The pictures in my head bring on a new wave of tears.. my beautiful little girl with chicken pox. She is lined up on the deck of our cabin with her two male cousins, they all have the dreaded spots on them. I have a physical picture somewhere as well. My precious baby boy in a big fat orange lifejacket, looking like a three month old yard ape. He is on his back in our boat ready for his first boat ride.
That summer we celebrated Canada Day with an all night party with our friends, around the camp-fire.. listening to loud music and breaking out into loud whoops of “Happy Canada Day!” after each drink. My mom hollering at us from across the small bay “turn that loud music down and GO TO BED!!!” We would tone it down a notch, but.. well… not for long. We were an inebriated patriotic bunch, celebrating Canada Day and WHOOPING it out loud is the only way to do that .. right?
We moved that cabin to the other side of the lake, to a piece of lakeshore we all bought into, and built a family (we each had our own lot) compound. It was all relatives, uncles and aunts and cousins by the dozens. We raised our kids while our parents still hollered at us to turn down the damn music and go to bed!
We had potlucks and golf tournaments and fights and laughter and we all looked out for each others kids. We put on plays and skits and roasted marshmallows and hotdogs and even had the occasional doughnut fry, omg those were good! We had babies and marriages and even the occasional divorce.. it happens..
Xmas at the lake was mandatory in my books. A natural skating rink out front and snowmobiles out back lined up by the outhouse. Oh ya .. no running water here, we were lucky we had power, it cost us a fortune to bring that in! We went hunting for the perfect Xmas tree and Santa always found us somehow.
The lake was my own personal happy place and my affinity with the water and swimming and skiing was nirvana. Teaching my kids to swim and most of my cousins how to waterski .. I was in the zone. Even though I owned three hair salons I managed to spend one glorious summer or two in my happy place.. with my kids and a two-day work week!
The aunts and uncles and even my own mom eventually passed on, leaving only one aunt and my favorite uncle. We are now the ones yelling at our kids to turn down the dam music and “go to bed!” Here are the second cousins and even a third and fourth generation of family comings and goings.
My personal space, my safe place, my memories and my happy place are all tied into this cabin. The time I went fishing with a bottle of wine with my young son and his dad. I hoarded that bottle and drank it all! We made it across the lake to the brother-in-laws, where upon a nephew had to drive me back to my cabin, alcohol poisoning!
I had to empty my stomach so many times, I had the dry heaves all night long (I never drank wine like that again.. ever!) The next morning I made a trip up the hill to my sisters for some cream of mushroom soup (the only cure for a hangover for me) she had a chair rigged up against the door “didn’t you hear that bear outside last night all night long?” She of course was referring to my dry heaves… oy..
My younger sister was fond of making scratching noises on whomever was sleeping in tents. Ya.. I know, we share a sick sense of humor. But we did have bears, and one did jump into my daughters truck box and tried to open her cooler. The teeth marks are still in it. They were held hostage on their honeymoon, till they ripped open the screen window in the bedroom and got a shot off to scare it away.
My cabin was my sanctuary when I was going through a divorce, the peace I felt there would immediately wash over me on my arrival. Coffee on the deck in the early mornings light, I turned to writing there and this became my passion. So here I sit at my computer .. not at the lake
Sunday we cleaned out my cabin and all these emotions have swooped in and are basically laying me bare. This sense of loss is overwhelming and I am inconsolable. Nobody died, no one is hurt, all my family is fine but I am a mess. My eyes are red and swollen and my head hurts from crying all these tears, they just won’t quit.
I sold my cabin to my son because life goes on and I’m moving forward. He is having it removed and building his own cabin of memories. Little did I know how this was going to affect me. I feel like a little piece of me died on Sunday, and maybe that is so..