Category Archives: The Cabin

The Family Tree

Oh how it’s grown!
Generation One
Berton & Pauline Dwinell  (Mom & Dad)
Berton & Pauline Dwinell

Generation Two
The Four Siblings

The Four Siblings and Spouses
Generation Three
The Four Siblings, Spouses and Kids (missing 3)
The Four Siblings, Spouses, Kids and their spouses (missing 5)

Generation Four

EVERYONE (only missing 5! once we photoshopped in the bride and groom who arrived after the photo shoot!( No they were not coming from their wedding – it was just the photo available!))


Of the 39 cousins and second cousins, only 3 were missing (two were working and one was a week old).

Man, I love these crazy people!

Finally – The Reunion




I think I’ve spent so much time going over the preparations for our family reunion because I can’t quite figure out how to put into words the wonderfulness of it all!  The weather was not especially cooperative (more rain and clouds than sun), but that didn’t seem to slow us down one bit!


From crazy antics at the pond

to the fishing competition
Fishing Contest

to massive Bingo games to stay out of the rain

to fun on the swing

to naps in the hammock
Hayley & Everly

to games under the tent

to the peanut gallery always watching the activities
More Pond Watchers

it was a fabulous, fabulous time! Since pictures most often speak louder than words, here are some galleries of the multitude of pictures taken over our long weekend.
Pond Fun

Fishing Fun


And just some general people!

And if you’re really a glutton for Dwinell Family photos – here’s a link to the whole batch!

The Prep – Part IV

The Miscellaneous

Along with all of the Big Jobs that were accomplished during our pre-reunion time at The Cabin, lots of Little Jobs were done too!
Some things were very small – like the replacement of some faded Rummikub tiles.
(Who knew you could buy individual replacement tiles for your Rummikub game? Go, eBay!)
Some might have gone unnoticed  by many  like the shined up indoor hot water heater (Thanks, Joie!).
We added a new multi-person swing back at the old maple.
And next to the pond, it was quite the place to be!
(Number of children on swing added for the photo! We tried (!!!) to keep the max occupancy at 4 for actual swinging!)
Gary spruced up the outdoor spa (aka hot shower at the cabin!)
for those of us staying ‘on site’.
There was a bit of pond raking to help make swimming a bit more appealing to the ‘eeew – it’s a squishy bottom’ crowd-
But given the number of kiddos (and adults) in the pond at any given time
I don’t think it was that much of an issue!
Gary gathered the supplies for a replacement fence along the bank of the pond
and completed the job with help on the first day of the Reunion.
(I love how it works great to keep little ones from falling over the embankment, but is virtually invisible otherwise!)
See what I mean?
We replaced our trusty red sofa, which was purchased used in the early 90’s,
with a good quality (not as) used sofa that is super comfy and came with free pillows and a little cedar trunk. Thank you, Facebook Marketplace!
The red sofa lived on the porch (where it was pretty handy)until the end of the reunion
when, with the help of an ATV and several strong guys,
it was ceremoniously burned (along with a leaky tent and a fair bit of trash and tree debris) as a final bonfire for the reunion!
Farewell, good and faithful sofa! You have served us well!

We loved, loved, loved being up at the cabin with the sweet anticipation of the Reunion to come. But just because we were ‘on campus’, doesn’t mean that others were not pitching in to make this marvelous family time come together. There were meal planners and game planners and activity planners. EVERYONE pitched in to make this a Reunion to Remember, and one of these days I’ll even move this blogging thing from “Reunion Prep” to the actual Reunion!


The Prep – Part III

Making the Land Useful

There was one other big job that Gary was hoping to accomplish during our Cabin Prep weeks preceding the reunion. That was to not only beat back the wilderness as much as possible, but also to change some previous unusable space into mow-able lawn. You see, our little cabin sits on the site of a previous community. As in the late 1800’s previous.
(See my post about Foundations and Fences for some additional thoughts on that!)
Here in this old photo you can see the foundation of the barn that was directly across from the cabin.
We played in that area over the years, but eventually it became overrun with small trees (and giant thistles) and wilderness in general.
If you got there early enough in the spring you could still see that beautiful foundation –
Spring 2013

But it never took long for it to fill in and become just one overgrown jungle.


Over the last couple of years we’ve been working to tame that jungle and make that area useful in some way.  We moved our burn pit to the back (and lower level)part of it and tried to develop a fire pit area in the front. But still it was a problem to maintain. foundationsandfences-11 It was way too rocky to mow and needed constant weed whacking to keep under control.  This spring Gary had a plan to make at least the front part of the barn foundation useful. Or at least mow-able.
“If we get an excavator in here, he could move the rocks into a pile in the back part and we could smooth out the front, seed it and make it part of the front lawn.
In truth, it was a hard sell for me. That foundation had been there forever (in my finite world) and although it served no purpose and was a general pain in the neck to even make visible, it still held intrinsic value to me. Or at least memories.
But after talking it over with others in the family, we decided to give Gary’s plan a go.

As the work progressed, we kept separate all of the big foundation rocks, and piled the rest in the back section.

And then, we had him carefully place those ginormous pieces of granite (and other miscellaneous stone-types) into a firepit area.
We added a load of mulch,
had some husky reunion attendees readjust the stones some
(Wait, that’s three old dudes and just one strapping youth doing that)
until we came to this final configuration.
It still needs some fine tuning – more stones around the actual fire area and less mulch around the actual fire area, but it’s had its inaugural fire and it seems to be a good thing!
Once we get that grass growing and make those final adjustments to the fire pit, I think it will be a lovely addition to The Cabin Experience.

And a fair bit more useful area than this –Cabin1-11

PS – I’m thinking our young excavator driver, Brady, had a pretty fun day of it too!

The Prep – Part II

The Dock

Gary finished a major upgrade on the dock just last summer. What started out like this –
ended up like this –
Which was huge improvement and more than adequate given the two boys wrestling on it!
(To see the whole progression of the Dock Reno you can check out Here and Here and Here!)
But Gary is a forward-thinking kinda guy, and he was picturing the the 30+ kids that would be at the reunion and knew that our single family-size dock needed to be super-sized to Reunion Size!
And he got to work –
(He hasn’t used those waders for fishing in about 6 years. But here at the cabin they come in mighty handy!)
Here’s a little time lapse of getting the second side up on its posts –
Dock building
Phew! I can truly say he couldn’t have done it without me – but he sure could’ve done it quicker with someone who has more upper body strength! (Where are those boys when you need them???!)
He kept working away down at the pond (while I was working on those cobwebs in the cabin) and before I knew it we had the new Dock-Ma-Hal!
It got a little light-use testing before the reunion
but it was at full capacity during the reunion!
Fishing tournament
Fishing or Swimming
I’m pretty sure every square inch of that dock was used!