I dedicate this post to my Paw Paw,
who is a heroic man in my eyes!
I wanted to post a letter he wrote to document his memories, which is extra special because it is based around his cabin in Colorado we just got back from. Paw Paw, I cannot express the love and memories we have from the cabin you built from the ground up!!!!!! Will forever be cherished and remembered, just like your strength and service for our country.
Happy Memorial Day!
As I rummaged through the assortments of boxes, various pictures brought forth memories, memories that kept pulling my mind off my main project. Memories such as Gay Gay’s first birthday party at Granny Vera’s house, the first pictures of Gay Gay’s new sister Gari, and then pictures of her new baby brother, Don Gregory. I was sidetracked further by school pictures, vacation pictures, and pictures taken at the Brooke Farm with all the cousins. There were pictures of their college days at
, pictures of all three children upon their graduation from ACU, and too, there were wedding photos, and pictures of grandchildren. Abilene Christian University
But the pictures I was searching for were the ones of the first Christmas after the
cabin was completed. “Completed” is a gross overstatement. It had walls, a roof, windows, doors, and an excellent wood stove. Also, there was an operational gas cook stove. By Christmastime we had running water and a functional sewage system, both being completed about the middle of November. The studs were up for all the inner walls, but nothing covered the studs. Colorado
There was one operational bathroom, and the mattresses were placed on the floor. That was “roughing it” to some city folk, but I thought it was a very glorious way to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the CHRIST CHILD! I remember we had snowfall most every night and the wood-fired stove kept the cabin cozy throughout our stay.
There was no kitchen sink and Granny Gayle prepared the meals on a sheet of ¾” plywood placed upon two sawhorses that were carefully positioned in her kitchen. It was unhandy, but Gayle would draw water from the adjoining bathroom and she did a skillful job of preparing our meals.
We had no curtains on the windows and since the cabin faced the east, the gorgeous, full moon provided so many lumens that it was very difficult to fall asleep. While awaiting sleep to overtake my brain, I stared at the ceiling, all the while, drawing blueprints in my mind for the next cabin, and too, wondering what kind of chandelier Gayle wanted above the dining table. As I turned my body, awaiting sleep to overtake me, I gazed at the wood flooring saying to myself, “Someday we’ll install carpet!”
I reluctantly forced myself back to reality and kept flipping pictures and finally discovered three pictures of the cabin at the bottom of a dusty stack. Strange, but to my disbelief, the cabin looked like many other mountain chalets, and I wondered aloud, “Will the kids or grand children even care about pictures of this log cabin; do they even care what it looked like? Will they remember the fun we had building it? (Maybe I should just say the fun ‘I’ had building it?) Will they remember the thrilling ski trips? Would Kelsey remember that she wrote a book (Which is in the Richardson ISD library) about the cabin and the fun filled summer she experienced, while hiking, picking/eating wild berries and just enjoying the laidback
Colorado lifestyle in the high-country?” And, would they remember the many motorcycle rides in the Rocky Mountain . WHAT FUN!!!!! San Juan National Forest
I mulled it over awhile and I thought to myself, “I sincerely hope they remember”. I am a little selfish, I suppose, hoping they would remember, because that log cabin, to this day, remains a very important part of my life. Throughout my life my heart has filled with rapture when, with these two hands, I have made something. (Maybe that is what motivated me to write the piece titled “HANDS”). That rapture, early on, was validated by the successful building of our very first colored TV set 40 years ago, with the loyal assistance of Gari.
Now that I have found the pictures of the cabin, I think I shall just lean back and dream of those days of yore, when the cabin construction was in its infancy. I was working long hours, using my hands to construct something very dear, all the while joyfully whistling and thrilled beyond words.
DGB 18 December 2005
Trip photos from our last trip up next :)