Monday, June 8, 2015

Our Cabin of Memories

 We have a cabin that we built on the land that was once Bill's father and is now ours. It is a simple 3 room cabin with a loft. We have had this small area of land picked out for over 30 years and  had built a fire pit and camped up there with a tent.  An old camper trailer even sat there for awhile. We finally started the cabin in 1998. Amy was 16. In 2002 we decided to spend our vacation time as a family finishing the interior work. I lovingly call that vacation, when we start to recollect vacations, as "the vacation from hell."  We worked up there everyday all day until dark, then we would have supper by lantern light as there is no electric. I was having sciatic nerve problems at the time and as there were no beds there yet,  we decided to sleep at our house and drive up everyday. We hadn't camped with Amy since she was about 7 or 8 years old and I knew she wouldn't get any rest if she couldn't be in her waterbed.  On the days Amy went to school we would leave as soon as she was in the van and then I would come back down and get her around three o'clock and back up the mountain the two of us would go. She was still able to sit up independently in the truck then. In later years she always needed someone to sit beside her for support. After supper in the evenings I would read aloud to the kids. Emily was 16 and James 13, but I still read aloud to them. I remember we were reading the Lord of the Rings series at the time. I would come home tired and very sore needing to care for Amy before bed. I guess that is why I gave it the nickname I did because I was not feeling like this was a "vacation." Looking back, those were good times, teaching the kids necessary skills and having time together. 

 What memories we have made over the years of great times up there with friends and family!  Amy was always a part of everything we did as a family when we went to our cabin. She eventually had an old wheelchair up there, so we didn't have to cart hers back and forth. She always sat in the cab of the truck, between Bill and I and (as she was so tiny) sometimes we would squeeze another person in there also! 

We haven't been up there as a family since Amy died. 

In a previous post I mentioned that porcupines had chewed through the floor and gotten into the cabin and made a real mess. I felt like our memories were over with the cabin. It could just be a place for the hunters to gather for all I cared. I didn't ever want to go up there again. This past fall Bill and some friends did some work up there, cleaning up the mess from the critters, replacing parts of the floor, and putting metal underneath the floor boards so this wouldn't happen again. It wasn't an easy job as there were still quills on the ground under the cabin that would stab the guys as they worked. I am so thankful that they did this and didn't have my attitude of not caring!

For some reason I wanted to go up and roast hot dogs over a fire and be up there again for awhile to hear nothing but birds, a rustle now and then of a small animal, and the cabin creaking with the wind. We made plans to go on Memorial Day even though I knew it would be hard, I just really wanted to go.
Emily, Bill, and I were the only ones that went as the others were busy. Emily had gone ahead on the 4 wheeler.  I cried most of the 20 minutes it takes to get up there in the truck.  There was this huge space between Bill and I where Amy always sat. In her later years she was always snug up against me with my arm around her and supporting her. 
Now there is only empty space.

She loved the rides in the truck, sitting at the cabin, either by the fire or inside. Of course she loved hot dogs and chips!  Sometimes I would let her rest on the sofa and encourage her to sleep, but I don't ever remember her sleeping. I think she didn't want to miss anything! Even though we didn't really do anything......she didn't want to be left out.
When we got up there I was really surprised that the fire pit had filled in with dirt and rotted leaves. I couldn't even tell it was there!
  Bill and Emily made a new little ring of stones and started a fire. I just sat on the porch steps and soaked in the silence and scenery. Then I saw it........a yellow butterfly flitting around in the woods.
I am always amazed when I see a butterfly in the oddest of places. In my heart, I feel it is God's way of letting me know that He loves me and that Amy is free, like the butterfly.
I wandered around inside the cabin and was surprised that it wasn't as dirty or disgusting as I thought it would be. It needs a good scrubbing but the men did a good job of cleaning up. We decorated the walls with puzzles that we have done over the years and glued together. This is the one in what we called "Amy's room."

Again the tears started.   Bill came in to ask me to go on a ride on the 4 wheeler and we talked about the cabin and how we must keep it up for the grand kids so they can have memories, too. When they are a little older we need to start our family get-togethers up there again. 
Here are a few pictures from our ride.

James and Laura's dog went with us. 

When we got back the fire was perfect for hot dogs! I forgot marshmallows though. I guess it had just been too long since we cooked out!

 After supper Emily and her Daddy went for a ride and I cleaned up the food and spent some quiet time on the porch. A big blue butterfly came and fluttered around me then. I only felt joy and not sorrow this time. It had been a good day.
 Here are a few photos of the trees and the mountain on the way down to our house.

Today is the 26th month anniversary of Amy's home-going. Emily and I are packing to take a road trip together. We leave early in the morning and I will be spending 10 days with my parents. We will leave for home the day after my father's 85th birthday. I will miss the grand babies while I am gone, but I know  time is fleeting for my parents. I am sure we will have precious days together reliving old memories and making new ones.