Monday, August 17, 2015

lazy q cabin

just as i realized i had not taken any photos today, i checked my email to find that my mother had found the photo of my grandma and aunt arm wrestling.

helen's in the blue, my grandma in yellow.  my dad's looking on, and watching through the window is my other grandma (my dad's mom) and my older sister, becki.  they were sleeping outside on the "davenport" on the front porch.  it's 12:10 a.m. on august 3, 1980, so i am, presumably asleep in the bathroom (where it's dark and you can fit a little baby bed and people aren't up arm wrestling), or, given that i am less than 2 months old, perhaps i'm awake too...

this is the cottage my grandparents (dad and helen's parents) built on a lake up north in michigan.  it's three rooms-- a kitchen, a bathroom, and a large open living/sleeping area with two sets of bunk beds built into the wall, divided by a small walk-in closet.  you can picture something roughly like this (only the ceilings were higher so you could throw a ball back and forth between the two top bunks and store all your inflatable duck-shaped swim rings).  during my elementary and middle-school years, we would go up there for a couple weeks every summer, sweeping off the steps to the lake, raking the badminton court, swimming (while trying to avoid 'the mushies'), catching toads, hunting for turtles, spotting the occasional snake, and developing a fondness for daddy-longlegs which were all over the outside of the cottage.  what else... the mork and mindy poster on the inside of the kitchen pantry door, playing the pump organ in the living room, trying to watch tv through the curtain of the lower bunk after bedtime, reading chapter books, going to the laundromat, doing dishes, throwing balls over the roof from the front to the back of the cottage and back again, making little worlds in the sandy area outside the bunk windows, watching a long line of ants march through the little woods between the cottage and the lake, eating breakfast at the picnic table inside, swinging on the porch swing outside, sleeping on the davenport once with my grandma and talking about flying squirrels, my older sisters wearing my grandpa's old fleece shirts that lived in the closet, changing in that little closet, wimbledon and oliver north on the tv.  the model ship up on the mantle, everyone getting one drawer to themselves in the chest of drawers behind the green couch. the big yellow smiley face painted on the side of the shed, the footprints and initials pressed into wet cement.  the tall bell.  bug spray. badminton games. wiffle ball games on the sandy, dirt road outside with neighbors.  or in the words of my six-year-old self (pretty sure i can quote myself verbatim from my diary back then)-- i woke up, i got dressed, i ate breakfast, i played, i ate lunch, i swam, i ate dinner, i played, i went to bed.  i'm sure we all have our own memories of our time at the cottage, but those are  some of mine.  

5 comments:

Judy said...

That cabin, that life is my dream! Thanks for sharing your memories.

Anonymous said...

"The mushies" cracked me up! Well, a lot of those memories did. You even reminded me of a few like the "one drawer each" regulation and changing in the small closet. I remember the chore chart and the gold star positive reinforcement system, taking the row boat to the little store to return bottles - get the refund and buy gum, walking around the circle, having neighbors over for "dutch lunch", the amazingly agile parking skills of Dad - getting that big, lemon-cookie Lincoln through those two trees for parking always made me nervous, feeding chipmunks pancakes, the buffalo on the Olson's store, Vernors, and listening to the call and response type music of all the people snoring.

My question is....if Helen and Bill were at the cabin during this time with your grandma and everyone else - where were we all sleeping? I do remember some times someone sleeping on the green couch....hmmm. Also, that one bathroom seems pretty problematic with that situation. Guess its good I don’t really remember how that all worked.

Going to Helen and Bill's in Marshall was always as fun for me as going to the cabin, too. I loved the architecture of their house, playing ping pong in the basement, hanging out in the living room with a nice view to the green backyard, sneaking into the "formal living room" and checking out the pictures, watching Helen play the piano with a lot of vim, checking out the family photos and being in awe of Karen and Carol's long beautiful hair....a different world for those of us that got the "fine Quick hair". Anywho - I'll miss Helen so much and all things "up north" will always have a feel of her in them for me. Thanks for posting this Regan - Becki
P.S. How did you know that was me out the window? I can barely distinguish which kid that is!

Sheila Tow said...

Becki, I have the original picture and it is you. I had good memories there, too. You and Traci used to call me "mom" as a joke. You know I was only 22 when I married your dad. Your Aunt Helen was my sister-in-law and she was wonderful. And, of course, so was Gram Quick! I loved the family. Sheila

greg|regan said...

Wow Becki, More great memories! I don't remember the chore chart of the stickers... maybe we were too small, but now I'm remembering there was a picture of the Pink Panther on the wall by the kitchen and some little rhyme about eating and the rotary phone. On sleeping-- I do think the green couch pulled out, so that must have helped. Maybe Traci was out there with you and Grandma. On pictures of Karen and Carol-- that's one thing that really stands out for me at Grandma's house-- she had pictures of them (maybe senior pictures?) hanging on her wall in the living room and I always remember looking at them and thinking how beautiful they were! And of course, so many more memories of Grandma's house. I can still remember how it smells!

Anonymous said...

me too -with the smell! funny huh. Oh - you missed the chore chart!!! No wonder you seem a well-balanced person...unscarred. ..
That's funny Sheila! We probably freaked you out with the "mom" being so young and all. Yeah, I feel like grandma/helen/bill were such warm people - they really would have been a welcoming family for a new member.

-Becki