It’s become tradition for my family to schedule a long weekend getaway in the fall. These getaways are specific destinations chosen to enhance our Halloween experiences. We love haunted history and actual documented ghost phenomenon. What can I say? We enjoy a good scare and the mysterious circumstances surrounding the stories.
It just so happens, one of my daughters has a birthday in the days leading up to Halloween. This year is her 18th birthday. This specific year was supposed to include our traditional haunted history trip but was tailored a bit more toward her specifically, given her birthday and all.
I am the planner and always include some surprises. I try to exceed any expectations during our travels for just a little added bonus. After all, these are our family memories. These are priceless treasured moments; togetherness and time away from the everyday hustle.
The location chosen for this fall getaway was Hocking Hills, OH. This would be perfect. Not too far of a drive. We could take our pets, which she cherishes dearly-an added bonus, right? Normally, I wouldn’t permit them on our getaways or vacations. There were going to be a lot of things she would enjoy. There was hiking, boating, haunted walks, houses and areas to explore. Yet, she could relax in the hot tub on the deck in the cool, crisp fall air during the late evening. Plenty of food and unique shopping experiences.
Completely unintentional from this trip planner was our first scare. This scare induced a bit of an initial panic. Just what was the inadvertent scare?
I booked a cabin in a very remote area. We had no phone connection, no internet, not social media, no texting - nothing. We did not realize until about a half hour before we reached our destination that we were going to be without a connected phone, iPad, or internet for three days. Talk about scaring a teenager to pieces!
To my surprise, after the initial seven minute adjustment, everyone adapted quite well without anxiety or meltdowns. The connection loss was forgotten quicker than I imagined.
We functioned quite nicely without the interruptions of the outside world.
We painted pumpkins and played cards, hiked and fished. We just enjoyed each other with our family pets. Our time was more than plentiful. The lack of sound of the ding of the phone soon was soon forgotten from our minds.
I noticed we engaged deeper into our family unit with our one on one conversations and goofing off with each other. Family with no distractions to those phones was a true birthday gift to her. And, we quickly realized that this unexpected ‘scare’ would be one of those added bonuses.
We made friends with a lone duck on our lake. Kept an eye out for the black bear and fox. Had a good ol’ fashion swing – ahhh! – the fresh air and not a sound but the echo of nature surrounding us.
I do not think any of us would have gone completely without our devices had we simply dared ourselves to do so. The fact that we had no choice made it doable. We went back to basics and that’s just what we did, we embraced it.
The only thing concerning to me, which I really tried not to dwell on, or mention to the family at all was, what if something truly happened? Honestly, our cabin was so remote, the navigation couldn’t map our way out in any sort of a rush. After all, how could we call for help if Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers or that crazy clown would have shown up? That was the scariest of all. Guess I would have to rely on my bulldog and shorkie to save us from the scary creatures that roam the woods. Good thing I let them come after all.
So, maybe an 18thbirthday spent with your family in an isolated wooded area, wouldn’t be the dream party for many young women, but mine, handled it like a trooper. She made me quite proud. She has not yet succumbed to the superficial reliability of electronics and the necessity to constantly check social media to define her existence. All of this is just one of the many beautiful things about my daughter and makes me quite proud of just how grounded she is and precious to us. She graciously thanked us for the family-oriented weekend and even added she enjoyed living without electronics, at least temporarily.
Looking back, other than having a land line or some form of rapid response in the event of an emergency, I’d do it all over again. Get back to who we are without those electronic devices we seem to have we’ve grown do reliant upon.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!
Image courtesy of Unsplash.