Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Week Off.....Heaven!

MeMa's feathers sort of ruffle when someone says, "Oh you work for the school district?  That's nice, so you get the whole summer off."  She is not a teacher she is the Text Book Clerk and therefore has less than 30 days off.  When you have a busy life as we do most of that time is taken before you can make any fun plans.  So when we discovered an entire week cleared on her calendar we packed up and scampered off to the family cabin. We managed to fill my work van full with all that we would need because the plan was not to have to go anywhere once we pulled up in front of the cabin.
We were not the first ones there but diplomacy and two barking dogs helped convince these two freeloaders to vacate and leave these city folk to a week of relaxation.

I brought this marble topped table from my father's house.  While living in England my parents bought the marble top and I used wood from a packing crate that came from Thailand with my father's belongings.  It is teakwood and was a school project that fetched me a good grade.

Where there is MeMa, there are fresh flowers nearby.  Zinnias from her picking garden.

Although they had to be manhandled into their travel cage the boys, Peter and Mickey found the freshness of the forest quite relaxing and filled the air with song.

Although the gardens and greenhouse were left in capable hands I brought this tiny rose cutting and some species hydrangea cuttings that I was just not willing to leave behind.

Once the van was unloaded the rest of the day was ours. And I can't think of a better spot to pamper ourselves then sitting here among the trees.  Our cell phones don't work at the cabin but we have satellite TV and MeMa brought several movies.

Just up the hill from our cabin sits a very popular children's play structure.

For many years my parents and their neighbors the Kaastad's faithfully ran the bingo hall at the lake every other weekend.  They raised quite a sum of money that was completely donated to improvements to the area.

Grandson Brooklyn and granddaughter Adrianne are quite grateful for their great-grandparents hard work and generosity.  Our eldest son Nathan and his family came for an evening BBQ.  Nathan, knowing his parents are always the very busy sort, stated that we were going to go stir crazy up here for an entire week.....ha!
The next day, bright and early and alone once again I moved the work van out from in front of a large delivery of gravel, unloaded the wheelbarrow I had brought from home and began moving load after load through the woods to the back of the property where my late mother built a fire pit from an old truck wheel and some brick.
The rest of the gravel went to top dressing pathways.

Front stairs leading to the roadway

Built on a slope we have steps in various places and over the years and the recent removal of large trees the frames had been needing replacement and a new layer of gravel.

The lower stairs leading under the wrap-around deck
When the forest department decided to remove our large trees it left quite a bit of damage and clean-up that had been ignored.  I discovered a very old and battered native vine maple that was screaming for help and a large old huckleberry plant that was completely unearthed and laying on its side.  I pruned the dead from the maple and transplanted the huckleberry into a new location where we could enjoy them both.

Just above the propane tank is the moss covered trunk of the vine maple

In the center and on the right is a metal post giving support to the newly transplanted huckleberry.
Since they left us with no trees, only large ugly stumps I cut this pathway through the woods to the fire pit area and will build more stairs giving us better access to that area.

While I toiled on pathways and such MeMa stacked firewood
Weather was sunny and quite warm but the nice thing about the forest is that the evenings are cooler.

After dinner cocktail hour
Our Sophie is afraid of the dark and was on guard duty when darkness fell

While the "Little Nazi" worried about the night MeMa and Popeye sang rowdy songs around the campfire.

 So.....Nathan your parents did not go stir crazy, we managed to suffer through all on our own for the entire week.


  1. A lot was accomplished, in a restful way, of course.

  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful time - the best way to relax.

  3. You are blessed to have such a beautiful getaway place, Doc.
    Having volunteered at my son's elementary school for four years when he was younger, I can definitely agree that school teachers and administrators do NOT get the whole of ANY vacation period off.
    Thanks for sharing your amazing pictures with us. ♥

  4. I see (I think) that you also keep a caravan at your cabin. Does that act as a 'spare room'? It all looks very beautiful.

    1. It started with just the caravan and then we cut the side open and added the cabin as an addition making it all quite comfortable for get-a-ways.

  5. What a great post, Doc, and how it makes me smile! The things you put in the van - birds, tender plants and a wheel barrow! As for MeMa's 'restful' week - that looks a good stack of logs! Places with family memories are special, we are the same when we go to our small bolt hole in North Yorkshire. Glad neither of you went stir crazy!