Saturday, March 2, 2013

Goodbyes, Blessings, & Takeaways-slice # 3

3 of 31


Today is March 3rd, the Slice of Life Writing Challenge on the Two Writing Teachers Blog of Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz.  Thanks Ruth and Stacey

Tweet #Slice2013



               Yesterday I closed the sale on my cabin in the mountains.  The family who is purchasing is going to love it as we did.  They have a little girl and they’re so excited to do things with it, around it, and to it—just as we felt so many years ago.  
               We have owned this cabin as a leasehold with the government with 5 other cabins in our group in a national forest in Colorado.  The original owner was a forest ranger who spent two summers with his boys building it. We bought it when our children were small, and the owner was older (like us now) and the children were grown and couldn’t use it any more (like us now).  Although this sweet place isn’t staying in the ‘family’, it seems to find owners who will care for it and love being there, in the middle of a forest, with no electricity, no running water, just the woods, the meadow, paths made by deer and other animals, and a stream.  



                  I have traveled quite a bit with family and with my students.  When my class traveled, I often used the question, "What will you take from this journey?"  The question is meaningful for them, like a "memory souvenir".  We often wrote our answers during the final closing of our trips.

                Here is what I will take from our cabin:


·      A journal that was signed with a note or two from all the guests that came to stay
·      The smell of the pines
·      The hummingbirds that flew by windows to peek in
·      The old cot where naps were taken, right beside a window with a view of the meadow
·      The hum of the summer insects when the wildflowers were in full bloom
·      Softball games in the meadow
·      Climbing huge boulders up the road when the kids were little, their kind of ‘mountain climbing’
·      Sneaking quietly into one part of our land that was swampy, and watching small fish and lizards play
·      Naming some of the big rocks around us-Reading Rock was one; a depression in the top, just right for a small body, a pillow and a book
·      The wind soughing through the trees
·      Rain on the roof every afternoon
·      Reading by lamplight in the evening with a cup of tea  
·      Hearing the mice scurry to find crumbs at night (they really did come and never bothered us at all)
·      Playing card games by candlelight (we had a real candle-abra hanging over the kitchen table)
·      Of course, wiener roasts and making s’mores at the fire ring outside
·      The kids trying to dam up the stream (it’s quite small) and thinking they might make a swimming pool if only they could make the dam stay
·      Going to the outhouse late at night with a candle, and looking up at the stars-nothing better!
·      Sitting by the dying campfire telling stories, wrapped in blankets, kids falling asleep
·      Being very sure that our children loved nature in all its persnickety ways

              Finding the cabin a long while ago was a blessing, and now this family is blessed, too.  They thanked me for selling the cabin to them!
        

56 comments:

  1. I fell in love with your cabin, with your life there..."reading in the evening with a cup of tea"...the "kids trying to dam up the stream..."
    It seems like the cabin hosted real living.
    While I feel your joy that another generation will love cabin living, it's also bittersweet that it's over.
    Thank you.

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    1. Yes, you are right; it is bittersweet, but I am also ready for someone else to take over the care too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. What great memories Linda. Locked sweetly in your head and your heart forever. Family history of the highest qaulity. I too like the idea of a cup of tea while reading. Just reading that relaxed me. I have moved recently from my home of 16 years with the creek at the back and like you I have memories of my grandkids trying to dam it up. Great piece of genuine reflection.

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    1. I just moved too in December, Alan. What a time it has been. The best thing is that I really love my new home. Thank you for your reflection and sharing. Nice to know!

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  3. I'm sure this was not an easy decision to leave this place. I love that journal you created. What's coming next Linda?

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    1. Well, luckily Bonnie, we still own a condo in the mountains & that's what I'm keeping. It's a good place, near skiing and other mountain 'things'. The mountains will always hold much for all of us! And we can visit the cabin and its owners any time! Thanks!

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  4. Marvelous memories, Linda! Is that Reading Rock in the photo? I like picturing your candle-abra and I am glad that you have fond memories even of going to the outhouse!

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    1. Yes, that is the Reading Rock. Sarah spent some time there when she was little. Thanks Tabatha-they are good memories!

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  5. I loved reading about your memories at that cabin. What a sense of place you have given to all of us. I also connected with damming up the stream because you took me right back to my own childhood and the rocks and sticks we used to use to create floods. Thank you for that!

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    1. If we had the chance given, I suspect there are others of us who played in streams like that, Melanie. Water is alluring, isn't it? Thank you!

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  6. This story sounds so magical! You carry amazing memories with you. I admire people who love to stay in the rustic places. I think I am too much of a city girl:)

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    1. Yes, there are those who didn't like this kind of living, & really I wouldn't want to return to it full time! But for a lovely experience without the many things pushing at us in our lives today, it was wonderful.

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  7. I've read somewhere that which we hold in our heart never truly leaves us. Your cabin will always be a part of you. Thank you for sharing these lovely memories.
    Catherine

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    1. Thank you Catherine. You are so right. Those who stayed there talk about it often.

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  8. I read this entry today, expecting something else, and then being swept away with your words into a completely different place--somewhere in Colorado. What a lovely gift you gave to the family who bought your cabin. A chance to love and experience nature in the way that your family did. They, like you, will be assured that their children will love nature in all of its persnickity ways. A gift of words to me today. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks Deb. It is fun to share with everyone, especially those who don't know mountains and forests.

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  9. I have tears right now. You story of your life with the cabin really is the story of parenting. Eventually they grow up and leave. You all move on. It is a story that right now, in the middle of parenting, I don't even want to think of yet. Your writing is beautiful. Moving. Thank you.

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    1. You're right Katherine, I hadn't considered that aspect of it, but it happens. People change, move, have other places that take up their lives. You don't have to think of it now, you have lots of time to do silly things with your boys. Thank you!

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  10. I have goosebumps as I listen to your words dancing in my head this morning....such love for the memories you made there...and such potential for new memories....the juxtaposition of life

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    1. Thanks Anita. Great memories true, but there are other times in my life to enjoy too.

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  11. A special place indeed, Linda. As Bonnie said, this cannot have been an easy decision. But you have such a store of lasting memories of many years, many seasons enjoyed in this beautiful place. And it must comfort you (being the person you are) to know that another family now gets to share that magic, too. And, thank you for the photographs...such an idyllic place.

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    1. Thank you Tara. This process of selling has taken quite a while because of different legal things, like insurance! The sellers and I have gotten to know each other fairly well, have gone to dinner several times, etc. I am so glad they will have the cabin!

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  12. What a lovely box full of memories in you have shared about life at the cabin. I'm sure you have many, many more. The gentle, rhythmic, habit of reflecting on experiences that you and the other core teachers at our school have nurtured is truly wonderful. You do it by example. It calms the frenzied transitional fury.

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    1. Always must make the time, right, Katie? Those journals kept are special to the students, I believe-perhaps will start a lifelong habit! Thanks!

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  13. It is hard to close the door on a piece of our lives, but when we walk away with so many beautiful memories it's easier. I love that you do that and do it with such poetry.

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    1. Thanks Mardie-it is easier, you're so right, when good, good things have happened.

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  14. A bittersweet post. Such lovely memories which you will always have. It must be hard to close that chapter - but you have a new adventure ahead with your new home.
    Such a lovely post!

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  15. I am crying after reading your post. Why am I crying? Because I can only hope that I can create such fond, fulfilling memories for my children to reflect upon one day. Your vivid description of your cabin and relaxed activities is exactly my "happy-place" and you got to "live" there. Very blessed indeed.

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    1. Thank you! There are so many ways to make memories, & this is one of ours! I imagine you have ways to do this too.

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  16. Linda, this is such a beautiful post. "What can you take away...." I only hope when my husband and I decide to sell our lake place (many years down the road) we can share all our take aways as wonderfully as this

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    1. Thanks, Deb. I think that's why I love hearing about your lake place so much-same feelings, ambiance as the cabin.

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  17. I love that idea of naming rocks -- landmarks for memories.
    Kevin

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    1. Thanks Kevin. I guess when we spend the time, we begin to really 'know' something, even rocks, & their places in our lives.

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  18. Lovely, Linda... a beautiful goodbye to a place that will leave memories that linger.

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    1. Thanks Maria-we had much fun in those woods!

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  19. One more ending created as gracefully and inspirational as you are. The beginnings that await you are in for a treat when they step into your life.
    Tammy

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    1. Thanks Tammy! It's true, must look for some beginnings, too! Happy Sunday!

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  20. My happiest memories are outdoors and the memories I make with my little family are surrounded by the outdoors as well. The cabin is beautiful and the rock is so neat. What a chapter the cabin has been in your life and it will be so loved by its new family.

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  21. I am glad it is going into good hands. Some part of our journey is bitter sweet. I am glad your memories are rich and deep.

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  22. Reading your memories, I could see, hear, and yes, even smell your cabin (the pines and the hot dogs, of course!) While this time in your life is coming to a close, it is wonderful to keep those memories knowing that more will be made in the future.

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  23. What more can be said? Such a lovely way to say goodbye to a place so dear to your heart! I smiled when I saw your phrase-"Being very sure that our children loved nature in all its persnickety ways." I used this word in class on Friday (referring to myself) and sent the students clicking away (we were in computer lab)to learn the definition.

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  24. Everything sounded beautiful except...the mice! Everything else sounded magical! I'm sure the selling of your cabin had very mixed emotions for you!

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  25. What a special place. I can tell it truly will be carried with you, as I am sure it is with every member of your family, tucked in your heart. I especially love the detail about the reading rock. Those rocks brought me right back to the giant rocks I used to climb when I lived in Wisconsin. I am off to hunt down some old photos...

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  26. What a beautiful set of memories to share! Thank you!

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  27. Beautiful words and love the collage, Linda. How did you make it?

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  28. So many special memories and a beautiful place! I know your heart aches to have to sell it, no matter how many times you tell yourself it is for the best.

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  29. The memories and beautiful pictures were a treat to read today. I grew up with a weekend house to go to...woods, lake, sunshine, campfires and nothing but time to play. I cherish those memories, just as I am sure your family does as well.

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  30. Linda-
    What a beautiful piece! You are taking away so many treasures that will last a lifetime. Just gorgeous!
    Carol

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  31. Oh Linda, this must have been such a bittersweet sale for you. So many memories, I'm sure. You've definitely mastered the science and art of letting go over the year. :) I was particularly struck by the beauty in this image: "Reading by lamplight in the evening with a cup of tea" - in a cabin by the woods. How romantic and rustic-sounding. :)

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  32. I'm so glad you kept a guest book of all your visitors. What wonderful memories!

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  33. Linda, this brought back memories of the tiny cabin in southern Ontario that my parents own. We spent time there every summer when I was a child. I haven't been back since I was in high school, and your list of memories brought a sweet aching desire to spend another stretch of summer doing so many of those same things. Thank you for giving me this gift tonight.

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  34. I like the circular nature of the beginning of your post, how you are now like the family you bought it from, and the new family is like you were long ago when you bought it. I also love the idea of a "memory souvenir", and your pictures and list were so delightful. Keep those "souvenirs" close to your heart, Linda!

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  35. Thank you all so much for the response. I hope it means that you have a special place for you too! I've spent the day finalizing the sale of my former house. Would much rather have been reading your slices!
    Diana & any others interested. Collages can be made with an app called Picasa. Download, then it uses pics on your computer/iPhoto etc. very easy & changeable!

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  36. Linda,
    I'm sure this was a tough thing to do. It sounds like a beautiful place full of beautiful memories. All of the things you will take away from the place really helped to create a picture in my mind. I'm glad you found a family who will love it as much as you did.

    Cathy

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  37. The memories you have collected are special and charming. What beauties! Thank you for sharing a memory tour of your cabin.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!