At the beginning of the week the days stretch out luxuriously. The vacation seems endless and each day feels like there is ample time for everything. Plenty of opportunity to swim, go fishing, take out the kayak, go for boat rides, play yard games, and sit on the dock reading and soaking up the sun. But as soon as midweek arrives, time speeds up. The days feel shorter, and there is an increasing urgency to fit everything in. Even though by definition there is no “to do list” at the cabin, there is still the litany of favorite activities that define time at the cabin. And we wouldn’t want to miss out on any of them.
The cabin is timeless. The things we enjoyed years ago are still the things we come back for year after year. The undeveloped nature of the lake, the wildlife, the feeling of remoteness are all key ingredients. Our self-powered boats often get more use than our motorboat, and our original little fishing boat still has its appeal. When the lake feels inhospitably cold, a hot sauna will coax anyone into the water. Evening bonfires, hanging out in the hammock, reading books and watching sunsets never change over time.
Time seems to stand still at the cabin. We occasionally pick up the morning paper, but the outside world encroaches little on our slice of paradise. The important focuses are the weather forecast and the latest local news gleaned from the regulars at the bait shop. And some might add the Fishing Hall of Fame board posting the latest catches – large and small.
At the cabin we live by sun time. Life is simple and there is no reason to make elaborate plans or live by the clock. My watch (yes, I’m of the age that I still wear one) stays at home. We don’t set alarms. The exact time doesn’t really matter. In summer we easily slip into a later dinner hour, savoring the long days, reluctant to stop to eat while there is lingering sunshine. In winter the evening meal comes sooner, as darkness defines an earlier end to the day.
The cabin is made for family time. There is no better place for it. Sharing unstructured, stress-free time and playing in the outdoors allows plenty of opportunity to build lasting memories. Our children have grown up coming to the cabin, and have now begun making cabin trips on their own as well as with us. And we’ve now added a third generation to the cabin family. What a joy to spend extended time together with them at our special place.
All too soon, however, it is time to go home. What seemed endless at first did in fact have an end date. Packing up and loading the car while the sunshine and the lake beckon feels like torture. But we all cling to the knowledge that we will be back. And we can’t wait for next time.