"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cabin Life

A more recent picture of my childhood cabin.

My family has always had a cabin in the mountains of southern Utah. My parents built it in the late 1960s when they were living in Las Vegas and the mountains in southern Utah were great for a quick weekend. When they moved to southern California, those quick weekends away became a week or so in the summer, most summers.

Now when you read "cabin," I hope you aren't picturing anything luxurious. As a junior in college a friend of a friend invited us up to someone from their French classes cabin out by Manti, UT or somewhere. THIS was a cabin. It had a huge game room, pool table, snow mobiles, a big screen tv and a giant movie collection. This was not the "cabin" that I grew up with.

My parents' cabin is a small, green, metal roofed A-frame loft cabin with no running water and no electricity. Everything is gas powered, sort of like the lanterns you use when camping. There's a gas powered stove/oven. There was a gas powered fridge until it almost killed us several years ago by leaking gas so we got rid of it and have lived out of coolers since then. Baths were avoided. As kids we took them in a big tin tub on the kitchen table. The invention, or greater marketing of baby wipes has been a huge improvement to our cabin. And my brother and brother-in-law have in recent years used the slope of the hill to create water pressure of some sort so that the cabin has "running water" of sorts... or so I hear.

I've always explained it to people as a glorified tent... a metal tent. A 60s time warp metal tent since all the furniture inside is cast-offs from that era. But it has charm. And I have so many great memories of that cabin. Even Princess Sparkley, who has only been there once when she was 11 months old can remember something about lots of moths being there.*

The cabin being without electricity made it so we went to bed early and woke up with the sun. We listened to songs and baseball games on the radio. We played board games and card games, new and old. I think the only time I've ever played Old Maid is at the cabin. We studies Utah bird books. Built puzzles. Read book after book. Fashioned hiking sticks. Went on hikes. Fed the chipmunks and blue jays. Watched for deer, told stories about the bear that visited before my lifetime. We had to be creative with our meals.

My family built a new cabin this year. It is much bigger. It has running water AND electricity. We're all visiting in July. My kids are beside themselves with excitement, as am I. I have a mental list going of what to bring (mostly games, sleeping bags, bike helmets to ride on my dad's quads, etc). But every once in awhile I get sad. However great the electricity aspect of this new cabin will be, I don't want it to change the cabin experience of my childhood. Luckily there will be no tv, still books, puzzles, games, hikes, and the fun family bonding that I remember.

Although I might *might* miss all of us sleeping in one room (but all of us has gone from 5 to 20), falling asleep as we talk.

*The cabin was over run with moths the year we went with PS. Seriously, OVERRUN. We were swatting them out of the air like baseballs. There were hundreds. It was gross, and absolutely hilarious. I'm not sure how PS remembers this because we haven't spoken about the moths in years, but when we talk about the cabin, she remembers moths.


Angela said...

I too love the old cabin, however I remember the bathroom situation to be a little sketchy. I can't wait to see the new cabin! Are you sure your parents don't want to put in a pool table???

wendys said...

It sounds wonderful. I need to convince my parents to buy one.

Kristi said...

You'll still have to play old maid. I think your experience is the way that cabin life is meant to be. IMO. It definitely makes for a more interesting blog post than if you had one of those posh cabins.

LisAway said...

That cabin sounds just perfect. Like girls camp. The moths, however, sound like a nightmare. Greg's nightmare to be exact. He is afraid of moths. I can't stand them either. Yikes.

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