358 days is a long time for an adult to wait for something and an eternity for kids.
But time moved forward and after much anticipation, almost to the point of freak out, we arrived at our favorite place on earth… The Cabin.
Why is this place so gosh darn unbelievably fantastic you ask?
I will tell you and it won’t be easy. In no particular order let me do my best.
- The smells. First thing you do is take a huge breath the moment you get out of the car…ahhh the smell of the pine trees. Then the cabin has this smoky, old musty smell and I know, I have finally arrived. Oh wait I have to add the smell of a rainstorm or even the smell of the boats engine all make me close my eyes and smile
- The funny traditions we have like saying "hello" and "good bye" to the meadow. Not just any meadow but the kind that only grows in Montana. This meadow has a huge sky and wild clouds dancing fast across it like a stage. Off to the side is the south fork river that is gently, rolling along in little curves with grassy banks. Mountains and Hebgen lake are off in the distance and serve as our constant reminder that we are in are own piece of heaven.
- Trying to get someone up on skis or wake board or really just about anything that is some type of wood plank. The cheering, the instructions and the total elation when someone reaches their goal. I don’t know I just love that.
- The fact that all I have to do each day is gather up kiddos, towels and head down to the lake and I am guaranteed the best day ever. Their day consists of paddling to frog island, swimming, jumping off the dock and playing in the sand. This might be my favorite thing.
- Heading into Yellowstone park with the family. This I might add when not make my kiddos list. In fact, they never want to leave the cabin, so this one makes them downright wild and angry. But year after year I insist. Because quite frankly, I am hoping that they will find the magic that exists in that park, that is as thick as the San Francisco fog.
- Going into that touristy, funny little town of West Yellowstone and hitting my favorite book store called” The book peddler.” I look for the staff pick, buy it and then gobble it up in about 2 days and repeat the process all over again. Fyi some of my favorite reads over the years have been from those great picks.
- The endless ping pong wars. Those games get mighty serious and Ella is nothing to shake a stick at.
- Our movies every night.
- No dishwasher. I know I must be clinically insane but for some odd reason I like to do the dishes up there with my kids. It sorta makes me pretend we live in the olden’ days. After their whining and complaining we just wash and tell stories and laugh about silly things. I don’t know I just like it a whole lot.
- Sleeping on the screened in front porch. Unless you have done it I just don’t know how to explain it. Umm it’s being lullabied to sleep by the wind rustling in the pines and hearing the waves lap up on the sand in the distance. It’s hearing squirrels running up trees 2 feet away from where your head is on the pillow. And it is even sometimes being unreasonably scared because you are 100% sure you heard a bear outside. (Tom and I have been known to keep some pots and pans by our head just in case) The air being so cold but being so cozy all cuddled up in the warm blankets. Waking up to the forest sounds all around you. Oh but wait a second I hate the crow the caws all morning long starting at about 5:00 am. I really hate that crow.
- Seeing my dads shoes and towel on the porch of the little cabin and knowing we are going to have uninterrupted grandpa time for at least a week.
- The endless funny whistle that we all associate with someone trying to feed the squirrels peanuts.
- The complete solitude of my morning jog. I think I might be the only one trudging along those quiet dirt roads and I really, really like that.
- The fact that I have no idea what time it is or what the date is…totally irrelevant.
- The closeness that I feel with my family. The cabin is just plain cozy and every day we are together without any distractions. All we do is play. That is what the cabin is ultimately about. Time together. Whether it is an atv ride or playing in the lake we are together. It connects us like only Hebgen can do.
So this is getting ridiculously long and I am tired and I want to go to bed. So I will just say this-- it is just the million and one memories all molded together to make the cabin unbelievably wonderful and makes me think that if Hebgen isn't heaven I am not so sure I want to go there. :)
Only 345 more days to go until next year.