One of the earliest memories I have of cabin life involves my brothers and my dad. The four of us in a small boat on the lake, my dad juggling getting us all in the boat, lines set, life vests secured, boat driving… it was a cluster we had no idea we were in. I can’t tell you the exact moment of my dad losing his mind, but, it was right around the time my brother had a fish on his pole and promptly let it go. I remember my dad grasping at the water, his hands wet and his words frustrated and exasperated as the Snoopy fishing pole sank to the bottom of the lake.
I am not sure we recall those moments that we caused our parents to lose their ever loving minds quite the way we remember them later in life. Fast forward to me being the parent, and I sat watching my dad with his three granddaughters, fielding the “I got one’s!” and the “Awww, my worm is gone” times three. Perhaps as a grandparent, you appreciate these moments in a different way because the moments aren’t occurring daily- or maybe your patience level is just refreshed. He seems happy and content, assisting as they impatiently await his assistance. It seems a far cry from the point of no return we had gotten to when I was young.
Cabins are magical places where you relive your childhood with your own children. My husband is not from Minnesota, nor the Midwest, and I remember him being so confused about why anyone would “go up north” for vacation. We are about as “up north” as it gets already. He has come around to the serenity and peacefulness, as well as the fun and the memory making. Some memories are big, some nothing insanely unique. As I listen to my dad coach my youngest on not walking around with her Barbie pole unreeled, my oldest is attempting half-heartedly to remove the world’s smallest sunfish. I watch them explore nature and do the things I did when I was young, all while the hummingbird’s chirp and zoom behind me.
It’s not all blissful memory making, mind you. I suffered 7,493 mosquito bites and had a pretty ripe smell from a mixture of sunscreen, bug spray, lake and sweat. It is 1000 times worth it though, observing my littles running on the dock, in their Disney nightgowns watching in awe as their grandpa reels in a “HUGE” fish.
As we discuss the Loons and the Otter and the deer and the bugs, the quietness continues to embrace us. The sun sets slowly while the plans for tomorrow begin to develop. In the end, it’s all big talk because we are, after all, on cabin time. If we do it, great. If we don’t, then great. The moral is this, we are busy making memories by not planning to make any.