#318 In which our hero writes the rare new blog post; not surprisingly to commemorate Father's Day.
I’ve been working on a project. It isn’t something I’ve been dreaming of, in fact, it’s not even something I much want to do. But it is something that I must do.
I’m rehabbing the cabin.
For the two people who stumble across this blog in the future while googling “Cabin in the Woods” or some such thing and actually get past the three sentences above, let me explain.
My family owns a small hunting cabin in the Allegany National Forest Reserve. Wait, wait… here, I’ve written about the cabin before:
Okay, all up to speed?
So, Dad, I’m working on the cabin. Things deteriorated in a big way in the last several years. The roof started leaking really badly, there was extensive water damage, and just about everything started getting moldy.
And since I bought the cabin from Mom and Uncle John a couple years ago, it’s my responsibility.
The Scientist can’t be in the cabin at all right now, her allergies and asthma make it a miserable experience. The last time we actually stayed inside (probably eight years ago?) she could barely function. I now understand that the place was full of mold.
To fix this, I basically gutted the place and tore it down to the studs. Tore out the stupid drop ceiling, effectively eliminating where chipmunks could live. It’s a huge amount of work, and every time I feel like I’ve made progress, I look around in despair for all the work yet to be done.
I keep telling myself that this work will all pay off in the future, when The Scientist and our kids can just run up to the cabin—an impromptu weekend visit whenever the spirit moves us. I’m doing all this work now so we can all enjoy it in the future.
Except, that’s a lie.
Well, partly a lie. I want the go up there, I want my kids to have the same fun there that I did. And I certainly want my wife to be able to enjoy it and not be miserable.
But there’s this other thing, too. You loved that cabin so much. The peace and quiet, the opportunity to catch up on your reading, sitting around the fire at night talking with family. I never asked you what your favorite place in the world was… but I would be very surprised if it wasn’t the cabin.
You’ve been dead and gone for more than 20 years now. And since you were cremated, I don’t have a place to go to visit, to pay my respects.
Except the cabin.
I’m not an especially religious man, but if there was one place where I could “commune with your spirit” or what-not, it would be there. Around the fire ring, to be specific.
My effort to remember you, my tribute to you, as it were, is to keep the cabin standing.
So I keep going up there, alone, to work. It’s really kinda scary up there at night when there’s no one else around. But the being creeped out at night, the aches and pains the following week… they’ll all be worth it.
Because the cabin will go on. As will my memories of you.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you.