I did actually teach my 11-year-old nephew how to knit this weekend. He might have a scarf in time for Kissmose. Right now he’s trying on flippers while his father is trying to pack up the kids’ things. Aiden (6) is trying to play hide and seek with his stuffed dog. Jazz is in the leanto on the point where it’s very quiet, reading essays about WWII. My dad is remodeling the attic. My mother is popping over to my door and pestering me about potatoes and if I want any already baked. No sour cream though, so we’ll probably fry them for breakfast. My poor sis-in-law is coping with an intestinal bug, a very upset and aggressive cat, and a typical two-year-old, while packing up their stuff. I’m sitting in the winter cabin, which is almost like sitting in a fishbowl, with all the windows open, so it’s Very Noisy, and watching the traffic go by.
When I was Riley’s age (the 11-yo) this building was used for storage. It smelled of old waders and dead fish. It was renovated about 5 years ago, and now is a very nice retreat. The attic Da is remodelling used to be storage and a bedroom in the very back under the eaves, where the mice would scurry around your pillow and the bats would fly around in during the day, but there was always something magical about blank paper and a pencil, when everyone else was in bed, and the rain is gently falling on the tin roof, and there’s just the light of an old candle end, held by a donkey pottery dish.
I wonder what the Sumners would have thought of this place now. It was originally built with all the best luxury available in 1920, so I imagine they would have loved the advent of electricity here (they did after all have a powerhouse and the battery powered lighting system). If they knew they internet, they would have assumed it would be here, and this is the first year we’ve had satellite internet up here - we had dial-up on a party line for years. But my grandfather would object on principle- he preferred the roughing it. He liked privies. Da fixed the plumbing a while back so we could actually flush by handle instead of pouring a bucket down the front- but he had to wait until his parents weren’t coming any more before he could! The idea that there’s a TV and DVD player in all three of the major cabins would be anathema to Grandpa Burt- but the Sumners would wonder why there weren’t TVs in the leanto, Dinning Hall and Tool House too. It doesn’t feel like camping when you can use the microwave for popcorn, sit on the couch, and watch a movie. I can do that at home.