Once upon a time my (great) uncle bought a hundred acres of woodland in the middle of nowhere. He built a (hunting) cabin and named it Wild Wood.
My uncle died, and my (great) aunt of course was extremely sad and she missed him.
I didn’t know my uncle well. While my aunt was friendly and sociable, I didn’t see him much. He preferred to keep to himself. The cabin reflects that: remote, strong, independent.
The cabin was a strong reminder, and four and a half years ago my parents bought the property from my aunt. The August long weekend was the first time I’d ever been up there. I’m very sorry it took me so long.
We drove up in Jo’s car on Friday night, my mother and brother followed late behind us, though it was well after midnight when we finally arrived.
It was so quiet, alone in the dark, late late at night. No cars. No music. No (other) people.
Until we heard a noise. A creature-sounding noise.
Afraid, we made martinis and a new slogan: Martinis – drink nature away!
(I’m still convinced I smelled a bear.)
I would say we had trouble sleeping, but it wasn’t quite that. We stayed up laughing and talking until the sun rose, and decided it might finally be time to lie quiet for a bit, lose consciousness and hallucinate wildly.
Upon waking we visited the nearby “town”, saw some fake Amish and cow-people getting ready for a hoedown. A hoedown. It – I – a…hoedown.
My parents would like each of us kids to have a place of our own up there, and while that’s not quite feasible yet, after finally visiting I think I’d like that quite a lot.
I’ve even picked out a spot.
Drew says it’s too small, but I’d just want something small to write in, and Drew’s already calling it “your writing cabin”. (One weekend is all it takes.) It will be lovely.
After some car trouble (RIP transmission in green truck), my father and (another) aunt came up Saturday afternoon.
He brought lots of dogs with him, two of his own and one belonging to my aunt, so by the end of the day there were seven people and three dogs sleeping in the cabin.
The next day Dad took me out for a ride on his ATV, which was a lot of (terrifying) fun, and then he let me have a go.
I’ve never driven anything with a motor that wasn’t in some sort of track (go-karts) or in some kind of cage (bumper cars). These things are big and rumble and they can go quite fast. (Much faster than my bicycle.)
I’ll admit to being a little afraid of the thing, though it was fun to go up and down the road a bit. I conqured my fear and have photographic evidence to prove it.
It also made me feel strangely grown up.
(Drew and my little brother also each had turns on the thing, but they’re used to driving fast, vroomy things, so they weren’t, perhaps, as impressed as I was.)
Jo had been on ATVs many times before, and wasn’t bothered about it. Jo thinks my dad’s the bees knees, and he’s said she’s not a citiot, unlike me. In fact, he saved an article about citiots just for me. To show me how lame and city I am. (Oh, Dad…)
Alas, Drew had to work Monday, so we headed back home Sunday evening, and decided to stop for ice cream along the way. Jo, Drew and I kept our eyes peeled for ice cream signs, and we passed a few before seeing the giant ice cream cone.
We pulled in, got out, ordered our ice cream. Drew, as per usual, needed the bathroom, and headed into the main part of the store. His ice cream was melting, so I went to wait for him in there.
Then I looked up.
The entire ceiling was covered in toys.
While we stood gaping in delighted amazement and amusement, the proprietor invited Jo to press buttons along the wall.
Things lit up.
Things made noise.
He then invited us to stay and watch the main show. It was some 15-20 minutes long, narrated (with sound effects!) by the wonderful man behind the counter.
At various points along the ceiling there are race cars, firemen, three roller coasters, an upside down city (complete with dogs), a crazy ring of planets (including Planet Firehall) and just toys everywhere.
A highlight was the flying cow and flying pig, which oinked and mooed in the proprietor’s voice.
It truely was awesome. And, as an added bonus, the ice creams were superb.
Such a crazy random place to stop, but I’m so glad we did, and I’m certain the next time we go to the cabin (and there will be many next times), we will stop at the Firehall.
It has become a Destination.
Huzzah to cabins, creatures, martinis, the Firehall, and my parents, and weird and wonderful people everywhere.