Things I Really Like

The Cabin

May 27, 2009

Our cabin in is western Wisconsin, right over the boarder north of the Twin Cities. We’ve had the cabin since the early 70’s and have remodeled it a couple of times from a simple cabin to a house that is considerably larger and nicer than my own.

Since my father died a few years ago we haven’t gone up as much as we should so some things need work. A lot of work. I plan on spending most of the weekends this summer up there working on the house. I should be spending that time working on my own house but I’m not nearly as motivated to do so. Probably because I live here and I simply can’t keep up with the mess my children create let alone repairing things. On the weekends I am at home, usually all of them in the winter, I clean the house from top to bottom. Not clean like mopping or windows or nitty gritty cleaning but picking up the crap my children leave all over the place.

Sunday afternoon my dining room table is empty. By Wednesday it is unrecognizable. Usually it is my crap that is on the table, I lay the mail there to look at before tossing out the junk and then moving it up to my office. I try to discourage anyone from leaving anything on the dining room table because once there is one thing on it, it all just multiplies, like rabbits or some virus. It’s creepy how it happens.

The cabin doesn’t have that problem. We get little mail up there and since it is all junk and the mail box is located next to the trash receptacle I just take what is in the mailbox and place in the dumpster. There are many more counter tops at the lake to put stuff on so it doesn’t look as cluttered as my house does. The inside of the house is easy, it is the outside that is the challenge.

Everyone waters their lawn up there. Everyone. We all have pumps hooked up to the lake to pump water out of the lake onto the grass. It is perfectly legal so none of you DNR types need to get on my case. I haven’t hooked up the pump system yet so I spent a good deal of time watering the lawn with a hose. I was laughed at by the neighbors who all had those tractor type sprinklers that not only cost as much as a first year at a second rate college but do the work for you. There is no bending over to move the sprinkler since it moves itself. I was envious of my neighbors this weekend and am now coveting their sprinkler.

I love western Wisconsin. It is a back woodsy place with many farms and apparently a lot of slow children. I know this because there are signs all over the roads cautioning drivers to be aware of the slow children. I swear, when I am up at the cabin, I can hear Dueling Banjos in the distance.

I don’t care to shop up there however. There is a Wal*Mart about 15 miles from the cabin and it is like all the other Wal*Marts in the US. I am sure that they bus in the staff and shoppers from western WI. All the patrons and cashiers are portly people usually lacking teeth and speaking with double negatives and dropping their “g”s. I have found that I need to speak slowly and loudly if I need to ask anyone for help. Alternatively there is a general store a mile or two from the cabin. A pole barn that houses all the beer and bait one could ever possibly need in a weekend. Everything there is at least four times more expensive than in the cities but if you need toilet paper what are you going to do? Suck it up.

I plan on going to Costco more this year because of the cabin. They have bulk everything for cheap and I can store it up there so I don’t need to take out a loan if I need toilet paper in a pinch. I would rather not mix with the locals if I don’t have to. Of course there are few locals left on the lake. At one time half the cabin were local people who lived up there year round. The property values sky rocketed years ago and there are few people left up there who are residents of Wisconsin.

I’ve often wondered where people from Wisconsin go for their weekends. Everyone in Minnesota has a cabin, it is usually up north which makes me also wonder where the people who live in northern Minnesota go. I suppose they go to Canada.

The Minnesotans keep to the lake homes and leave the local taverns to the locals. With the infighting that is persistent between the Packer fans and the Viking fans it just isn’t worth the risk of the bar fights. This business with Bret Favre hasn’t helped the situation. Kent Hrbek has a place on the neighboring lake and Kirby Pucket had one on the next lake over. The Minnesotans have taken over western Wisconsin and the locals are none to pleased about it. They like our money in the summer but would rather not have a beer with us. We just want to keep our kids from getting involved with their slow children so there is no mixing of the two cultures.

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  • Reply Pricilla May 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    This is rather like the island on which the publicist grew up. Small one off of the coast of NJ. About 1,000 people over 18 miles in the winter and about 100,000 come summer. We hated the summer folk (1/2 from the Philadelphia area, 1/2 from the New York/North Jersey area) but they provided our means to survive all winter.

    She was happy to move off of it but she did work on it for more years than she cares to remember.

    Yours sounds like a nice place to get away from normal life for a bit, work notwithstanding

  • Reply Lola May 27, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Too funny. I can only imagine the nonsense with Brett Favre. I always thought Wisconsinites went to The Dells. Illinoisans go there too.

    My ex-husband and I used to have a 3 bedroom trailer home near The Dells. We didn’t get up there much after the kids came. It was a real bitch him not being a driver and me having to drive from Chicago to Montello. Then of course we had to go to the surrounding cities because there isn’t anything in Montello except an old fashioned candy store. So then I’d have more driving to do, Princeton, Portage, sometimes backtracking to Madison. Then of course I’d have to stop in Milwaukee on the way home (which wasn’t on the way home, but…) to visit my sister. It’s not that I don’t love to drive, I do! I just resented that I HAD to drive and that I also had to take care of 3 kids. (Yes, I’m counting the ex-husband as a kid too.)

    We ended up selling the trailer and splitting the small amount we got for it.

    It’s too bad we don’t have it now because Anastasia and I would love to get away, (yes, even if we had to bring the kids) but the expense of driving, and then hotels makes it too expensive.

  • Reply BONNIE K May 27, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    We have a cottage in Michigan (we live in Ohio) and we just don’t make it up there too much cause it’s a long drive. But you’re right – it never seems cluttered like our house. I have the same dining room table as you, but add to it that our kitchen table is the same way. We are hopeless when it comes to keeping a neat house.

  • Reply dizzblnd May 28, 2009 at 5:00 am

    I love the sign! My husband was born in WI, but I have never been.

    It is very odd that we would rather spend out time cleaning up and fixing up a place where we don’t live. But I completely understand it. I would rather go clean an elderly persons home than my own.. only because I don’t have to do it very day (not that I do it here anyway)

    Good luck in getting it fixed up. I hope you can conquer your house as well

  • Reply Frogs in my formula May 28, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Sigh. No mail.

    Sounds divine.

  • Reply Birmingham Hotels April 26, 2010 at 10:09 am

    my cabin is in western wisconsin aswell. from my past experiences there i can say theat the weather will be great around this time of year, also in the winter as the snow is quite magical.

  • Reply Laundry Sorter · November 4, 2010 at 5:40 am

    i do not want to live exactly on a trailer home but i think it is interesting to live on it though :

  • Reply Combi Boilers December 3, 2010 at 2:28 am

    i do not like trailer homes because it is not sturdy enough specially when the weather goes bad *-;

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