A Blessed Window of Spring

My husband and I took our first post-baby getaway when our daughter was six months old. Neither of us had slept through the night since her birth, and we were as excited about the concept of eight hours of uninterrupted sleep as we were eating a leisurely meal with two hands.

Our daughter is now almost two, and this past Thursday and Friday, we continued our biannual getaway tradition by visiting Biltmore: the beautiful Vanderbilt estate located in Asheville, North Carolina.

Even the morning we left, I was a little nervous about our decision to keep our reservation, which was a Christmas gift to each other. My husband was still battling hives, and I had a cold. But we were so physically worn out that we decided a trip away would either cure us or kill us.

So we packed our bags, dropped our precious baby girl off at grandma’s, popped in at Starbucks for matching cinnamon dolce lattes, and hit the road.

I knew within two hours that we had made the right choice. I felt the weight of the world dropping off with every mile we wound back into the Blue Ridge Mountains. We listened to music, laughed, and talked.

I was not only aware that I loved my husband, but suddenly I was aware of why I loved him: his dry sense of humor, his bravery to sing along with any song, regardless if it matches his range.

I felt myself relaxing, becoming his girlfriend again—rather than a sometimes harried wife and mom.

When we arrived at Biltmore, we explored the grounds and house in awe. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the estate like it was a century ago: the gowns, the gatherings, the candlelight, and music.

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We checked into our room and relaxed, took almost two hours to eat supper in the dining room as a Gypsy band played upstairs.

It was one of the most rewarding short trips we’ve ever taken, cherished even more because of the broken pipes, hives, bronchitis, and cold battle of the previous week.

Then I recalled that quote by Ann Bradstreet: “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”

And I am so incredibly grateful for, in the midst of winter, that blessed window of spring.

Southern Belle View Daily

  Where is your favorite place to unwind?

Now, I’d sure love to visit with you at www.jolinapetersheim.com!

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Jolina Petersheim, bestselling author of The Midwife and The Outcast, and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but now live on a solar-powered farm in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin with their young daughters. Visit with Jolina at www.jolinapetersheim.com.

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  1. Lisa Wingate says

    Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend, Jolina! Love the Blue Ridge, but haven’t been to the Biltmore. Next time for sure! Glad you two had the time to get away.

    If your husband is still suffering, drop by your local Ace hardware (or order online) the Two Old Goats aches-and-pains creme. People around here swear by it for skin irritations, too. Every time I buy a bottle (which I do a lot because I end up giving it away) someone in line gives me another testimonial. A neighbor even told me it beat back an attack of shingles. Hope he’s already feeling better, but just in case: http://www.amazon.com/Two-Old-Goats-4-oz-AEL-4-CC/dp/B001G4W6A6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1390319449&sr=8-4&keywords=two+old+goats


    • Shellie says

      It beat back Shingles?! Haven’t heard of this, but I will be giving the news to those I know who suffer from those dreaded outbreaks. THX!

    • says

      Thanks for the tip, Lisa; we are going to order some. Randy’s hives flare up from time to time with no trace to them. I thought it might be detergent or the insolation from the broken pipes. But we’ll figure it out one of these days! Until then, Two Old Goats to the rescue! :)

  2. Shellie says

    What a giveaway will do for your perspective, right Jolina? I’ve never been to the Biltmore but I can imagine that the history of the place speaks to you. Blessings~

  3. says

    Hallo, Hallo Ms. Petersheim,

    I truly *loved!* seeing pictures of the Biltmore! For a girl who is wrapped up in Downton Abbey, the Biltmore is the only estate close to Downton that we have here in our country! I’d love to tour the grounds one day! I learnt stories of the estate through my grandparents and Mum! Your quite right too — the gowns, the hats, the gloves, the balls?! Swoon! I love the whole ambiance of yester-year, which is most likely one of my favourite genres to read is historical fiction! With a proper bent towards the Victorian, Regency, and Edwardian eras!

    I haven’t travelled in quite a long while, but if I want to escape from the craziness of everyday living all I need to do is put on my hiking boots and head off into nature! I find myself melting away the woes of everyday hours whilst walking through the natural environment. Everything is in such a calm state, you soak into the grass, the water, and find yourself lulling along as you gaze out at the water fowl, the birds of prey, and the marsh rabbits! The rabbits alone can melt your heart! :)

    I am thankful nature isn’t too far afield so I can duck back whenever I feel I need to recharge and be thankful of the peace I have found!

    I enjoyed reading your story about how you and your husband find ways to reconnect and keep the passion and joy of your marriage lit aflame no matter what happens as life moves you forward! :)

  4. Rebekah D says

    Very true! Nothing makes you appreciate feeling good like a bad cold. What a blessing that your healing involved the Biltmore! A great memory to pull out sometime when you are trying to remember that there is a reason for everything…even hives! :) God sure does love you!

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