Summers at the Cabin

Allie McIntoshSeptember 13, 2018Rituals and TraditionsFeatures

When it comes to my family’s cabin, tradition is the most important thing.

We find ourselves there the same time every year, doing the same things, enjoying the same company. Every time we visit the cabin, we leave feeling completely refreshed.

Photograph by Sara High

I don’t remember a year when we didn’t pack up and head out to celebrate Independence Day at the little cabin that sat on the edge of Cascade Lake. During the long car ride up to the spot, the sound of gravel crunching under our tires and the welcome sight of large open fields were the telltale signs that we were approaching our destination. While watching crickets fly up off the road and listening to Garrison Keillor blasting from the radio, we would turn onto the narrow gravel road, past the green street sign that declared this place “Paradise.”

The cabin was far from luxurious, with only two bedrooms and a bathroom in which the shower didn’t work. Bats lived in the ceiling; you could hear them scuttle around all night long. Our back deck had a long row of stairs descending from it, their wood rotted and breaking apart. Trees shrouded the whole back of our cabin, and we had lost half of our dock to the lake.

Compared to the other cabins on the lakeside, ours looked like a mess. But that didn’t matter to us. In fact, we took pride in being the most rugged cabin on the lake. The carpet was an ugly color, the 50′s furniture didn’t match, and the curtains were full of holes. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The main purpose for the cabin had always been to simply get away from society. The things we would do probably wouldn’t look very exciting to an outsider, but that’s the point. Most of our time there was spent reading, talking, and sleeping. It was all very quiet and peaceful, and there was very little variety. The food was almost the same every year; we ate fajitas and scrambled eggs with Fourth of July themed napkins and plates, the adults drank their gin while I ate all the cherries. We listened to the same music and slept in the same beds. We played a rousing game of hearts at least once or twice and we took the dogs out on the same walk twice a day.

Traditions at the cabin are a guaranteed part of my summer. When we leave the cabin, we feel fully rested and restored. It’s time where we can escape from the real world and just hang out on the lake. It makes me glad that I can always count on some things staying the same, no matter what happens.

Allie McIntosh is fourteen years old and lives in Moscow, Idaho. She loves being with her family, which includes two cats and two dogs. She enjoys making music and writing stories in her spare time.