Eulogy for The Cabin

The Remains
Originally uploaded by sideshowknits.
I was supposed to go on vacation this past weekend. My dad and I were going to take a trip up to the cabin. We were going to go fishing and swimming and hiking, build fires and probably roast marshmallows; all the things one is required to do in the north woods. My family loves Rhinelander. It can be said almost like a prayer among the uncles and aunts who have dedicated summers to renovating the old girl. The name means more than a tiny town with a couple of bars and a grocery store. It means escape... laughter... relaxation and above all family. Most times you never know who'll be up there when you go. Most likely family, but friends as well. No one gets turned away. And there is room for all if you don't mind sharing a bathroom.
I have great memories of swimming in my nana's too large bathing suit and it slipping off as I jumped into the lake. It might still be on the bottom. I remember telling my cousins stories about how gnomes and hodags roamed the woods. We went looking for them and ended up at Old Great Aunt Agnes' place down the road. It looked like a ramshackle house on the rock even then with a rusty old jeep type car out front. We got spooked and ran the mile back to the cabin no longer caring about gnomes. There was a map on one wall of the cabin outside the main bedroom I never slept in, it was a mess of lakes and hills but I would always try to find our little lake amidst all the others. I always slept on this oversized chenille sofa that faced those plate glass windows overlooking the lake. I like to be the first one up with the sun, watching the steam rise off the lake and the day become bright and clear, or rainy and overcast. It didn't matter. I really loved the cabin and Rhinelander. Cursing the fact that it's a seven hour drive away and that I don't own a car I didn't spend as much time up there as I would've liked. But every summer my mind would drift up there to all the fun my family was having and for a little while I would be there too. Now, the land is still there and my uncle still has his house across the lake but tragedy has struck and the cabin exists only in my memory and my trips up there have been more frequent of late. I know she will be rebuilt, I know there will be many more summers to enjoy the north woods but a part of my childhood perished in that fire too. A part I know won't be coming back anytime soon from Rhinelander.

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