Friday, October 15, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane

A couple of weekends ago, RockCrawlinChef and I got a wild hair up our butts to go for a drive to see the fall colors.  We put a lot of miles on Ripley, crossing up over the Continental Divide and back.  We found some amazing colors; at one point, we rounded a curve and I gasped at the scene before us.  Amidst all of the pine trees, the mountain was shimmering gold with Aspen.  It was seriously a "Heaven opened up and Angels sang" moment with the sun shining directly on the Aspen.  Travelling at highway speeds, we were past them before I could come to my senses enough to scramble for the camera.

This is one of the pictures I took, but it doesn't do the trees any justice...
I love the broken down old cabin nestled in the trees.

Since we were (sorta) in the right neck of the woods, on the way home, I took RCC by the cabin where I grew up.  I have so many fabulous memories of the cabin.  Mom and Dad built it from the ground up and we spent every spare minute there.  Even though we lived in town and Mom and Dad built us a great house in town, my favorite place was at the cabin.

When it was our cabin, it was harvest gold and the bottom wasn't enclosed.  It was up on stilts and we used the space beneath the floor to store our canoe and firewood.

It was two giant rooms; one was the kitchen/living room/dining room and up a couple of steps was the bedroom.  The bedroom - if I remember correctly - was big enough for two full-sized beds and two twin beds, plus up a ladder was a space big enough for a couple of small children to sleep, lounge, read, draw on the drywall, whatever.

The floors were bare plywood, requiring socks or slippers at all times.  The wood-burning stove served to keep the cabin toasty warm and heat the water for our baths.  Four small children in the mountains get very dirty and we became champs at taking baths in an oversized cook pot.  I have a picture of Deejo taking a bath around here somewhere...

We didn't have running water, so we'd have to stop at the well pump on the way in and fill our 10-gallon water jugs.  We also had a very fancy two-holer outhouse that had a space heater in it, so that when we turned on the light switch in the cabin and beat feet out to pee the seats weren't frosted over.  'Cept at night, we kids didn't use the outhouse.  Instead, we had a Folger's can in the closet that we'd use so we wouldn't be bear or mountain lion bait.  And trust me when I tell you that if you had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you prayed that you had to go before Nebalee.  That girl could not hit the can to save her life.  She'd sit on it, get the beautiful Folger's ring-around-the-butt and still pee everywhere except the can.  Mom said she always knew when Nebalee beat any of the rest of us to the can because we'd wail, "Ne-ba-leeeeeee!".  In her defense, she was really little.  And I'm pretty sure she got blamed for Deejo's aiming errors as well.

This is the lake where we learned to ice skate in the winter...

The water would freeze so clear that you could see bubbles frozen in the ice that I was just convinced that they came from the fishes.  After learning how to ice skate outdoors on a lake, it was a culture shock to skate on a smooth indoor rink when I got older.

At the bottom of this lake rests a fishing pole and tackle box that our dog, Michael, helped put there.  Michael used to like to go out in the canoe while Dad was fishing, but one day decided to jump out of the canoe, capsizing it. 

I loved the cabin; it was perfect in my eyes.  I have so many amazing memories from the cabin: the "helicopter" rock; my "horse" (a tree limb just my height); being pulled behind the truck on a sled; sledding; 4th of July pig roasts; the mountain lion who took up residence under the cabin; and the first time I saw a bear up close and personal.

Unfortunately, my memories have been tainted by my Dad's bad temper.  I don't remember him and Mom fighting much when we were little, little, but he became quite an abusive bastard who would line all of us kids up on the couch in order of age while he beat the tar out of Mom.  I spent many a lifetime (or so it seemed) sitting on the couch, plotting ways to get out of the cabin, run the mile and a half into the village and get help without Dad noticing (or turning his anger to the other kids).

Mom is a tough woman, she stood up for herself, kicked Dad out of the house and embarked on life as a single woman.  The saddest part for me, now, as an adult?  I missed the cabin a whole lot more than I missed Dad.


Rachel said...

Hmm... drawing on the drywall, I wonder who might have done that???

The aspens were a favorite from our trip - I can only imagine them all gold!

And that yucky stuff - makes me like your Mom and Bill even more. I'm glad your mom used it to be a giving and compassionate person... she's even tougher than I thought. And Bill - that guy has a heart of gold (under a real onery exterior ;)

Mr. Daddy said...

Great post, funny how some childhood memories are the best, and some are the worst???

Mrs Mom said...

At least the good can outweigh he bad girlfriend.

Cool cabin! Now you have to tell us about the Bear Incident!!

Hey--- SIX MORE DAYS!!!!

Terry Odell said...

Great pictures. Being new to this part of the country, I'm soaking up the beauty of the aspens changing to gold, and when the sun hits them ... Wow!

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Aunt Crazy said...

The cabin sounds awesome!

The dad thing, well, some people are just rotten to the core, and ya know what, pay back's a bitch!

The good thing is your momma, she's one tough cookie!!!

Finding Pam said...

I was so enjoying this post until you talked about your dad. I am sorry that you had to witness that abuse for your mom. I am glad she left him and found Bill.

I would love to hear about the bear and the mountain lion under the cabin.