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Spring cabin time in Lab West

Cabin season is soon upon us.
Cabin season is soon upon us. - Gary Shaw

A great time of the year

As is always the case, by the time April has finally rolled around, we have had our fair share of big piles of snow and extreme cold temperatures.

Even for the most diligent cabin folk among us, it’s time for a change in the right direction. During the heart of the winter it can be a challenge for us to load up, head to our cabins and go through the logistical efforts of just getting there and getting the fire going to get the cabin warmed up enough to be comfortable.

The extreme cold also presents its difficulties in enjoying many of the outdoor activities that we all go to the country to enjoy. I have on occasion, when the most extreme conditions are upon us, wondered if perhaps the bears just might have it right. Sleep through the extremes nestled away in a den and just wait it out for the more pleasant weather to arrival. Who knows, Mother Nature usually has the final word and the last laugh.

This time of the year shares with us the sense of renewal, there is the notion in our minds that spring is really going to come and bring with it some of the many activities that gets us fired up about the upcoming season and the many adventures it holds for us. There is no better place to be this time of year than at the cabin to get the extreme winter blues rubbed off of us.

Many of us older ones can remember growing up wherever home was, many without power, without running water and with the reality of how important a full wood box beside the stove was.

As time passed we couldn’t wait to leave, find a life where these basic conveniences that we now take for granted are at our fingertips. Life was dishing out “progress” and we were eager to assume our place in a far easier and more convenient world.

Looking back, at least to us cabin folks, it seems rather ironic that our progress and success is somehow, these many years later, measured with the old stick that our parents used as they raised us. It seems that in our giant leaps forward, we find ourselves searching for a way back with enjoyment and enthusiasm. The very lifestyle that we shared with our family and friends growing up so many years ago, that we couldn’t get away from fast enough, has somehow lured us back to those days. Thank goodness for the memories and our cabins.

This time of year, the longer days, the warmer temperatures and the “work” we do at our cabins is an annual welcome, and enjoyable time of year shared by all of us who still cling to the lifestyle of years gone by.

This is the time of year for us to get up and on the go early in the morning with the sleigh in tow and get next winter’s wood cut. An early start gives us the crust we need on the snow to hold us up and get into the woods, get some wood cut and get it hauled back to the cabin and packed away in the shed before the warm sun of the later afternoon sinks us and our sleds to our belly in the snow.

We can be outside the door without freezing to death, the youngsters can be ripping around, building snowmen, and rolling around with a big sweat on the go with their coats undone or flung on a tree branch as they have a good time. There is comfort to hear their squeals of joy especially when they haven’t got their faces buried in a computer screen or the I- phone.

We have the opportunity to do a good check on the cabin and see what effect the long and harsh winter has had on it and do any repairs that we may see is necessary, when the snow is finally gone. We measure and make plans for any improvements or additions that we may have in the grand vision of what we think we need at the cabin. Another season and another list of projects is always factored into our time at the cabin.

The weather also allows for some time to be comfortable and enjoy a bit of time in reasonable comfort on the pond in the afternoons trying for a meal of fresh fish through the ice.

The sounds and smells coming from the old wood stove and the roaster purring away with a wonderful treat for a big feed. Many times it’s something from the wild side for all to enjoy at day’s end, a great day wrapped up at the cabin in fine fashion.

As we settle in to our bunks for the night the feeling is good. A day full of fresh air, the many activities we share, often shared with our friends and neighbours, a belly full of “cabin grub” that couldn’t possibly taste as good at home back in town, and the long sighs of peacefully sleep coming from the youngsters will conclude our day. Our day spent for us older ones enjoying our trip back home and for our younger ones, a day and a gift from us as a gentle reminder where they too, came from.

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