Sunday Post 184: Six Days Each Year

RC-mainhouse-featured1 (1)

How can you feel close to people you only see six full days each year? It’s weird. And yet, that’s what you feel with those you meet annually at our August vacation in Capon Springs, WV.

Lisa’s mom was six or eight the first time she visited. They haven’t missed a week since.

I imagine my mother-in-law eating at the same table we eat at now. Her mom and dad younger than I. She likely had dark hair, maybe braids. Now her hair is short and white as my undershirt.

I wish I could string together a video with clips of each trip from years gone by.

The first time I came was in 1993. It was unprecedented because Lisa and I were already engaged. The potential suitors weren’t fully accepted until all tenured aunts, uncles and family friends approved. It was like a debutante, a coming out of sorts.

If the other guests liked you on your first Capon visit, it was a done deal. But many came through never to return again.

Capon is nestled right across the Virginia border near Wardensville. The most direct route takes you down a dirt road and over a mountain.

The first time I went Lisa was driving. We left Raleigh at 5 PM on a Friday. Neither of us had enough vacation time to go earlier in the week – we were mid twenties and new to our careers.

As we wound through the Virginia hills, service road signs discreetly displayed their names: Route 652, Route 664, Route 665. When Lisa pulled onto the gravel and we began to traverse the hill in the pitch black night I wondered if I had been duped. Was she taking me up Route 666 to dismember me? Was this some sick family ritual? Could they cover me with chicken blood and burn me at a stake?  How many other guys had she left in these woods?

There are informal initiations, like being pushed in the spring fed swimming pool (the temperature remains consistent – hovering around 70 degrees Farenheit). But there was no blood, no dismemberment. Just folks that I’d see six days each year.

These same folks drove hours to attend our wedding, and naturally they returned to Raleigh to support in our time of crisis.

We have no idea what we’re like in real life. We don’t see each other on a daily basis. In many cases we don’t understand each other’s career. You may be known as the best team captain in the annual Tuesday golf tournament or the guy who plays the banjo on the porch all day. Maybe your family is the one that enters four pairs in the Shuffle Board Tournament but never gets past the first round (I know that family well).

We may not have ever visited outside of August in West Virginia. But there is a tie, a connection, a closeness.

Life sort of stops this week. And then your return to reality until the next year where you pick up exactly where you left off… on the front porch of the main house at Capon Springs.

 

Check the Tanners out in the September issue of Family Circle
Purchase Danny’s Book Laughter, Tears and Braids: Amazon or Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh

If you have read the book and are willing to write a short review, it would be helpful:Click here. And thanks!

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9 Comments

  1. Yeh, that’s kind of like how it is when our family visits Maine, where we get to see part of our family who lives up north, pretty far from us. There have been times where we’ve seen or perhaps talked to them during the rest of the year, though it is pretty rare.

    Reply
  2. It looks and sounds like a magical place. Isn’t it funny how you can develop such meaningful relationships during these brief, punctuated encounters? I remember when my son died that the guy who served me coffee on days when my daughter was in Ballet class came to his funeral. When he spoke to my extended Family about myself and my children I realized that in those less than five minutes on Saturday mornings we had developed a closer relationship than I had with any extended Family member. It was sort of a bittersweet revelation for me. But enough about me. Your article in Family Circle is inspirational! Your Family is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  September 10, 2014

      Weird how those folks we slightly run across are so significant in our lives.

      Reply
  3. I’m so jealous. I’ve never had this and never will.

    Reply
    • CHall

       /  September 7, 2014

      That makes two of us!

      Reply
      • Blessings come in all shapes and sizes.

      • CHall

         /  September 7, 2014

        Actually, I think “envious” would be more appropriate than “jealous”….at least in my case. I read about the Tanner vacations/trips with extended family and I’m envious; no way would such trips take place with my dysfunctional family.

      • Danny Tanner

         /  September 10, 2014

        I think traditions are really important. I hope to start new ones as my girls get older.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  September 10, 2014

      Wonder if you could start your own tradition.

      Reply

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