Earlier this year we had the opportunity to visit Galena, IL and a fantastic Inn at Irish Hollow. The property is dotted with quiet, hidden places all tied together by well-maintained paths. I’ve been to very few places as beautiful as this property. There are few oases as special as these hidden alcoves.
One especially wonderful location is a rusty bridge abandoned to traffic years ago. In place of tractors and pickup trucks, the bridge now supports a wonderful 20-foot wood plank table, benches, chairs, cabinets, a wood stove. Oil lamps glow atop the rustic furniture. Christmas lights hang lazily through the overhanging tree branches and add a elegance and charm. A muddy brook babbles softly under the trestle and cows chew on their cud, silently watching the festivities occurring overhead.
The only downside was the 7.5 hour drive to find this place of wonder.
However, we are truly blessed when we can find a special place a little closer to home. For some, it might be that special chair in the quiet corner of the den. For others, a quiet evening in the back yard, listening to crickets and song-birds as the sun sets.
I’m so grateful for those special places in my life – those quiet, wonderful places: My own back yard, the sandy beach of Lake Webster at Epworth Forest, a majestic woods in Randolph County, and even that chair next to the fireplace.
I’m thankful for those places and many, many more.