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It's Off to Work We Go

Stories + Recipes

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It's Off to Work We Go

Lori Narlock

I asked Jack to finish this sentence: When I think of the cabin, I think of BLANK.

We both agreed it was WORK. It was work when my grandfather and his brothers carved out the original footprint. It was work when my father built our cabin alongside his father. It is the work we do to maintain the cabin every time we visit.

My grandfather and brother replacing the big porch.

My grandfather and brother replacing the big porch.

And yet the cabin still feels like a retreat. There is no email to answer, no laundry to put in the washer, no vacuum cleaner to run over the carpet. Oh yeah, there isn’t any carpet.

There is blue sky, green trees and fresh air that smells so sweet. There is a creek to cool off in, a light-filled kitchen to cook in and comfy beds to sleep in.

There is room and time for my son and his cousins to do the same things we did as kids: visit the other cabins, play games and learn how to take care of this precious place.

Above: My son and husband measuring a piece of trim that needed to be replaced in 2014. Below: My husband and brother-in-law replacing the roof while my son and niece inspect their work in 2006.

To enjoy it all we have to maintain it. We must maintain the roads, we must maintain the water tanks, we must repair the pipes, we must replace the roof, we must fix the leaks, we must remove the dry rot, we must clear the brush, we must, we must, we must.

It seems exhausting, but it is also reassuring in a world where everything else moves so quickly.