My mother-in-law says that cabins are the glue of a family.
She’s right. There’s something about unplugging from technology, playing in the woods, cooking meals together…it’s just magical.
We put the cabin up for a sale almost on a whim. We’d planned to sell it once Tim’s job transfer finalized, but instead found ourselves growing more and more nervous about how it would all unfold. Would we have enough time to sell it after we got the green light? And once the snow started falling in the mountains, were people going to want to hike in to house hunt? DO PEOPLE DO THAT? Because I sure wouldn’t. The cabin sat on a road that was rarely plowed (unless one homeowner generously coughed up the cash to do it), which meant hiking a quarter of a mile uphill if you wanted to get there. Some weekends, snow went up to our knees. And how would we move out all of our stuff?
Tim said, “Let’s just put it up on Zillow and see what happens.” So, we took the plunge, and little did we know, the cabin was under contract 48 hours later. (We never even used a selling agent.)
During this time, fall morphed into winter. A true summer cabin, the house lacked insulation and central heat. But we made it work for us when we wanted to be there by using electric blankets and heaters. However, as the colder nights began to creep in, we knew our days were numbered, we just didn’t know for how long. See, if the weather was forecasted to be below a certain temp, we would just plan to stay in Boulder and skip the cabin for the weekend. So we never really knew when our last weekend would be. One of the last weekends there reminded me of all those messy feelings that whirled through my body the night before I left for my first year at college, wanting so badly to bolt yet not wanting to leave the comforts of home all at once.
Knowing we were leaving, that in-between part, is what really got to me. The carefree barefoot summer days and the warm memories in our hearts make the time spent seem to crystallize inside my soul. A home filled with happy memories is never somewhere you never want to leave forever, but that deep feeling in my gut that it was time to move on was overbearing.
Right before we handed the keys over to the giddy new owner at the closing, we stopped at the cabin to say goodbye. A palpable change was in the air, the bone-chilling cold, a sure sign that those warm days of summer were long gone. Tim and I took one last walk around the perimeter and over to the clearing, where we spent so many nights watching the sun turn down behind the mountains; we found someone else’s footprints already imprinted along the path, a stark reality the land was no longer ours. The short, cold walk soon grew tiring, yanking our feet in and out of three feet of snow, step after step, moving through the thick fog. It wasn’t long before we both hopped in the car, eager to find warmth and move on to the next phase. It’s funny how life seems to catapult you forward into a new chapter, even when you least expect it.
Saying goodbye is hard, even though we know we’ll be back in Boulder one day. Letting go completely and knowing that cabin will never be ours again, I’m still working on that. I’m thankful for the nights we spent by the fire and the days we spent utterly transfixed, for hours, by the beauty of our natural surroundings. Even though it was all incredibly short, I wouldn’t trade it in for the world.