Sometimes it’s the little things

There are a lot of BIG things to love about our Cabin in Vermont.
There’s the heritage
cabin 1938
We are celebrating its 75th anniversary next week with a family reunion.
There are the patchwork views and sunsets –
There’s the quiet of being in the middle of 100 acres, when the only sound is the rustling of leaves in the wind or the chatter of birds in the trees.

There’s the sense of peace and the blessing that happens every time we’re there.

But sometimes it’s the little things that really make the cabin The Cabin.
It’s knowing the correct order of window opening to get them all open at the same time.
It appreciating the old Frigidaire that keeps on chugging
and how along with a random (and rarely changed) cartoon or kid’s artwork there’s the note from my Mom explaining the correct settings for proper operation!
Don’t miss the faded final comment – DON’T SHUT OFF! (Who know’s if it will start again?)
It’s how we still keep a couple of my grandmother’s cookbooks in the little bookcase, even though we rarely pull them out to find a recipe.
But if we do take a look, we find the following inscription –
(Franklin being my doctor grandfather!).

But today I was struck with a new small thing that made me again wonder at the history of this special place we have been blessed with. I was raking up some yard mess onto our “drop cloths” (honest, we have a drawer that’s marked – “Drop cloths”!) Basically they are old sheets that have already been “restructured” by being cut down the middle and then the two edges sewn together (hey, there’s still lots of good sheet left on the edges even if the middle gets worn down, right?). Perhaps they lived a good life down in town before they came up to become cabin sheets, and I’m sure I slept under them in my youth. Now, however, they’ve become “drop cloths”. But this time I saw something new. There, just along the edge was a name tag, hand written in my grandmother’s steady printing –
Stanley Dwinell.
Stanley was my Dad’s older brother who was tragically killed (along with his three sons) in a train – car wreck in 1952. I wonder if these were sheets that had been labeled before he went off to camp one summer. Or maybe off to basic training? I’ll never know, and I don’t think it’s really important that I do. But it was a very poignant reminder of the history that is in this place.
Yes, the small things.
The treasured things.

7 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s the little things”

  1. You need to rescue that nametag!!!

    It really is important to remember the history because so many people care only about the here and now……

    A wonderful entry, as all of them are.

    Enjoy your re-union!


  2. Ditto what Michelle said. Rescue that name tag. Seems like it would be appropriate to just fold up that drop cloth and find a permanent display place in the cabin. It would add to the heritage.

    You guys are so fortunate to have a place to hold family reunions that is just as much a part of the family as are the people. Think of the stories your grandchildren will tell from their memories of youngsters playing at the cabin.

  3. wow…I agree…it is the little things that so often get overlooked! I wonder if we miss such moments with God? I’m so glad you have the cabin and the solace that it brings. What a treasure.

  4. Wow! What a sad, sad story. I did an internet search and found the news article written at the time (The Lewiston Daily Sun). What ever became of the young doctor’s wife and 10-year old Hannah?


  5. Chip – Gracious! You did do some research! Needless to say, that accident shook the entire town – often (as recently as last month) when I identify myself as Doc Dwinell’s granddaughter, someone will mention that tragedy and it’s after affects. Truly, though I was one at the time and have no knowledge of life “before” the accident, I believe it is safe to say our family was never the same following that fateful day. Aunt Connie and my cousin Hannah lived for a while in Bradford and then moved to MA. We still saw them during the summer (they held onto their home in town for many, many years). Connie passed away many years ago – 20 maybe? and Hannah is living in GA (or NC?) and helping to care for one of her grandsons.

  6. My mother often spoke of the tragedy of the Doctor and the sons. I was wondering the names of the children. Also do you know what house they lived in while living in Bradford, VT. My mom has passed away recently but I came across the story and brought up this story throughout my childhood.

    Thank you,


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