Toadily roto

Another summer at the moomincabin is a wrap. The GG is handy at opening and closing rustic dwellings but this year a beach urchin expressed an interest in learning how to close and her help was greatly appreciated. The main thing you do not want to mess up when closing a seasonal cabin in the yooperland is properly draining the water. The consequences of forgetting a step in the process or not turning a valve all the way to wherever it is supposed to be can mean arriving to find a broken pipe the next spring. That has happened to us – on a frigid day in May with the wind screaming in off Gitchee Gumee.

For a long time I thought it was easier to close the moomincabin when it was just the GG and I. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t have welcomed other folks showing up to help. Just that more people means more hubbub and the associated clean-up. Having Lizard Breath with us this weekend proved that to be totally wrong. She was helpful in every way including thinking up some things I would not have. Like we now have a LIST of prodjects (intentionally misspelled) large or small to complete. Every year when we are closing the place, I think something like, “we need to do this or that next summer.” I ALWAYS FORGET! Next year, we can consult the LIST! Like, it’s a rainy day, is there a small prodject or two that we can work on? There are prodjects that will take a lot of planning and years to complete but we are now a bit more organized.

A light bulb came on today that the issues I’m remembering with closing the cabin with more than two people stem from the last few years of The Commander’s life when *she* was the third person. Packing up our stuff and her stuff plus cleaning and closing was daunting. I *still* remember an “argument” about yogurt. She was alarmed that I was packing it up. “I’m gonna need that!” Yes, moom, you will need that yogurt and that’s why I’m packing it up. Because you are going to put it in your car and take it into town to your HOUSE, which you are moving back to for the winter TODAY! She knew all of that but was a bit overwhelmed by the process.

It’s different when the “extra” person is a competent, energetic younger adult. I know that I am not good at working on plumbing prodjects with the GG so I tried my best to stay out of the way. One of my main self-assigned chores was dishes so that when it was time to drain the pipes, the dishes were done and we didn’t need any more water. I also put on my Washer Woman and Garbage Woman hats throughout the morning and packed up everything else that needed to return to the Landfill for the winter. Finally, I took my last beach walk for the year.

As it turned out I didn’t even stay until the end of the close. The GG was heading back up to meet his buddies at Tahq and Liz drives to Detroit so I hitched a ride with npJane (who also lives on The Planet Ann Arbor). She was finished closing the Old Cabin, so we took off. And man oh man, what a trip! Heavy rain throughout most of the Northern Lower, then intermittent traffic backups and a guy in an ancient Honda Accord who tried to kill us and a few other travelers. (Putchyer phone down and stay in yer lane). npJane hung back well behind him until he exited. Whew!

The pic shows one of the storm windows we use to cover our picture windows whenever we close for the winter. I hate hate hate hate these things in a visceral way but they are necessary. When my old coot had the cabin built, we were not wealthy and he challenged a construction friend of his to use some certain small amount of money to build our little cabin. One of the ways his friend economized was to salvage some discarded storefront windows. We have three of those and they are central to the ambience of the place. If anything happened to them, I’m not sure they could easily be replaced.

Thanks to npJane (my “baby” cousin) for the ride, thanks to Lizard for all of her help, thanks to the GG for being the plumbing mastermind, and thanks to me for deciding he was the right person to spend my life with.

One Response to “Toadily roto”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Great idea to have a list; I do better with things written down. It sounds like forgetting to do something can have dire results!