They don't have electricity or indoor plumbing and they have to hike in or ride horses to get to their cabin.
They choose to live this way.
(I'm standing by the post)
We spent our nights bundled under blankets in the loft of the cabin and we spent our days riding the donkey and swinging on an amazing rope swing that swung out over the valley below.
We've only seen Joy and Kent a handful of times since that summer vacation.
They've come for family reunions and funerals, and when they come they bring with them the scent of campfire and the outdoors...and their banjos.
I've always been fascinated with Joy. She's beautiful and smart, and refined in a way I wish I could be, and I'm a bit in awe of her lifestyle. Joy sent my parents a Christmas letter once that was handwritten the old fashioned way, with ink and a quill pen. I kept that letter because of the simplicity it represented:
(you should read this...it's beautiful)
Last summer I was pulling out of the parking lot at work when I noticed an old pickup truck. I slowed down because I was curious to see what kind of person drove such an old truck. A man with white hair and a big bushy white beard walked out of the store, towards the truck. As I watched him pull back an old army tarp and rearrange whatever he had in the back of the truck, I wondered about his life's story. I wanted to know who he was and where he came from.
In fact, as I drove to my parents house, I wrote the man's life story in my head...and I wished that I had had my camera to sneak his picture.
I had been at my parent's house for about 5 minutes when the doorbell rang. I got up to answer the door and saw the man with the white bushy beard standing there. It wasn't until I looked past him and saw Joy that I recognized Kent, the man beneath the beard.
I welcomed them in and we spent the next few hours talking. Joy told me her favorite part of living where they lived was the seclusion...the privacy they enjoyed. Joy bathes in a bathtub that sits in the middle of a field of wildflowers. When it's cold outside they build a fire underneath the tub to keep the water warm.
"There's nothing better than sitting in a tub of warm water with the rain falling lightly all around you," Joy said wistfully.
It was then I decided that I wanted to visit one day and stay awhile...because taking a bath in the middle of a field of wildflowers? Nothing sounds more serene.
Last week while I was at girls camp I had a choice: I could shower in a regular shower stall with ICE COLD water or I could shower in a makeshift shower, using water that had been warmed by the sun.
I chose this:
As I stood in that makeshift shower, feeling the wind blowing, and looking out at the aspen trees that surrounded me, I thought of Joy.
It wasn't a bathtub in the middle of a field of wildflowers, but it was close.
(picture courtesy of my dad...since I didn't take a single picture while camping)