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A River Runs Through It

A year ago in January I purchased a sweet tiny cottage by the river, and most everyone that heard about it thought I had gone off the deep end; laughing when I told them where it was located. It’s small (less than 600 square feet) and remote - off a “goat path;” it can’t be accessed in any kind of bad weather. When there, I sit on my screened porch in my rocking chair and just listen - to the squeak of the new deck wood under the chair, to the birds singing, to the weekender’s children laughing, to the chorus of the leaves dancing through the breeze, to the water easing by.

I walk down to the river's edge and cast a line. I’m not serious about fishing. I don’t have the best gear, and to be honest, I don’t really care about the catch. It’s the stillness, the quiet, the solitude - from the lure hitting the water and the ripples growing to create tiny waves, to the gentle tug on the line and the satisfaction of reeling something in, only to carefully release it back into the water - it grounds me. Things just feel right by that running river - I feel most at peace. And Fern, my golden retriever feels her absolute happiest, splashing in the water and diving for rocks. (We'll see how Rue feels about it this spring!)

I grew up fishing all over “Almost Heaven,” West Virginia. My mom always caught the most (and largest) fish, and my dad would always deny that she was the better fisherman as he winked at my brother and me. We spent our spring, summer and early autumn days along streams, lakes and rivers; appreciating nature, appreciating each other. My grandfather beamed every time I’d reel something in; he would help me get it off the line and back into the water. “Well, O’Jenna, I think that was the biggest catch I ever did see!” I got to know my favorite men around the river bend at my family’s property on the Potomac. My brother’s obsession (he'd say great love) for fishing has never lessened and as Joe and his wife start their family, I so look forward to stealing their kids as they grow up during summer vacation. I'll bring them to “Aunt Jenna’s” - where we fish and float all day and roast marshmallows around a campfire at night; where we collect Virginia Bluebells in April and Queen Anne’s Lace in July. Instead of hunting for Easter eggs, we'll hunt for Morel Mushrooms and Northern Red Salamanders. We’ll identify trees while we hike and skip rocks. We will marvel at the dragonflies as they zip around us and paint pictures in our minds with the glorious golden colors the sunshine casts onto the moving water. We’ll make memories without spending money or staring into a screen. We'll make memories by simply being.

A river runs through me - through my body, through my heart, like the veins that pump my blood. Along the water is where I feel most alive and most at home.

And “A River Runs Through It” is our theme for spring/summer 2021 at Inspired Chaos. As the world seems to toss in turmoil, I hope it can serve as a reminder to take a deep breath. I hope it makes you smile when you think about time spent with the ones you love. I hope it makes you feel a little bit at home. I hope it inspires you to go offline to go cast a line.

Inspired Chaos is... finding some joy in the journey along a river that runs through it. (So far in our flip/renovations, we’ve picked up a late 1800’s wood canoe that we’ve turned into a shelving unit, we’ve replaced half of a wall that had rotted from water damage, painted and patched and cleaned... several times... and probably will 3-4 more times before we open on March 6th. New handmade curtains are hung, a new jewelry display has been designed and lots of ducks and dragonflies are finding their way to the shop. Our pines and berries have been replaced with lush ferns and bright spring flowers. New product lines have been added to fit the vibe and we are absolutely "over the river and through the woods" to see you guys soon!)

Photos coming soon of the new theme/decor! Until then, here's some "oldies but goodies..."

My mama, 5 year old (very proud of my catch) me, and my 7 year old brother, Joe

Me and my brother swimming at the low water bridge in Great Cacapon, just a short drive from my tiny cottage!


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