• Cabins in the Woods

    As adults we all know the lure of the cabin in the woods, to be able to relax, no electricity, no phones, nothing but birds and relaxation.  But as boys we too seemed to have a fascination with cabins, or at least we did back home.  I can’t even begin to count how many were made over the years.

    The most elaborate I remember was mainly built by my brother Keith and Lorne Patey in by the brook in Apsey Brook.  They picked a flat piece of land, that was near the woods path that went in across Uncle Ingham Smith’s garden, we just had to scramble up and down over the bank.  I really don’t remember how old we were, but I remember they knocked down logs and used as a base, and built a floor upon it.  We had a 45 gallon drum with a stove pipe coming out for a stove, and they at least ( I don’t think I ever slept there, or was allowed, or something) had hammocks hung to sleep in.  Yet my biggest memory somehow seems to be looking at our old collections of hockey cards in there.  We had many a full set all kept in special cardboard lockers that were issued for each season. I’m not sure what became of it, maybe the cabin is still there, but more likely it washed away at some point.  And if it hadn’t before, I’m sure hurricane Igor did the job on it.

    The last I remember was built up in the woods behind our house, not far in, but not on any path either.  It was basically a shack with a sloped roof, but was always a fun place to go and sit and chat with friends.  I’d say that one has tumbled down long ago as it wasn’t nearly as sturdy, but it was fun, made of planks likely from Dad’s old mill, a door made for it, using pieces of rubber nailed to it for hinges, and a wooden knob pivoting on a nail to keep the door shut on the inside, and a bar and slot to keep it closed when we left.  Not that snow didn’t blow in underneath anyway!

    And then of course as we got older, Barry Cooper had a great couple of cabins in Snook’s Harbour down by the water.  I can’t comment on the building of those, but they were much better built than those we built as boys. He had a big wooden table and a couple of bench seats pulled from an old car somewhere.  We’d head there and play cards, have a few beer, and generally use them as our party location.

    Another fond memory of growing up.  Do kids back home still make cabins anymore? Of course there aren’t 2 or 3 sawmills in every community now either, so supplies aren’t as easy to come by.

    Raised in outport Newfoundland in a town of 65 people, I pursued a post secondary diploma in Information Technology right out of High School. I’ve always been a geek at heart, but yet I love the rural life I grew up with. Fishing, hunting, camping and the great outdoors are still loves of mine, even if I don’t pursue them as often as I once did. Sports were always a big part of our lives, and I played many (badly) and loved them all.

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