It is that time of year when we pick all the garden produce and generally clean up at our cabin at the lake, readying for the winter season. It is always a time to reflect on the summer and to invariably say that it went far too fast.
Over the last few years our cabin has undergone some much needed renovations. When making room for the new, and looking at what needs modernizing, we look back and remember various items that made this special place unique.
You see, this cabin was bought by my dad in 1959 when he needed a place of refuge after having cataract removal. Those were the days when one couldn’t drive or work or do any heavy lifting for many months after a operation that left you legally blind without your ” pop bottle” glasses. This began a legacy of summers at the cabin that we all loved. My dad, a workaholic, could rest and relax at the lake.
From then on, we spent every summer out there, boating, water-skiing, swimming and playing cards. It was, and still is, a place where the TV doesn’t intrude, and where outdoor activities reign. As our grandchildren now enjoy their time out there, I am pleased that a third generation can enjoy my dad’s impulsive buy.
Some people who perhaps haven’t visited for a while, are reminiscent of the “old look”.
- The ” old bear rug” becoming tattered and broken clawed, always lay in front of the tindlestone fireplace. It was a conversation piece. I am not sure a day went by that someone didn’t stub their toes on his claws.
- Two yellow plastic brocade reclining chairs are often mentioned too. They were the type that you could buy at the Fair when the hawkers dragged you over to sit in them. My dad never could resist a ” gimmick” and he thoroughly enjoyed these. They had heat, and rollers, and reclined and made a lovely noise. My kids loved sitting in them and showing them off to their friends. They especially loved them when they came in cold from a swim in the lake or tube ride behind the boat. Young and old made a beeline for those chairs !!
- Cowboy decorations including a large painting of a horse and a rider, several poor prints of Charles Russell’s western paintings ( probably not at all politically correct right now ) and several momentos from some of dad’s trips. Most of these were hiding in back bedrooms but now are gone – purging is always an ongoing project !
- A turquoise blue exterior door was a conversation piece – somewhat because it was the entrance to the interior master bedroom ( once a separate add-on building ) but mostly because it had the handle smack dab in the middle of the door ! Imagine the 60’s and Innovative decorating. Well whoever ordered this for a home being built by my dad’s construction company had buyers regret. Unusable items from the company often found their way to the cabin. This door worked well for an addition – which became a big bedroom and retreat for three teen gals.. Everyone commented on the door’s unique style.
There was a lot of turquoise around this cabin, some of which now is vintage, collectable My mother’s favourite colour was turquoise as evidenced by many of our childhood possessions – our 1955 Plymouth, appliances, and most of the old furniture ( and doors ) in our cabin. I look at some of those antique tables and envision them back to their original beauty. There are never ending projects when you own a lake cabin !
When we first inherited this log cabin on a beautiful lakefront lot, it was hard to change things that were ” part of the cabin” and memories of my mom and dad. But as time goes by, it is easier to make it our own.
Yes, a lot has changed since we ” took over ” the cabin. The bear rug went to auction and I am sure someone fixed those broken claws, the cowboy painting hangs in someone else’s home, the lovely brocade chairs became someone elses’ treasure and a bargain at 2/$20.00. The turquoise door came down last year, replaced by a white interior door – not quite the same but more fitting for the more modern kitchen. The ugly tile floor was replaced by clean oak laminate flooring, and the vintage 70’s turquoise indoor outdoor carpet in our bedroom is now gone.
A picture of my dad receiving his ” Citizen of the Year” plaque and the barometer set from that event still hangs in a prominent place. Not that I need a picture or a plaque to remember the man who influenced me greatly, but it just seems right to leave a little piece of him there.
But what hasn’t changed is the peaceful feeling one gets when you drive down and see ” the cabin ” and know that the pressures of our ordinary day can be put aside, and as the sign in our kitchen says ” Relax, Relax, Relax !!