My husband and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this month. It is not something we celebrate in one single event or through one romantic dinner or gift exchange. Two people reach a 10th anniversary over time, through many events and several happenings. Why should celebrating it be any different? So we took an overnight trip to Hot Springs, NC as one part of our celebration. A few weeks ago, we went to the Biltmore House, where we got engaged. And so on.
Hot Springs is a small mountain town on the Appalachian Trail, famous for its hot mineral spring water. They have only four hotels and as many restaurants. The Resort and Spa we stayed in delivers the hot spring mineral water directly into your suite’s hot tub. It’s a quiet town with nothing going on – unless you count the young man we saw walking around in a plastic sack as a skirt or the No Fracking Way bumper sticker we saw on a car.
They have a romantic caboose in the middle of the town, parked there for good, and a stone Presbyterian church, stained glass windows and all. It’s a quiet place when you need quiet. Peace. Quiet. Silence.
I started homeschooling because I could not separate myself from my children for seven hours a day, five days a week. So you can understand that it is hard for me to separate from them overnight. Two years ago, we took a similar trip to Hot Springs, just before we started homeschooling. I felt really anxious to know what they were up to. I missed the kids and they missed me.
This year, I can tell we have all grown a bit. They did not really miss us – in their own words. Just a bit. Maybe. We did miss them, but it was not as bad as two years ago. We made it through 24 hours without calling the sitter to check on them. I think it also says a lot about how much we trust this sitter, too.
Silence can be a gold nugget for a homeschooling mom. When you spend 24/7/365 with your children, you don’t really get silence. Even in quiet time, which we have not implemented in the recent months, there is always an audio book playing in some room somewhere. But in our suite at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa, silence was deafening. Honestly. I could not believe my ears. The silence was so loud, I was thankful when the air conditioning kicked in at some point.
At the Iron Horse Restaurant, we heard a train while having lunch. I took a picture of it from where I was sitting. The Restaurant building used to be a train station – hence the name.
This little mountain town welcomes Appalachian Trail hikers. Their four restaurants are vegetarian-friendly and even vegan-friendly. They have writer groups come through for small conventions and this sign might just explain why.
A retreat away from the children does the mind and body good now and then. You don’t have to find yourself on the Appalachian Trail to find silence, of course.
If you look around, you will probably spot a place where you can recharge your batteries and celebrate a marriage milestone. Seek and ye shall find.