One of the wonderful aspects of the Cabin is that it doesn’t belong to anyone, it belongs to everyone (in the family, that is!). My grandparents gave the property to my parents who gave it to the four of us siblings and we then incorporated it into a little non-profit corporation, open to families who are “direct descendants” of my parents. When different families take their turn at the Cabin (and we’re up to a possible 16 families!), they get to do it “their way”. Some like lots of peace and quiet for reading and studying, some like lots of company, some like to take day trips and some like to do just what they want to do when they want to do it. For Gary and I, the optimum Cabin vacation is pretty obvious – he tackles projects and I tackle novels. Oh, everyone helps out with maintenance and the necessary chores, but when it comes to building projects, Gary is not only the one one who usually tackles it, he’s usually the one who thinks ’em up in the first place! Take the shed for example –
It was a perfectly fine, though somewhat modest, shed that was refurbished as recently as the mid-1970’s (which in Cabin Years is almost new!). Gary took the time about 7 years ago to spruce up the inside (now that it housed the pump (let’s hear it for running water!)) and get things organized,
but I imagine that even then his wheels were turning about making it better. Over the next couple of years the floor began to crumble, the roof sprang a couple of leaks, and the “organization” was losing ground. And although the shed was always home to the push mowers, our “new” riding mower, while under a roof, was still out in the weather. All Vermont winter long.
In the summer of 2011, he started laying the groundwork.
When he built a walkway to the outdoor shower, he put in new corner posts for the roof. It wasn’t much, but it was a start. And he had a plan.
The summer of 2012 was our big family reunion (and the 75th anniversary of The Cabin!), but still his goal was to get the roof done, using a new larger footprint for the shed area.
“OK, I’ve got it down and I’ve got the stuff – now where do I start?”
By the time the Reunion rolled around, the framing was largely done!
The metal roof went up
and the new walls were begun!
Look! The mower is almost inside!
By our final trip of that summer, he was finishing up the front of the roof,
getting the exterior painted (I did get to help with that!)
and had it nicely wrapped up for the winter.
This year we made some early spring trips to the Cabin, and the shed project (aka The Garage-Mahal) kept moving right along!
When Girls’ Week, usually held at The Cabin, was moved to Pennsylvania this year, Gary couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend some quality alone time at the cabin. I don’t think he missed me at all! He made some good progress on dismantling the original shed and even remembered to take some pictures!
With the final wall up, he got a load of stone
and began to fill in the floor.
It really did look like he was going to be able to wrap this up before the end of the summer!
There was still more to do, but it was all buttoned up before we left early in June and he had his list ready for our return at the end of August.
We returned for our final two weeks at the end of the summer and Gary got busy wrapping up all the loose ends.
And since the Cabin was also the proud owner of a brand-spanking-new riding mower, it was critical that everything was done before we left! I was never quite sure what he was doing down at the shed, but he was keeping quiet and I figured he wasn’t getting into too much trouble, right?
(I have to say I have lived with this man for 42 years and until very recently I had NO IDEA that he was such an organized guy. Who are you, and where have they taken my husband??? 🙂 )
One nice thing about the new improved Garage-Mahal – it’s big enough for an ATV should one ever come to visit!
Nothin’ like a little forward thinking, right?
The final touch was to re-hang our DW Pearls sign (it was from my brother’s restaurant) and “hang” the original door on the side. It doesn’t actually go into the shed, but it just seemed right to preserve that little bit of Cabin history. And besides, it’s fun to confuse people!
So there you have it – a Cabin Vacation (or two or three or eight) done Gary’s Way.
I think he’s already thinking about next year…….