The Life of Bon: A home is just a home.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A home is just a home.

Right?

And a cabin is just a cabin?  

A cabin is NOT the people in the cabin or the memories in the cabin and it's not even the food in the cabin.  It's just the cabin.  Walls and floors and wiring.  Nothing more.

Within the next couple of days my mom will close on the selling of our family cabin.  I've never bought or sold a major piece of property so I really have no idea what it entails, but it sounds like it involves a lot of papers and some signatures and shuffling of funds and some more signatures and then it's all done.  What was once our haven to relax and spend time and run away together now belongs to someone else.  The keys get changed and if I show up for a weekend I am now trespassing on someone else's property.  

What was once our family cabin is no longer our family cabin.  


The reasons for selling the cabin are many.  Within a few years the whole thing was going to need to be re-stained, a massive job.  In the winter the pipes often froze and caused several headaches worth of damage.  We didn't use it enough to justify how much money we spent on it.  The property taxes were out the wazoo. 

So when my mom told her eight kids that she was thinking of selling it, we were supportive.

That doesn't mean it was easy when she accepted an offer on it.

Mostly it was hard because it was a piece of my dad- a huge, honking piece of my dad and now it is gone.  Death is weird in that you lose the person all at once, and then you lose them again- in remembrances of the person slowly, over time, while you're desperately trying to still hang on.  The first remembrance piece was lost a few months after my dad died when we had to put the dog down, Red.  The biggest piece was when my mom sold my house and moved from the town I grew up in.

And so the pieces have gone.  Some big, some small, but they keep going.

The cabin was a big piece.

My dad put his heart and soul into that cabin.  It was his dream.  He literally built the thing himself.  We all did.  I spent countless weekends and spring breaks and summer vacations caulking logs, painting walls, laying tile, staining wood.  My brothers sanded every single log with a small electric sander.  They even did the sheetrock themselves.  Heck, my dad would have done the plumbing if only someone would have told him how and given him the right tool.  In Jr. high and high school the word "cabin" struck absolute dread in my heart, for I knew it meant a weekend away from friends and countless hours of work.  It took almost five years to get that sucker completed. 

We never expected my dad to die so young, and so I suppose we never expected to sell the cabin so soon.  But he did and we did and life marches on.

Now, as I look back on the pictures I must remind myself of why the cabin has meant so much to me over the years.  It's not because of the cabin, it's because of what it symbolizes.  Fun and faith and friends and work and love.  

And family.

Mostly family.  So many  memories of my parents and siblings and 16 nieces and nephews filling the cabin up with laughter and games and always, always, always food.

So as I prepare to say goodbye to the cabin I will remind myself over and over again that it was never about the cabin.  Never about the logs or the tile or the ping pong table.  It was about the people that I love more than anything in this world.  

And that's something that will never be taken away from me.


































29 comments:

  1. So many memories, so much love felt in these photos - I ache for you having to give up the cabin, but totally understand too.

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  2. This is truly beautiful...and good for me to hear, too. My parents recently sold a vacation house of ours and it broke my heart. You're so right. It's not about the physical space. You have such a real, yet awesome attitude.

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  3. Beautiful cabin, beautiful family, beautiful memories!

    I remember feeling the same way when my stepmom sold my dad's boat...so many memories there.

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  4. Arrww, your dad looks so proud in that first photo - I assume he caught that fish with his bare hands :) So many memories and so much love but it's not gone, it's with you wherever you go. Thanks for sharing x

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  5. Such a beautiful post and what wonderful memories to treasure forever, nobody can touch those they are yours to cherish. I always dreamed of having a place like this when I was a kid, what a wonderful part of your life. You and your family are walking talking pieces of your pops and nothing will change that x

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  6. What a beautiful cabin and a beautiful heart you have Bon. I am always so thankful for the memories that are left behind even when the people we love or the places we love are no longer here. What a great childhood you must have had to have so many wonderful memories. Those are what matter most.

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  7. What a gorgeous cabin! You are most certainly right, its about the memories and you will forever have those in your heart.

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  8. Love all of the memories throughout the years. What a special place and all of the beautiful memories and keepsakes you have from it. It is an absolutely beautiful place.

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  9. what a lovely cabin! i can totally feel what you mean...it's like losing a piece of yourself. Letting go is always hard...but memories will last forever.
    And WOW, you are a one BIG family :)

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  10. Beautifully said, as always. We are in the process of selling my Grandma's house (and beach house) and I feel the same way.

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  11. Your posts about your dad always squeeze my heart, probably because my dad is 80 years old and not in good health. But something about this post in particular made my stomach flip more than usual. Sorry you have to say goodbye to another piece of your dad...but wow, what amazing happy memories you have.

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  12. This touched my heart. I don't have a close family per say and i love reading stories like this that spill so much love and adoration and focus on family from words. It gives me hope for a future and what my own family can look like. Sending happy wishes your way and thanks so much sharing!

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  13. Such a beautiful cabin! You resemble your Dad so much! Such a sweet, sweet post. At least you still have those memories...that's what matters most!

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  14. Six months after my Dad passed we sold our house and moved to a different state because my Mom wanted us to be near our family instead of across the country alone. I remember staring out of the back of our car as we drove away. That was the most painful thing because it seemed like my memories would fade if I didn't live in the house he lived in. His truck moved across country with us and years later my mom sold it because it needed too much work. Again I thought my memories of him lived in his truck. After a while I realized that the memories were in my heart. And if I thought long and hard enough I could see them in my mind's eye. I could see his face and the memories played out like a movie. They didn't leave with him, our house or his truck.

    You're a lucky lady to have such a large family to keep the memories alive. You can never forget a single memory of your father with so many people around to remind you. :)

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  15. Wow, it looks like you have some AMAZING memories at the cabin to keep with you! I totally understand where you're coming from. My mother-in-law sold the house my husband grew up in last year. His dad was an architect and the house had been completely transformed from what it was when they bought it and was truly a work of art. He died suddenly, very young, and after a couple years (and the kids all being out of the house), it just became more than my MIL could handle. We completely understood, but were heartbroken at the same time. My husband and I had always envisioned buying it one day, but weren't in any position to do so already. While it was so hard to see it go, and it felt like we were losing a piece of his dad, we absolutely rely on the memories we have of him in that house and try to remember that those are what made that home what it was, not the structure itself. Doesn't mean it's still not hard, though :)

    Thinking of you - I'm sure it isn't easy to see the cabin go!

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  16. Awh, Bonnie - my heart aches for you. I've always thought that a house isn't just a house - that its walls hold many a memory and secret. But you're right. A house is just four walls - we are the ones that hold all that's dear to us. My freshman dorm, as dorky as it sounds, was one of the most important places to me - it stood constant as my friends and I grew up and as we shed our innocence, as we met some of our lifelong friends and had our hearts broken and laughed until we cried. I've gone back a couple of times and it's amazing how different it was and yet how it still seemed the same. Crazy how we humans hang on to such things, eh?

    Also - girl, you have fabulous hair! In all of the pictures, your hair has just been so constantly glossy and shiny and pretty!

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  17. I love everything about this post! Thank you for sharing.

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  18. Aww, that cabin looks absolutely amazing. It must be hard to let go with so many amazing memories that you had in it :)

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  19. That's a beautiful cabin and this is a beautiful post. :)
    P.S. You are one of the only bloggers that I have seen on a quad and a snowmobile!

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  20. Love how your dad is wearing jeans playing tennis. Like my dad, jeans all the time. What a gorgeous place up there!

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  21. Love how your dad is wearing jeans playing tennis. Like my dad, jeans all the time. What a gorgeous place up there!

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  22. Love how your dad is wearing jeans playing tennis. Like my dad, jeans all the time. What a gorgeous place up there!

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  23. I'm so sorry to hear about this loss. It is always hard to know that a tradition is ending. A home really isn't just a home. It's part of who you are and how you became the person that you are! I know that when my parents move out of the house I grew up in, I will be very sad!

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  24. I am so amazed that your dad and family built that cabin themselves. Wow. It's beautiful. Hugs to you for having to let it go, but it will live on in memories and all these great pictures.

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  25. Oh gosh, our family went through the same thing a few years ago. It sucked. But this year we found a rental cabin with a similar look, same bright red carpet, and when we showed up, it even smelled the same. It was such a trip back in time. I loved it.

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  26. I can definitely see how it would be tough to lose such an important piece of your family's history. The good news is, all those awesome memories can never be sold. :)

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  27. Sorry about the loss - this is a great post.. I am sure your memories will always remain alive in your heart and through photos.. You'll find another place to rejoice with your family though and at least you also have your ginger :) Have a great one Bonnie! -Iva

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  28. I just found your blog and its so great! I feel like I have met you before... maybe because I was born in Price and lived there a few years (I was a baby so probably not)... anyway you just look really familiar to me for some reason. Thank you for sharing your sweet thoughts about your dad, and your husband. I even am joining up with your book club for January so that will be fun. Happy New Year.
    www.apartmentnumberone.blogspot.com

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