We all need to be able to get away from time to time, time away from the rat race of life, time away from the everyday. After a very difficult roller coaster of year, we have especially needed time away. For us, this meant time away from medical testing, from doctors, from vets, a change of scenery. We found it just outside a little town that is reminiscent of Mayberry, called Brevard, NC, at a campground called Ash Grove.
This was our third trip up, so we pretty much knew what to expect. As usual, we were running a bit behind schedule, and then traffic in Atlanta put us way behind schedule. They have a no check in after 9 pm policy, but I had been in contact with the owners, and with us being return guests, they told us to just come on and use the phone to let them know when we got there. We were thankful and that went off without a hitch.
We got in and it was cold, 35 degrees, COLD! I bundled up next to a heater since, with Harley alerting, I couldn’t do much to help set up. Tim got the tent up and we crashed with the aide of a space heater and an electric blanket. There has been much debate among my friends if what we do can be considered camping since we have power, water, and all the comforts of home, including a microwave and ice cream maker. For us, its not about roughing it. It’s about getting away and enjoying nature, and being comfortable.
This past week, we didn’t go and do a whole lot. We did go to Gatlinburg, and wow! They were the busiest I’ve ever seen it. I have no doubt that October is the 2nd busiest month of the year after seeing that traffic. The rest of the week, we grilled, watched movies on the computer, slept in, sat by the fire and just relaxed.
Being disabled, most people have one of two reactions when I bring up the topic of accommodations (or as so many others see it, changing the rules for me). Either I they don’t believe, don’t want to give me special treatment, and I have to fight to have my legal rights enforced, or they treat me like I’m fragile and about to break. At Ash Grove, I got neither. They treat me just like everyone else, but have no problems with the accommodations that I require to stay safe and healthy. Though I have told them some of my medical challenges, it wasn’t because of them asking. I’ve never felt more secure, safe or at ease anywhere else other than my home, and that leads to less stress, which leads to less medical issues. While not completely asymptomatic (I seemed to be tachying all week), I had one tiny minor seizure that was caused my an intro to a movie we were watching on TV, a trigger I just can’t seem to get away from.
Tonight, we finally made ice cream. We asked Mark and Steve, the owners of Ash Grove, to join us, and they did. We had a nice time just talking and laughing. It was enjoyable for us, and I hope for them, as well. While I’m not from this area, or even this part of the country, this week has felt like coming home should feel like. I’m not exactly anxious to leave tomorrow and go back to life, but I am thankful for this week.
A year ago we made this trip under much heavier circumstances. Two weeks prior, Harley was diagnosed with kidney failure and given 90 days, and he had yet to become stable. We were still in shock and in the early stages of mourning. I prayed that that vacation wouldn’t be our last with our family as it is today. I’m grateful that prayer was answered. Tonight, as I wind things down, I have the same prayer, the same hope, that we will be able to have another vacation with our family as it is today. We hope to come back in late March/early April if life allows. No matter what the future brings, Ash Grove and Brevard, NC will have a special place in my heart.