A Cabin Up North This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 25, 2012
By , Wales, WI
I remember how my grandpa and I used to spend long hours inside the small, wooden garage experimenting, taking random pieces of wood, paint, cardboard, and nails. I still hear it: the sound of nails driven into stony surfaces, the paint brushed onto wood recently sawed in half, and the laughs of myself (only six-years-old) as I place a drop of paint on my grandpa’s nose.

With the bustling sounds and anarchy of the city ebbing away, I nestled myself in the dome that surrounded this place. From age three onward, my grandfather, grandmother, and I have occupied this space nearly every summer and winter. I stopped coming after life became too demanding, but age has encouraged me to find time again to visit this old place.

I remember the sharp scent of wood, the sour and sickly smell of paint drying and the sun gleaming through the small window. We would make marvelous designs—from wooden airplanes, and small animals, to an amazing pirate ship ready to set sail and plunder the high seas of my imagination.

I remember how, in the winter time, we’d make vast fortresses of ice and frozen water. He rewarded me with snowballs. I’d laugh as I shoved the snow from my shivering face—the melted ice, now water droplets—and blotted my cheeks and the drips down my neck. I would bundle a ball of snow and return it. Then, my grandma would join the war of snow.

After the snow battle, we’d rid ourselves of our wet snow pants and jackets, and cozy up by the warm fire burning, with my grandpa in his favorite chair. He’d let me sit on his lap as we’d drink hot chocolate and he’d tell me stories of his youth. The hot liquid warmed my frozen throat and trickled down my chin as I listened.

I’d help my grandmother bake goodies and sweets. The smell of chocolate and cream would fill the small kitchen and we’d roll the dough into a thin palate. I would imagine myself the head of the kitchen, a master chef that created any dish the invisible audience requested. My grandma would cut into the surface, and make magic shapes of snowmen, Santa Claus, presents, and Christmas trees. I’d be the first to taste them, as the creamy and crunchy texture dispersed and melted into pure taste.

I now walk the same youthful path, and stare at the spot where I built my first snow fortress. Now, it is summer and the ice and frozen water has melted. But it doesn’t matter. When winter arrives, I’ll build an even greater fortress, one as high as a skyscraper. I’ll bake sweets that even a king would beg to sample, create a vast armada of ships from wood to sail out and dominate the seas.

I wish now for those glories of my youth, those dreams that could never die and the stories my grandfather once told. I now understand the bubble that surrounds this place, as my youthful dreams, hopes, and desires remain here and blossom, like the petunias that now rustle in the breeze. Oats and grains are carried from the vast plains and sprinkle the ground, like seeds to a vast garden that will never die, but continue to grow.





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