Monday, December 17, 2007

Ma's log cabin is a tribute to homeschooling

The construction of this sweet little log cabin was a labor of love many years ago. It was built by my mother and three of my older brothers, Gary, Chuck and Sherril. I think it was actually my mother's brain child but she needed the boy's help to cut the logs and assemble them. Gary worked very hard on this project and put his heart and soul into it. My 4 sisters and I were really too small to help with the heavy work but I remember gathering wood for the woodstove in it.

The cabin was originally built deep in the woods behind the old farm. When it got to be too much of an effort to visit the cabin often, whether on horseback, by tractor or on foot, it was decided it would be moved closer to the main road. It was disassembled, each log was marked, transported by tractor and horse drawn wagon, and eventually reassembled about 1/4 mile up the road from the farm.

I remember traveling by horse drawn buckboard through the meadow and woods to take supplies to the cabin for our camping excursions. My mom actually has old home movies of some of us traveling in the buckboard taking a rolled up mattress to the cabin. One night, while we were all camping out at the cabin, my mom sent my brothers back to the farm to get some butter for our supper. It was a scary walk through those woods in the dark. I think that was the night the decision was made to move the cabin.

This cabin still stands today about 1/8 of a mile from my home. I pass it every day when I drive off my mountain top. The cabin is a shining example of homeschooling at its best. A mom and her children working, playing and learning together while doing something they love. The cabin is approximately 47 years old now. It has a new owner who uses it as a get-a-way from city life.

The cabin served a higher purpose several years ago. After working for Disney World for 32 years, my beloved brother, Gary, was killed by a teenage driver in Florida in March 2005. We conducted a memorial for Gary at the cabin in June of that year. Gary was a US Army veteran and a military service was provided for him. I will always remember listening to 'taps' being played for Gary on that bright summer day with the cabin in the background. It was a wonderful tribute. Just as importantly though, it was a tribute to the bond between a mother and her children at a place where love knew no boundaries .

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