Little Red Cabin

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Today I am grateful for the little cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin.  The longer we are home and the more I describe to friends what it was like, the more I realize it was just what we needed, even though the mosquitos were Draculean and the fishing sucked.


It was far from big, but I loved that little cabin.  It makes me smile when I think about each rustic piece of worn paneling, the out-of-date decorative jim-cracky, the faded furniture, the teeny-tiny stove that produced fantastic breakfasts anyway, the almost Indonesian-sized refrigerator, big enough for eggs, milk, juice and beer and not much more.


There was no air conditioning, which affected me horribly, but only for the first two nights.  After that the weather was blissfully cool and the breeze off the lake almost constant.  If there had been AC I might have kept it on too much and missed the sounds of the waves lapping on shore from the gorgeous lake or the birds chirping all day long.


I didn’t mind at all doing dishes by hand.  Although we had household staff in Jakarta, I would often send them home early and do the dishes myself.  Nothing says “home” as much as hands plunged into soapy dish water.


Except maybe having friends in your house. . . and because we met dear friends up there, it was instantly home.  The foolishness was as good as it gets.  Turns out I’m not too bad at Liars Dice, but Himself was the true pro.  Geeze.  That old Irishman doesn’t even need to lie with the great rolls he had!  Until he fell sound asleep right at the table from sheer exhaustion and too much fun at “camp”!


The biggest surprise was the shower. . .and water pressure.  Holy crap!  The first time I stepped into it, sweating like a thief in Bangladesh, the spray of the water blasted me to the back wall of the shower like a fire hose.  I had to hurry to protect the breasties from the needle-like assault.  TMI?  Go read a boring book.


As good as the shower was, it was a constant battle to keep the toilet seat in place.  It looked fine until you sat on it.  A slight lean to the right or left and you were nearly sent skidding into the wall with it still attached to your bottom.  Wow.  Still TMI?  Go watch the news.  That’ll bring you back here.


We knew ahead of time that the beds were questionable.  Caveat Emptor.  That’s an understatement.  There was no way we could share a double bed, in a tiny, airless, darkly paneled room, in 90 degree heat with similar humidity.  I opted for the couch and gave the bed to Himself.  At 2 a.m. it occurred to me that the sucker I was awake on might be a pull-out bed.  So there I was making it happen when Himself padded off to the bathroom. “What are you doing?” he asked.  “I got to thinking this might be a pullout bed,” I said. “and sure enough it is.  NOW I’m going to really sleep.”


When he found me in the morning I was cross-ways in the belly-of-the-beast, sunken down between the rods like I was in a thousand-year-old hammock.  Picture the hotdogs on the rolling grill at Woolworths, 7-11 or Wawa.  The bed was the grill I was the hotdog, except I couldn’t move.  And I had to go to the bathroom.  And he was laughing too hard to be of much help.


I worried and wriggled myself out of the wedge and rolled over the grill to the foot end of the bed.  The spring on the side had already bitten me, so this was the only option.   Bite me once. . .!  Sitting at the end, the entire mattress and mesh frame underneath it started to sink.  To the floor.  With me on it.  “What the hell?” I shouted, looking like the filling in a closing taco.   “This thing has no springs holding the mesh to the frame!  Just two little pieces of rope on the ends!”  I knew this because I was clawing at the rope like a lifeline on the Titanic and sinking just as fast.


“I have to pee so badly!  You’re going to have to help get me outta this thing!”  Any husband with his full mind, would know that now was not the time for suggestions and that death would be far from swift if an error was made.  But hauling me out of the biting belly of the beast, with my biggest part nearly dragging on the floor, he says, “I got you!” grabbing my wrists like the catcher on a trapeze at the circus and steadying himself like Johnny Bench.  “Be ready!  I’m gonna pull hard!”


I braced my almost dangling feet on the ground for traction and he pulled.  In one motion, popping out of that thing like a champagne cork, I was catapulted straight into the bathroom, the force depositing me to just in front of the toilet.  Good thing.  Just in time.  From then on I slept in the claustrophobic bedroom with the sagging, back-breaking bed and he took the couch.  Closed.


It doesn’t matter.  That little cabin in the north woods was perfect in its imperfections.



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