As Peaceful as Falling Snow


My husband and I have the tradition of going to our little cabin in NH at least once a month.  We have had a real challenge raising Marie and Steven lately, so this weekend was especially timely.  Right now I am sitting in a comfy chair, feet up, air warm around me, and a cup of hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows sitting on the table next to me, adding steam to the air.  I am smiling thinking of how this cabin has served us well over the years.

When Steven came to live with us, his obsessive compulsive disorder, extreme hyperactivity and severe sensory integration difficulties were not conducive to family vacations in hotels and such. My father, who adored Steven and saw many of my brother’s mental health traits in him, generously purchased this little vacation home.  He himself had always wanted a house in New Hampshire, and he was proud to be able to give me something that would last a lifetime.  The cabin is full of his carvings, including a sign that says “RELAX!!!”  It might be a reminder to actually relax, except on the sign is a carved eagle with a beak so sharp and long and eyes so wildly life like that it kind of scares me instead.  Fortunately, I have learned to look on this sign with love, a reminder of my dad and his “quirky ways”.

On the wall of the cabin are pictures of the kiddos through the years; Francis water skiing, Dinora standing gloriously in front of Mount Washington, Steven holding up his bucket y.of frogs, one frog in his hand thrust towards the camera looking huge next to his tiny body, Andy wildly waving a sparkler on the Fourth of July and Marie holding up a huge fish she caught ice fishing, almost too heavy for her to hold.  There are other pictures of all of us together, or the kiddos playing in the sand at the beach, cuddling on the deck of the cabin, or hiking in the woods.  The pictures are a nice reminder that we have been parents for a long time, and our children have led full and happy lives with us.

While staying in the cabin is reminiscent, it also serves as a retreat for me and my husband.  It is very quiet here.  No telephone reception. No multitude of cable tv channels.  No internet.  No neighbors. No housework.   No stress.

The weekend is a wonderful interlude to our busy lives, an interlude where we are free to nap all day, laugh at silly things, eat  wonderful concoctions Raymond dreams up, (last night it was shrimp rolled in bacon and topped with cheese,) and spend lots of time loving each other.  While we are loving when at home, we go into overdrive in the secluded cabin. No neighbors can hear our screeching laughs.   No children can walk in on our sexual escapades, and no one cares if I walk around bra-less. We are “free and easy”, and the stress just melts away…

Today, the day we will be packing up to go home, I am sitting here writing this, content watching the snow slowly falling outside; soft, fluffy, amazingly beautiful snow!  Peace surrounds me now.  I am well rested and have laughed and loved my stress away, and I am ready to go home to face whatever challenges may come my way.  Bring it on!


Comments on: "As Peaceful as Falling Snow" (34)

  1. What a great post. You captured the cabin perfectly. I can almost see the eagle. Kudos for getting some rest and recharging. You deserve it. Oh, and can I lick the cup of your hot chocolate? No? Mom doesn’t let me have chocolate, either. Woof! (dogsmile) Love, Maggie

  2. I know you’ve heard this many times…but, you really are quite wonderful!

  3. What a lovely picture you painted of your well deserved respite. It sounds so peaceful and definitely recharging. I’m not sure I could ever live in the snow, but it sounds so quiet and restful.

  4. sounds wonderful! Hope you get to do this often!

  5. I think you just explained how you’ve got the stamina to do what you do. So smart. Your dad was one wise character, sounds like he passed it on.

  6. notsoquietmomma said:

    OH the cabin sounds like BLISS!!!! I wish we had an escape like that but it would take a lot to MAKE me take a break too. Maybe I need to learn to do this in the next year. So glad you and your hubby get a break.

  7. That sounds so peaceful, and like a dream come true. It’s nice to have times like this to recharge. I’ve never been to NH, but I can imagine your little home away from all the noise and distractions.

  8. This is beautiful. I wish I had a cabin like that!

  9. Sometimes, we all need to recharge. Sounds like you have the perfect ‘soul regenerator’ there in that cabin!

  10. As usual I smile as you talk about your kids so similar is one of mine that I’ll shortly miss as he heads into the big world .
    Good on you guys for taking care of one another. .
    something to be learnt in just stopping and doing the loving stuff!
    Sending much love lisa

  11. An ideal spot that you paint the picture of. Mind you I would probably skip the hot chocolate and have the entire bag of marshmallows! 🙂

  12. Sounds so lovely! Glad you got the chance to breathe deeply and rejuvinate.

  13. I would like to wish you and your sweet family a safe, happy, healthy holiday filled with much love, hugs, kisses, and everything wonderful.

  14. hurthealer said:

    Wishing you lots more peace and happiness 🙂

  15. Thank God for get-a-ways and simple things, refueling and retooling! After reading your blog I stared at the snow falling on the pines in your picture/video for quite a while. I felt like I had taken a little get-a-way too! Thanks!

  16. So glad you have this place to retreat and be refreshed. God bless you and your family this Christmas!

  17. What a special man your father was to do this for you. His gift has given over and over! I think he made the eagle say “Relax!” because it’s saying, “I haven’t hurt you yet after all these years, so relax! Sometimes the worst that you expect doesn’t actually happen!” 🙂

  18. How blessed you are to have a place where you can just BE!

  19. So pleased you have this opportunity to just be yourselves – and not Mom and Dad. Renewed strength for the day-to-day battles! Blessings ❤

  20. Your cabin sounds like a little piece of heaven. It does us good to get away from the electronic world and recharge our batteries from Nature.

  21. Sounds absolutely wonderful. So happy you get to that with your hubby!

  22. My husband’s family had a cottage by a lake, while our children were growing up and it is my idea of what heaven should be like. There was no telephone, no television and no running water – just lots of reading, sleeping, laughing, canoeing and swimming. Just perfect peace. Time stood still and troubles melted away. God bless you with many more years of pleasure at your cabin. What a thoughtful father!

  23. […]  Linda Petersen at Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities.  Inspiring love, grace & skills for “everyday” life as well as the occasional […]

  24. Your gift with words took me there with you and now I am relaxed enough to go to sleep! Thanks.

  25. liamsmomma said:

    From one parent raising children with disabilities, to another, how do you manage? Sometimes I feel as if I’m failing my son, when all my attempts of redirecting him and several activities fail to keep his attention. The only thing my son likes to do to keep himself calm and centered, seems to be video games, but certain types to be exact and of course anything that has to do with technology. He is extremely smart, he is on the autism spectrum, plus struggles with bipolar, some almost obsessive compulsive traits when it comes to certain things and severe adhd….I forgot the anxiety, severe separation anxiety that limits his ability to self play, or soothe in bed at night, causing him to crawl in bed with me. Do you have any tips on how to help a child with disabilities stay centered, and focused?

    • I have such empathy for you. My son, Steven, sounds very similar to your son, and he is our most challenging child. Although I know many people are against medication, I am a firm believer if medication can improve quality of life, it is worth it. I know medication for ADHD is controversial. I have witnessed many children with ADHD who can’t control their impulsiveness and they are constantly in trouble, no other children want to play with them, and they have low self esteem. Medication has worked well for my son, Steven, and my daughter, Marie, who also has ADHD. Steven also takes medication for OCD, and was recently placed on medication for bi-polar. (He is similarly on the autism spectrum.) There is a huge difference in him when he takes his medication and when he doesn’t. Medication is not the answer for everyone, but for Steven, it has been a life saver. As a child who used to try to jump out of the car on the highway, reducing his impulsiveness has kept him alive! That being said, there are additional things that have been helpful for him, especially using activities which fit in with what he enjoys and can be successful at. He loves to be in the woods and catch frogs, snakes, turtles and other reptiles. While I peacefully sit in a lounge chair by the picnic table reading a book, he will forage among the trees, one by one bringing out creatures for me to admire. They are always replaced into their “natural setting”, as he puts it. He also helps me when we assist the poor, an activity he greatly enjoys. The whole family make up little quart sized bags for the homeless with toothbrush, toothpaste, gloves, and non perishable food items such as canned mandarine oranges, crackers and cheese, Vienna sausages and so forth. We go once a month to the agency where transient people visit, and we hand them out. Steven loves doing this. He is important. He is appreciated. And he feels good about himself because he is helping others. Because our children have a difficult time finding goodness and success in everyday life, it is extra important for us to manufacture ways our children can be successful.

      • liamsmomma said:

        They do sound very similar in fact and I agree with you that it can be a life saver. When my son wasn’t on medication, it wasn’t just the impulsiveness of trying to run into on-coming traffic on a whim, or open the car door while we would be driving on the highway, but also the agressive behavior towards others and himself that was extremely harmful and did in fact result in me being harmed quite a few times, but it was also the amount of hyperactivity. He once couldn’t calm himself down, nor could I, so he could not sleep for 48 hours and eventually crashed for a whole day and a half. It has been extremely helpful for him, but now for some reason, his current prescription seems to be innefective as it once used to work splendidly, so I’m hoping we’ll find something that does work for him. He is also a big fan on being in the woods, exploring, He does like arts and crafts as well. Unfortunately it has been so cold where we live, that it isn’t even feasible for him to go outside for more than a few moments and when he can, he does not like playing on his own, so as I haven’t been feeling good with a difficult pregnancy, it has been tough for him. But when I give him tasks, he seems to act much better and focused, because he’s helping and he’s getting positive attention, not like when he is misbehaving and getting in trouble, but he gets so much attention that it baffles me at times. Steven sounds like a wonderful child and he sounds to be doing very well, that’s good. He will grow into a fine young man with a wonderful mother such as yourself.

  26. liamsmomma said:

    By the way, I love your post. I live in Thornton NH in the white mountain region a few miles from waterville and I love the seclusion and quiet, it’s breathtaking up here.

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