Cabin fever
Tuesday August 03rd 2010, 6:48 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

I can finally show some pictures of what I’ve been talking about. Here’s what the elk looks like as you come up the stairs. There’s a game room (ain’t that the truth) up there, and glaring across the room is this moose, held forever in the velvet-antler stage. And then in the bedroom to the right is this nice little cat that got its tail dunked in the Die! pot.

Yeah. All friendly-like.

Downstairs was my motivation for learning that black bears shed their paws in the spring as they grow new ones; this one, and being so thin, too, seems to have been caught right at that point–here, let’s do a closeup. And yes, that snowman in the background is–well, the place was full of kitsch like that, plush and resin snowmen in winter garb with cheerful sayings everywhere. One of my children described it all as painfully rustic.

I looked up at the pointy tips on the antlers on that elk and had the Californian thought, I do not want to be here in an earthquake.

Now, my grandparents bought a small, cozy A-frame cabin up by Brighton ski resort near Salt Lake City maybe 60 years ago or more. I remember seeing it as a kid and being gobsmacked at being told why the wrought-iron rails around the patio above the creek swooped down in scallops like that: it was from the weight of the snow up there. Wow.  I tried to understand how snow could possibly bend metal (well, no, actually, first I had to argue that it was unreasonable to expect me to believe that and that it wasn’t possible.)  I learned what stinging nettles were–and the butterflies! So many butterflies!

We kids were not to splash in that rocky creek: the local drinking water was taken straight from it. We could, though, touch it briefly to see just how cold the newly-melted snow was in the middle of July or August. And the chipmunks! Adorable. And if memory serves, ground squirrels too.  We would feed them peanuts from that small patio.

There was a mounted antlered deerhead that came with the place when my grandparents bought it, across the small room from the fireplace. I remember being eight years old and asking about it and my grandmother kind of shrugging her shoulders, conveying the impression that it was not to her taste but it had been there for many years before them and they had let it stay.

At the cabin (pictured) for last week’s family reunion on my husband’s side, a chipmunk found its way onto the highest wooden porch up there at the one point at the front where it’s near ground level, but the poor thing found itself surrounded by humans near where the person in the red shirt is sitting and the only thing it had to duck under for safety was the bottom of that railing–with a view straight down and no way out.  It kept putting its nose over the edge, checking.  No can do. Yikes!

It brought back so many memories. It was so cute.  I managed to gently, gradually herd it back towards safety. To that side of the house, now turn left, that’s right, little one, go away from me, thataway, get away from all those people, keep going, alright.  There you go. Home free.

Later, at my uncle’s house on Sunday, my daughters mentioned the taxidermied excess where we’d stayed and my cousin grinned and decided to tell a story on her brother.

Now, my husband and I have our skunk story, which we gleefully told her.

Bob had asked if he could borrow the grandparents’ cabin for his honeymoon. I imagine other relatives were discreetly told in no uncertain terms not to show up there unannounced.

So. He and his new bride were snuggling in front of the fireplace, the fire snapping and crackling just past the stony hearth. Summer or no, it’s often cold enough at night up there for it, I can tell you from experience.  The outside would have been very dark in the brisk mountain air, the fire very bright in contrast. They were together at last in their own new world, away and alone at last from all else.

In all its decades there had never been any sign of trouble with the thing. But suddenly that mounted trophy came crashing smashing down behind them unannounced.

Oh deer.

7 Comments so far
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Whoa! I had no idea. You weren’t kidding.

Comment by karin maag-tanchak 08.03.10 @ 7:39 pm

what a beautiful cabin, and what a great story. I bet it gets told and retold over the years. I also love the skunk story.I have to tell you that when I was in Minnesota a couple of weeks ago I saw a bald eagle. What a thrill. It was close enough to get a good picture of it. Pat

Comment by pat flores 08.04.10 @ 1:52 am

Beautiful cabin! Interesting decor contributing to many a conversation for years to come.

Comment by Joansie 08.04.10 @ 5:21 am

Oh, that poor couple. But they did get a great story out of it!

Comment by twinsetellen 08.04.10 @ 5:22 am

That’s a cabin? Looks bigger than my place. Loved the two stories — party crasher and ole stinky — LOL! So now you’re back from your Rocky Mountain High. Welcome home.

Comment by Don Meyer 08.04.10 @ 9:12 am

I’m right with you on the earthquake thought. Yikes!

Comment by Mary 08.04.10 @ 2:20 pm

I’m glad you had such great visits and made it back, safe and sound, home. 🙂

Reading your posts kinda made me want to travel. I feel like I could use a change of scenery… I only have to wait about a week now for my turn (only in the Toronto area, nothing exotic lol).

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 08.05.10 @ 12:52 pm

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