan surpassed my wildest dreams: we were going to visit our family’s cabin!!
We own a cottage in Northeast Pennsylvania on Lake Shehawken. I remember stories about my mother getting into a rowboat at the age of 5, with her dog, and going out on the lake for some fun. The cabin she went to was small, and I envisioned the four of us girls being in that cabin for the weekend. Deep down I wondered what shape it would be in, and if we would all have room to sleep there. Would we need to pitch a tent to make it work? Either way, I was so excited just to be heading out with my best friends – my sisters!
Giggles, stories, singing and snacking made for a great first leg of our 5+ hour ride to the lake. After a couple of hours on the road, we stopped at a Sheetz gas station to stretch our legs. Much to our surprise, a company was there giving away free f'real milkshakes, and they were delicious! We were so happy! I asked the girl who represented the company what the shirts she was holding were for, and she said that whoever follows their company on Instagram would receive a free shirt. Of course one of my sisters and I did and we got free f’real shirts! It was a great pick me up that gave us a boost of energy to make it the rest of the way to the cabin.
It is hard to put into words how much I love spending time with my sisters. I simply adore each of them, and thank God for giving me such sweet women to walk this earth with. They are loving, supportive, funny, helpful, giving, understanding, creative, strong women who always know what to say and do to make me feel deeply loved. I am so thankful for our time together, and I will always remember the sweet memories we made together.
That evening, we arrived on the road the cabin was on and instinctively rolled down our car windows. Each of us inhaled deeply, letting the scent of Shehawken awaken our memories. We could not wait to see where we'd be staying! It turns out we were in a different cabin than the one our mom used to visit. Our cousins, who graciously shared their space with us, waited up until we got there, and we brought our things in to get settled for the night. My sisters and I were able to sleep in the same room. There were two single beds, and a set of bunk beds. I was on the top bunk, and my sister below was wide-eyed and looked terrified as I climbed up to go to bed. She thought the whole thing was going to collapse on her! Sis, I’m not that heavy! We had a lovely lake view from our bedroom window.
One of my sisters and I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and headed straight out to the lake. The silence and calm view was so refreshing. We laughed as we boarded the row boat and took off onto the lake. Who has time to sleep in, when there is so much to see and explore?! We felt like kids again, with boundless energy!
Here is the cabin I remembered visiting as a little girl. This is the cabin I thought we would be staying in, and is the one my mother used to frequent.
Sitting on the dock is a wooden urn which holds the remains of our beloved mommy, who passed away four and a half years ago. We brought her along, as this was a favorite place of hers. What a sweet sentiment we received, as our cousin’s husband greeted us near the kitchen on our first morning there, saying, “Good morning, girls! I’m just enjoying a cup of coffee with mom…” as she rested on the dining room table. Family just understands, and lovingly allows us to celebrate her life with us!
Here is the cabin we stayed in with my cousin and her family…
Venturing out in the row boat, canoe and kayak allowed us to experience first- hand the beauty of nature all around us. You don’t see much of this in Northern VA! I could seriously get used to a slower paced lifestyle such as this.
This hammock clearly was a favorite spot for us all! It was such a relaxing place to soak up all the loveliness around us…our second cousin had it made for her mom while in Guatemala on a Peace Corps visit. So beautiful!
It was great waking up so early and heading out to enjoy our surroundings. We found it funny to have been boating, hiking, swimming and relaxing on the lake only to realize was just 10:30 a.m. instead of 4 in the afternoon like it felt! We crammed so much into our two days at Lake Shehawken, and hope to be able to do it again soon.
Telling jokes in the yard by the grill, getting metallic temporary tattoos, relaxing by the water and sharing family memories made this short weekend at the lake a blessing to all of us.
Two meaningful events happened that touched our hearts deeply. While the four of us girls were out on the lake giggling and enjoying our time together, a big blue heron slowly flew overhead, deliberately making us stop and take notice. We feel as though it was a clear sign that our mommy, who loved those birds, was with us. Also, there was a large white eagle feather on the ground beneath a huge pine tree in the yard where we gathered for lunch. My cousin told us a story of how a bald eagle frequents the tree there. Two of my sisters were blessed to see it fly over them as they sat outside chatting. Another sign, we feel, from our aunt and a cousin, who are both deceased, which was a gift as well.
As the weekend came to a close, we weren’t ready to leave. We packed up and gave thanks, and prepared for our journey back to VA. As we climbed in to the car, tears flowed as my sisters and I reflected on the incredible gift we received in our weekend at Lake Shehawken. Precious memories were made and I am so grateful! Until next time…