Did you know that I used to live on a mountain?

You might not believe it, considering that I now live in the Midwest, in flat Plains territory, where my kids think that the sledding hill is a mountain. Oh, they have no clue.

Way back when, before the kids were in the picture, Geoff convinced me to move to a log home on top of a mountain. We lived in Virginia back then, where there are a few respectable mountains. We had some friends who lived on top of one of them. The first time we visited them was an initiation. We grew up in suburbia. I, for one, had never seen a switchback. Have you? Well, that first time, armed with our friends’ instructions, Geoff finally got to test out the low-four-wheel drive on our new SUV. He was psyched. I was scared – no, terrified – on the way up, and I threatened to get out of the car. But we made it up the four switchbacks, found our friends’ beautiful house, and spent the afternoon admiring the view of the fields below.

Then it came time to leave. Going down the mountain frightened me even more than driving up. We literally could not see the road in front of the car. I’m pretty sure that I kept my eyes closed the whole way down. By the time we reached the main road I was glad that it was all over.

Less than a year later, we bought the house across the road from our friends. We made the decision to move impetuously, for us. We sold our townhouse and bought a log home, and the whole thing happened in just a few weeks. It’s a blur, but I remember that Geoff wanted it and I wanted it for him. I wanted it for us. It was the beginning of a six-year-long adventure.

That first day, that afternoon when I followed the moving truck from tidy suburbia past the horse farms, past all signs of civilization, to our new home in the woods, I took a deep breath as I reached the bottom of the mountain. I was scared but I did it anyway. I can clearly remember the adrenaline rushing through my body as I steered the car up those switchbacks. I reached the mostly flat gravel road at the top. I drove slowly, the view my prize for risking my life. Then, just like that, I was home.

We lived in that home until our daughter turned one. I drove up and down the mountain hundreds of times. Yet I never got used to it. For years, as I drove the winding road leading to those switchbacks, my heart would race. Every single time those switchbacks made me nervous. Every day the mountain was new to me.

The view from our deck
The flat part of the road
The flat part of the road

Thanks, Samantha, for inspiring me last week with your post about adjusting to change.

26 thoughts on “Did you know that I used to live on a mountain?

  1. I always think that’s my dream, but in reality, the steep and winding mountain roads would probably be a deal breaker for me. I’m kind of a scaredy cat driver. Beautiful photos!

    1. The thing about living on the mountain was that the new feeling never really went away. That slight but ever present risk made living there feel more vibrant than when we lived in quiet, flat suburbia.

  2. Beautiful images! The switchbacks would make me so nervous too. I really liked the line: “And then, just like that, I was home.” It’s so akin to that whole “home is where the heart is” and it seems like you and Geoff had your hearts in this adventure together.

  3. What a great story! Switchbacks are one of the most frightening driving experiences ever. It’s like being on a really scary roller coaster in the dark without the safety measures.

    My email overwhelms me, and I didn’t read the post that Erica sent about small groups today. So sorry.

  4. We only live on a little bitty mountain, but we sure do live in the woods. Both of us grew up in NYC and until we moved here only lived in cities. Not suburbs. Downtown. Oddly, we love it here. But we only have badly banked curves and bad drivers to contend with, not a whole mountain to navigate. I think that might make me reconsider, at least at this point of our lives when neither of us likes driving anymore. I might have liked it when I was younger. Regardless, it’s great story.

  5. Those mountains are so beautiful. I lived in Fredericksburg, VA, as a child and remember going up to the mountains once to pick apples. So amazing.
    What a wonderful way to live–every day new.

Comments are closed.