hi, i'm Ali
Photographer, dog mom, daily walker, reader, and wife to a busy maker. I'm the voice you hear and read at Life Outside the Shop.
From new project how-to's and DIY home updates to the ins-and-outs of building a family & multiple businesses, Life Outside the Shop shares what is really looks like to figure it out as you go.
I have a snoring pup on my lap who had the BEST time at camp this holiday weekend. Sam’s parents like to say “we’re all aired out” and that is exactly how we all feel on this sleepy, Sunday afternoon.
Sam’s family shares a camp in middle-of-nowhere northern Vermont and it was the perfect place to spend a quiet Thanksgiving with his parents.
Before this trip, it was 100% off the grid. No cell service, no internet and the perfect place to completely unplug. But, because of my work schedule and wanting to “see” (read: Zoom) family on the holiday itself, we figured out a way to hot spot Sam’s mom’s truck to get a bit of internet when we need it.
I never feel freer or more drawn to living simply than when I’m disconnected from text vibrations, email pings, and calendar update notifications. It’s like I have a constant weight on my chest that I don’t realize is there until it… well, isn’t.
But, getting a LITTLE internet at camp definitely has its perks!
We can spend more time there since we can work from the big, wooden table that we also gather around for meals, puzzles, and game nights.
We FaceTimed Sam’s grandparents who used to spend every Thanksgiving at camp as well so they could see the people and place they love and spent so much time building. We Zoomed my extended family that we didn’t get to see in person this year because COVID had different plans.
Thankfully, it is still MOSTLY off the grid. It is one of the things that make camp so special and sacred and something we’re dedicated to maintaining. We only turned that truck key when totally necessary!
Blue got to smell some BIG animal smells (moose, deer, tons of birds) in the woods and went on his first official walks. His little legs carried him between 5-7 miles per day… with a few rides thrown in when he got tired or chilly.
He even snored away in Sam’s vest for a few minutes before catching a second (or maybe it was a third or forth…) wind and getting back on his own four paws.
He got the royal treatment – first bites of turkey, sleeping in the bed between mom and dad (too chilly for the crate), naps next to the wood stove and even did his very first bird and gun intros!
This little guy was a champ! We know that as he gets older, he’ll get to know the ride well. He will beg to stick his nose out the window (even if it is FREEZING out!) as we drive down Hurricane Road and pull up the steep driveway.
It brought us tons of joy (and many laughs) watching him struggle to climb up into chairs we know he’ll easily jump into next time we head up.
This is the best part of camp. And, I bet if you have a place like this too, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. Without the call of work, the urge to scroll the gram or the means to get after our latest Netflix binge, there isn’t much to do. And it is GLORIOUS.
We wake up slowly, spend at least an hour talking around the wood stove (the only source of heat!) and sipping camp coffee (the BEST coffee!) kept warm on the warm, metal surface of the stove itself.
We bundle up, spend hours exploring the woods and then change into another set of warm, dry clothes before dawning slippers (if the puppy didn’t hide them somewhere) and resuming our stove-side positions to read, play games, chat and swap stories.
Maybe the boys will take their guns for a little extra walk to see what they can find… if they feel like it. Maybe we’ll shoot some skeet (next time, Blue was still a little too small for those BIG gun noises). Maybe we’ll read by the fire before the sun starts to set and gas lamps are lit.
Meals happen when they happen… leftovers warmed up on – you guessed it – the top of the wood stove or bundles of snacks are laid out on – you guessed it – that same wooden table.
Over the 45+ years it has sat in that same place, it has been the barer of hundreds of meals and drinks (thousands of drinks?). It soaks up laughter as readily as spills. It is the sun that we revolve around.
It is so cool to think about how many stories have been told in those worn leather chairs and smooth benches…
How many games have been won, lost and learned on that table…
And how many firsts are still to come as Sam and I bring future pups, little ones and other friends and family up there one day.
Where can you truly unplug? What place makes time slow and reminds you to connect back to what you love most?
Thank you, as always, for following along with our adventures and Life Outside the Shop