Fun at the cabin with Sister and the kids

Published 9:49 am Friday, November 14, 2008

This October Lynn, who is the brother of my wife, Jean, and his wife, Margaret, came home for a visit from Alaska. Margaret, who we call Sister, is a big fan of the cooler temperatures as she has spent all of her life in Alaska. A few years ago when she was home in the spring the temperature got into the 80s in April and she could hardly stand it. This time the weather was perfect for all of us.

We took a few days and headed north to our cabin. It was especially fun because all the grandkids went along as well as both of our boys. Brian even brought the horses so we (they) could do a little riding. There are plenty of trails to ride on and Brian and Lynn did just that.

Trevor, the oldest grandson, was pretty much out of sight for most of the time. He spent all of his time either on or by the lake waiting for a flock of ducks to fly close enough for a shot. He and his brother, Taylor, and their dad, Brian, would get up early each morning and head across the lake to wait for the sun to come up. They waited until the last full day to down a duck, but Trevor finally got one. Although the ducks were not really flying in big numbers they did see a few and had some shots.

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We spent a lot of time cutting down trees, splitting wood and sitting around the campfire. The weather was good and we were able to spend a lot of time catching up on stories. I didn’t get to do a lot of fishing, but we did drive around to a few lakes and I did a little casting from shore.

I enjoyed the time with the grandkids watching them play football and just doing outdoor stuff that kids can do in the North Woods. They were all good workers when it came time to stack the split wood, and I think they all took turns trying to split a log or at least chop off a branch or two.

Trevor and Taylor had the axes and Grant and Dylan were using hatchets to trim off the smaller branches. Although the kids were working they were having so much fun that it didn’t really seem much like work to them.

For the last three years we had wanted to cut down this huge dying birch tree which sits along the driveway. It was probably the largest tree on the place. We finally decided to do it but it didn’t go easy. Lynn got the chainsaw wedged in the tree when it leaned the wrong way. After securing a rope a ways up the tree we hooked it to Brian’s truck. His brother Brad was the designated driver and pulled the tree off the saw enough to dislodge it. With Brad at wheel help the tree finally fell and the boys were impressed when the pickup spun the tires getting out of harm’s way.

Sister had the kids’ attention when she started making doughnuts from scratch. She made both glazed and sugar doughnuts, and I know for a fact that none of the boys had ever experienced doughnuts so fresh that they were still hot. I can’t remember having anything that tasted that good. They were so light and flaky that they would melt in your mouth. For a little change of pace the next day she made caramel rolls to go along with more doughnuts. All this was from scratch — no boxed mixes for her.

When Sister made the doughnuts Taylor came out and said “You should see Dylan and Grant, they are eating the doughnuts as fast as Sister puts them on the plate.” They were definitely enjoying themselves and were acting like kids that had been turned loose in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

Lynn and Brian were really enjoying their time riding horse and working with Lynn’s young horse. Brian worked Lynn’s horse Blaze in the corral that Brian and Kim had built a couple of years earlier. The corral is made of trees cut into logs and looks like a corral you’d see on one of those realistic western movies. It was amazing to watch as Brian had the horse running around the corral in one direction and then stop and go the other direction. He did this by just twirling the rope kind of like a vertical lasso. When Brian would stop twirling it and stand in one place the horse would stop running, turn and walk up to him and stop. You could tell that the time Kim and Brian had spent working with Blaze had paid off in a big way.

As I watched Brian working with Blaze in the corral I couldn’t help but think of how proud Brian’s grandpa would be to see how he loves horses and spends the time working with them. Both Brian and Lynn spent a lot of time with the horses and just like my dad, I could understand the enjoyment they got from it.