Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Love This Place


Some of my fondest childhood memories and several of my most fun college moments share one location:  The Cabin.  My Grandpa Bud Barnes owns a cabin in Brighton, up Big Cottonwood Canyon (one of the prettiest places on the planet, btw).  The Cabin has been in the family for more than 70 years.  Grandpa built it with his dad in 1936.  He  added to it in 1976.  It’s rustic.  It’s beautiful.  It’s dripping with character.  It’s packed with memories.  It’s hosted holidays, family gatherings, reunions, scouting events, honeymoons, ski sleepovers and countless parties.  Grandpa has been incredibly generous with The Cabin, letting just about anyone he knew (and in some cases didn’t know) use it.  As a child I loved hiking to Dancing Rock and the Burned Down Cabin, singing along with the player piano, finding MMM (Mickey Mouse Mountain), riding the snowmobile, playing poker with my cousins, rocking in the hammock, swinging on the Tarzan rope, playing telephone in The Treehouse, watching squirrels nibble on bread crumbs and “spying” on other family members through cracks in the walls.  Those were happy good times.  If you knew me at all in college (or if you knew anyone who knew someone who knew someone who knew me), you’ve probably been to The Cabin for a party.  Multiple times.  Those were crazy good times.

The time has come to sell The Cabin.  This has been hard on the Barnes family since it is a place we all cherish.  I was emotional as I locked the door after what I knew might be my last time there.  All I could think was, “I love this place.”  Over and over again.  Yet, I know selling it is the right thing right now.



DSC_0315 DSC_0316 




DSC_0318sign    treehouse 

The Treehouse


The Bunkhouse


I tried to spend as much time as I could at The Cabin during my trip.  Allison organized a  Goodbye Cabin Party for the extended family.  It was great to see the Barnes.  There are wonderful people in this bunch.  We’ve grown into a really big group and most of us are scattered.  We had only about 1/3 of our family there, but I was happy to see those who could make it.


DSC_03737 of Grandpa Bud’s 21 great grandchildren.

cabin cheerJulie and I were tasked with making the kids smile…

DSC_0384 which apparently just made my child mad.


My immediate family minus Ryan who was in Denver on a med school rotation. 


DSC_0422   I debated posting this picture.  Ali, don’t hate me.  I really like it… except you just look a little special.


I had a second chance to reunite with Barnes cousins at Julie’s house a few weeks later.  We had yummy BBQ and again attempted a great grandchild picture.

DSC_1010  I’m learning Anderson HATES these.



I am so grateful for my Grandpa Bud.  He is a good man who hasn’t had the easiest life.  My Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s the year I was born (1980).  She was 57.  My mom was only 25.  Grandpa Bud cared for my Grandma as she slowly slipped away mentally, then physically over 23 years.  She died in November 2003 at the age of 80.  My Mom says there are worse things in life than death;  Alzheimer’s is one of them.   I tend to agree.  

When I was a little girl, I loved spending time with Grandpa Bud.   He was generous, friendly and always had a corny joke (we call them groaners) and M&Ms to share.  It seemed he knew everybody and everybody loved him.  Grandpa is different now.  His health and mind are failing him.  It’s hard to see it when we visit him.   One thing remains.  He always has a handful of M&Ms he’s trying to slip you.  I love my Grandpa Bud.  I respect him.  He has done wonderful things in his life and for his children and grandchildren.  He is a great man.  He has a very special place in my heart. 



lys said...

You always tell such a wonderful story. I wish you could take over my blog and tell my life story because you do it so well.

Kelly D. said...

A beautiful tribute to a truly beautiful place! I'm glad you got a chance to make even more memories there saying goodbye this summer.

I hope whoever purchases it appreciates The Hot Room. There's no place in the universe quite like it!

Sarah S said...

Not the cabin!! I have some fun memories of being there with Ben back when we were dating. I remember the massive amounts of snow piled up against the cabin at many of your cabin parties. I also remember the toilet that was a little testy.

Your post was so thoughtful and sweet. Goodbye to The Cabin!

Ming said...

Well said.

Mom said...

Thanks Wendy, I needed that.

Jess said...

I think Anderson is adorable even when he's so mad you can see the steam coming out of his ears.:)

jaredandmatisse said...

I love this post. The best one yet. Places can be sacred.

Holly said...

thanks for the sweet comment on my blog. you know what you should try with your poppy seed dressing? mix it with really good raspberry jam to make a raspberry poppyseed dressing. It's good!

marti said...

I love the picture with your Grandpa. He sounds like a very good man. Sorry you have to say goodbye to your cabin. :(

Jessica Taggart said...

Oh Wendy, of course your post has me crying. I can remember such good things about your Grandpa Bud. One of them was when we went to the play "South Pacific" at the U and then out to McDonald's. He always had the Peel-a-Bucks too. I can see why and how your family has turned out the way it has due to examples such as that of your Grandpa's.

I love you and am so thankful for the cabin tales that we all have thanks to him!

anna banana said...

Places are so special, I know I can think of the places that no matter how long I am gone from them going to them is like going home. I know your cabin is that way for you. Love you!

Gwendolyn said...

They were CRAZY good parties--I just told Nate about the party finals week of our senior year that happened to fall on/around my birthday, and how you got everyone to sing 'Happy Birthday' to me, and then got all the guys there to give me a birthday kiss (on the cheek)--it was awesome! Nate unfortunately didn't think that was awesome :(

And I second Kelly: the new owners better appreciate The Hot Room.

Brittany said...

What a touching post. I'm so glad you have such great memories of the cabin.
BTW my grandmother has Alzheimers and I totally agree with your mom as well.

Rob said...

Grandpa Bud was/is a stud.
Anyone who thinks Utah is a boring place never went to a party at that cabin.
BTW - We finally agree on one of your fabulous items. Briannas poppyseed dressing is the best.