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Cabineer

The cabin has always been called just that, “the cabin.” It was as though there was only one in the entire world. To my family there was. These are the stories about the cabin. MORE

A Stitch in Time

Lori Narlock

I don’t remember ever being bored at the cabin. If we weren’t running around outside with our cousins, swimming at the river, or playing games with whoever was up for Yahtzee or gin rummy, there was plenty to do by ourselves. We could lose ourselves in game after game of solitaire, hike up or down the creek or embroider. 

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Poker

Lori Narlock

No Peekie. Gunga Din. Black Mariah High, Aces Low. Black Mariah Low, Aces High. These were the words that filled our Saturday night at the cabin last week. These were the words of a poker game, a game I identify more with the cabin and my grandparents than I do with Vegas.

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The Bridges

Lori Narlock

Just as there is only one road that leads to the cabin, there is only one highway that leads to it. Now a state route, it was once the main thoroughfare, providing a public route from California to Oregon. Because of the highway’s prominence, two bridges were built in the early 1930s to provide passage over the deep ravines where creeks snake through the land.

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The Cabin Road. Part 3.

Lori Narlock

“Stop at the burnt-down house, stop at the burnt-down house” us kids would chant whenever we loaded into the back of my grandfather’s truck to go to the store or river. The burnt-down house. That’s the landmark I have the strongest memory of as a kid. Now, nearly every stretch of road has a nickname or some notable characteristic that we use as reference.

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The Cabin Road. Part 2.

Lori Narlock

Two miles long, the cabin road has changed little in the six decades since the property was purchased. It remains an unpaved dirt road. In warm, dry weather it’s so dusty a cloud follows behind your car, leaving it covered with a thin layer of brown powder when you stop. In winter, the road becomes muddy and forms large potholes where the water pools.

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The Cabin Road. Part 1.

Lori Narlock

I started “driving” on the cabin road years before. Like all the kids in our family I took turns sitting on my grandfather’s lap and holding onto the wheel. It's a tradition that has been carried on through each generation and most recently with Josh as a little guy sitting on Jack’s lap to "drive." 

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Where Time Stands Still

Lori Narlock

It might be 2016, but at the cabin it could be 1956. With the exception of a few solar panels that my Uncle Steve has installed on his place, the cabin remains as rustic as it was when it was purchased in the late 50s. There is no electricity, no telephone, no central air or heating. Some days if you have the right mobile phone and are standing at just the right spot you might get a bar or two, but other than those solar panels or that intermittent cell service a trip to the cabin means going off the grid completely.

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A White Christmas

Lori Narlock

Snow was predicted at the cabin last week. A white Christmas. I considered ditching our holiday plans to go up for the day. It would have been a first time for me to spend Christmas there and a first for me to be there when it snowed.

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Mounting the Fire Extinguisher

Lori Narlock

My father rarely sat still at the cabin. He was always working on something that needed to be fixed or making an improvement. Once when we were all up there together, my father installed the small broom closet in the kitchen while my sister and I sat on the sofa.

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Cabin Cake

Lori Narlock

A few years ago we started baking something to have in the morning with our coffee. Sometimes it’s sweet like a brownie. Other times it’s a breakfast treat. One of my favorites is something I call Cabin Cake. The base is a buttermilk cake from “Food & Wine” that we loved so much I began adding different ingredients to disguise the fact that I was making the same cake.

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The Last Thanksgiving

Lori Narlock

Sometime in my twenties we spent Thanksgiving at the cabin for the first time. That year, we cooked a turkey on the grill as the one nod to our previous holiday traditions. Each year that followed up there, the meal improved and expanded. By our last year at the cabin as a family, in 1995, we prepared an entire Thanksgiving feast, although the stuffing was from a box.

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Thanksgiving Long Ago

Lori Narlock

Right now it's freezing at the cabin. But it's the best time to be there. The best time to sit in front of the fire in the morning and night and then steal a little bit of sunshine on the porch in the afternoon.

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Refrigerator Dan

Lori Narlock

Given the remote location of the town where our cabin is located, our neighbors typically perform more than one role in the community. Refrigerator Dan has a daytime job and he works on propane-fueled refrigerators.

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