My kids are undeniably city kids. They know their way around SEPTA, they are accustomed to the hustle and bustle and noise of living in Philadelphia, and they are unfazed by blaring sirens and horns beeping and have picked up some charming back seat driving habits from Mommy and Daddy: “What is he DOING? He’s a crazy driver” and “The light is green, GO!”
But when they go “out the mountain” to visit Nana and Jack, they take to country life like fish to water. They love feeding the chickens (and Remy kept trying to hug them), throwing rocks in the lake, and on our most recent trip, Elijah became obsessed with fires and how to start them and keep them going. Joe almost set up his camping gear for the kids’ first real campout, but was dissuaded when Jack told us that a neighbor likes to have the local 600 pound bear over to visit at night (and provides peanut butter as an incentive).
City life moves pretty fast, and I love that we are all able to take it a little slower out there: playing ball and tag and hide and seek, going mini-golfing, taking walks, and roasting s’mores. Family, neighbors, and friends drift in and out in this moveable feast during which we eat, play, sun, then eat some more. Repeat as necessary.
Since the gift of going out the mountain comes from Joe’s side of the family, I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing previous generations come out here. Joe spent his summers in the cottage where his mother and stepfather now live year-round, and I have heard many stories from decades past. Getting to know this part of Pennsylvania and this part of Joe and his family’s life has given me such an important perspective on the importance of quality time with loved ones. The mountain is such a lovely gathering place for family and friends and we look forward to our relaxing, rejuvenating time there for generations to come.