About 25 years ago my parents bought a piece of property in the country. I think its about 2 or 3 acres or so, I think....Not waterfront property, but just a few blocks away from the public boat ramp. If you walk to the end of the road, there is a steep set of stairs down to the beach.
Its a nice little piece of land way out in the woods about an hour and a half from home.
We would go on the weekends helping Mom and Dad clear the trees, leaving right after work on Friday night and returning home Sunday night. When the trees were cleared, my Dad started building a cabin.
Many weekends we would pack up our bags and go. At first we slept in a tent while we built the cabin, and eventually staying inside the cabin. There were many wet, miserable weekends standing in the rain and hammering walls into place, sleeping in a tent while it poured rain all night...cold to the bone, Dad cutting cedar shingles one by one and then trying to dry out and stay warm around the campfire. It was a labor of love for Mom and Dad. A place for them to get away on the weekends and for the rest of us too.
But, there were also so many wonderful weekends. Our entire family gathered around the BBQ. There is electricity in the cabin, but no running water so you have to use the porta potty or make the trek to the outhouse. Paul and my brothers thought it was fun to hide in the woods and toss pebbles on the roof of the outhouse when the girls were inside, trying to scare us. Since we were pretty creeped out anyway, it didn't take much.
Upstairs there is a sleeping loft with feather beds and tiny reading lights. You can only stand upright if your right in the middle of the room :-) Mostly you just crawl on your hands and knees to the ladder that goes downstairs. The grand kids all loved to sleep up there under down comforters. Dad used a few antique stained glass windows when he built the house and they cast a pretty golden glow to the inside during the day.
We had our Easter egg hunts and some killer croquet games, horse shoe games, lots of s'mores around huge bonfires and lots and lots of laughs. Its not a big cabin, but its our families cabin.
We all sweat blood sweat and tears building it. It was our place to gather.
But, for the past 10 years or so, the families have grown up, the grand kids moved on, the parents retired...and the cabin has been waiting. Sometimes, like now, it has been waiting for years and years. We think its been over 4 years since any of us have been there, and its only an hour and half from home. Its just sad.
This past weekend Paul and I went on his fathers day picnic. The drive took us right past the cabin. On our way home we took the cut off and went to see how bad it looked. I wasnt sure if I wanted to see it. As we came down the road the sight made my knees buckle. The neglect of this once loved little cabin brought tears to my eyes.
The bushes have grown tall, the grass is about 3 feet tall and has fallen down, the bonfire pit is still loaded with clippings (the pile in the bottom corner), waiting for our next bonfire. I crawled up the steps and peeked in the windows. The inside is tight and dry, just like we had just walked out last weekend. But, the ivy has crawled over the entire deck almost to the dutch door. Shells and favorite rocks are still on the windowsill.
Outside though, the forest is trying to reclaim the cabin.
So today, work parties are being scheduled, families have been called to arms, lawnmowers, clippers, chainsaws and brooms are being gathered. Their will be more fun had here again very soon.