Friday, February 26, 2010

Pell City Cabin

Writing about Mimi's cabin in Pell City brought back SO many memories of that place...and always of her. She bought it for us--for that pile of nieces and nephews who never even knew how blessed we were.

That's her standing on the deck of the cabin, which overlooked Logan Martin Lake. I'm bettin' she was aiming for my little brother. But he swears she was aiming at squirrels.

Many summer weekends were spent at that A-framed cabin. The year Uncle Bill got the boat, we thought we'd died and gone to summer camp. He even let the older boys--Kenneth and Gary--haul us all over that lake. Several cousins even learned to ski behind that boat. I tried...about 7,842 times....but, we've already discussed how me and any type of physical activity never got along.

Our days at the cabin were divided between the lake and community pool, which had a slide AND a diving board. Almost every day, we'd hold "diving" competitions--working and working until we had perfected the can opener, the banana split, the cannonball. Or...we'd see who could survive "the most painful belly flop ever". Then...with stinging red bellies...we'd walk back down the gravel road to the cabin where Mimi's coca-cola cake would almost always be waiting.

My cabin memories of Uncle Bill involve him driving the boat or fishing from the dock, or working on projects around the cabin. In fact, the funniest cabin memory ever directly involved one of his projects.

Late one night, us cousins were hanging out in the living room. Mimi was in the room with us, but she was single-mindedly focused on exterminating a family of wasps who were competing for cabin space. And Uncle Bill was working on a project in the loft. One of the cousins (can't remember who) had brought their tape recorder, and we were taping each other singing, making bodily noises and other stupid stuff like that. In the background, Mimi was shouting instructions to Uncle Bill about what she wanted him to do about the wasps, and the tape player recorded her voice crystal-clearly. So, when we started playing  it back, Uncle Bill thought Mimi was repeatedly shouting at him.

At first, we couldn't figure out why he was getting in such a huff up in the loft. Then, one of the brighter cousins figured it out. So...of course...we had to let Mimi in on the fun; then we kept rewinding the recording, and Uncle Bill kept yelling from the loft, "WILMA, I SAID I HEARD YOU THE FIRST TIME!"

Well, after three or four rewinds, Uncle Bill was apoplectic, us cousins were quietly snickering and Mimi...well... she was doubled over on the floor laughing at Uncle Bill's increasingly loud responses to her pre-recorded instructions.

When Mimi finally let him in on the joke, he chuckled (sort of)...but not as much as us cousins and not NEARLY as much as Mimi, who could hardly quit laughing long enough to explain to him WHY she was laughing.

And that memory...of Mimi laughing so hard that tears rolled down her face...of me...of us together...being a part of such still...somehow sacred.
We laughed, we sang, .

we couldn't believe our good fortune.
...God was wonderful to us;
we are one happy people.
And now, God, do it again—
bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So that those who have tears
will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So that those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing
(Psalm 126:2-3, The Message)

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