Five weeks of third grade, first grade, pre-k; five weeks of CCD, soccer, hip hop, gymnastics, homework, projects; five weeks of stirring the kids awake every school morning with a rapid succession of brushing, dressing, eating, packing and dashing; five weeks of new job responsibilities bringing new stresses; five weeks of precariously teeter-tottering between balance and insanity I was left with only these words, “Calgon, take us away!”
The Homestead, in Hot Springs, Virginia, is a resort that dates back to 1766. Two hundred miles away, the last sixty miles meandering through bucolic towns, we were instantly transported away from routine and time. It is one thing to experience history displayed on walls, in the wear of the brick, in the stories told and it is another to sit on the carriage, sip from the tea cup and recline in the chair by the fireplace. I realize that this hotel has been re-built and re-decorated many times over but as I played checkers I couldn’t help but feel the past, very present.
We arrived just in time for afternoon tea. Sitting in the Great Hall we met Sarah. Sarah, wearing a leg brace, easily chatted with a curious Oliver revealing the injury was from dancing at a wedding with her kids. The next day we saw Sarah again sitting on the porch with her husband Rob, they were celebrating their seventeenth wedding anniversary. We saw them again and again and again, fondness and friendship growing each time.