Despite the below zero weather we headed north for the weekend. We lit the fire, settled in, and picked up our (okay, my) knitting. And we got out into the cold to play. Snowshoes, skis, skates, and sleds, we played under the bluest ski I've ever seen. (When it's extremely cold it's also extremely beautiful.) We played until we were chilled through. Then we hustled back inside to sit by the fire and warm our toes. There were stories, games, knitting, and conversation. There were good friends, good food, and long dark nights. And did I mention the knitting? Lots of knitting.
The cabin is a special place for my family built more of memories than wood. (Search "cabin" at left for dozens more stories from this place.) With its paneled walls, stone fireplace, and hunter decor, it was built by my grandfather and my great grandfather most of a century ago. The cabin sits alongside the Wolf River where I played as a child, floating homemade boats, building dams, drifting on innertubes. The Wolf River where Pete and I got engaged on a fly fishing trip when I was 24; where we later married each other along her banks beneath the hemlock trees, and who's name chose as our own. The river where our children – who also carry her name – first swam and where we come to wet or feet and recharge our souls each season.
Family and history run deep in this place. I can feel my grandparents around us each time we come here, see my grandpa in his blue work clothes, smelling of two-cycle engine oil and woodsmoke, out beside the shed. I can see my grandmother in her flowered night gown, her hair miraciouly always perfect, her knitting in her lap.
The cabin was a special place for them as well, and their built their permanent house next door where they spent the last decades of their lives. Because of this when I come to the cabin I also come to remember my grandparents, my childhood, and a flip-book of the most defining moments of my life. There is joy and sadness mixed together in this place, and for that I am grateful. It's our story – woven inseparately into the bunks, the skulls, the sky and the water and the earth.