This trip began with introducing the wonders of BB's cabin to that_madge. We exchanged childhood and adolescent histories, shared dreamy remembrances of our first girlfriends, and bobbed in the clear soft lake for hours during exceptionally hot weather. I cooked for three nights. After that_madge left us to return to her job, BB and I commenced four days of kitchen reorganizing. Ah, the joys of retirement.
This project was hard work emotionally and physically. Every regular visitor to the cabin has brought prep and serving tools1 to make the cabin homey for them, and as tokens of regard. These donations were stuffed in alongside the originals from BB's childhood.
BB's working class values means she cherishes the gifts and that history. Maintaining multiples seems prudent and grateful. That she shares the cabin with her siblings and mother means BB needs to consult on the final fate of some items.
My class privilege enables my minimalist aesthetic. Just one of everything, well spaced in a cabinet or drawer, makes it easy to find and grab. If something breaks or goes missing, I can afford to replace it right away.
Yes, we ended up screaming several times. Fortunately, we've known each other 45 years, so we know that our love will survive the screaming.
In case you're faced with a similar challenge, here's how we divvied the abundance:
- Keep (and optimally arrange)
- Family decision, later
- Donation to thrift store
This task involved much leaning, reaching, squatting, and lifting. This reminded me that my chronic pain could be worked through (although my cognition nosedived). Basically we worked, got sweaty, skinny-dipped, ate and slept.
The final five days MyGuy and Bella joined us.
MyGuy and BB rebuilt the wonderful wide lake entry staircase, comprising four 5’ x 2’ wooden treads. The railings are repurposed swimming pool ladders providing copious handholds. (Their all-wood original had survived 22 years of freeze/thaw cycles; the redesign uses plastic composite boards for the lower two steps, which are sometimes under water depending on rainfall.)
I plowed through hundreds of sober articles in my Instapaper queue3, volume 3 of Paper Girls, and four unremarkable SHERLOCK fanfics, DNFing a score more. Are my standards changing? Is it time for a new fandom?
I didn't accomplish any of the rainy day tasks4 I brought along in case I got bored. As I continue to avoid national and world politics, those somedays will come, or won't. If I never finish them, that's okay too.
Bella supervised and I lounged like a lizard. I hardly used my wheelchair. I managed two 15-minute walks daily, since the weather was too cold for swimming. The cabin is so compact that wall-walking is easy. My new walking poles, specifically designed as cane alternatives, proved excellent. Their boot-shaped tips permit dragging instead of lifting for each step, and my loose grip comfortably nestled in the wide, ventilated handles.
Rhinelander's third and best laundromat has requisite dryers and washers, as well as two huge "extractors" which spin out much of the water in a clean comforter or curtains. Also provided is free wifi5, coffee drinks, and Chocolate House6,7 ice cream.
- castoff, second-best pots, flatware (ceramic, melamine, paper) and purpose-built cooking gadgets (butter stick holder for oiling up corn; as-seen-on-TV under-counter paper plate dispensers; pizza oven, and to be honest, my tea kettle & salad spinner ↩︎
- stored in garage with inventory pointers in the cabin and on the backup boxes themselves. ↩︎
- drafting many juicy link-soups I may eventually post here ↩︎
- Someday my Contacts will be deduplicated, my photos winnowed, and those bracelets beaded. ↩︎
- Online just 30 minutes in 10 days! ↩︎
- Wisconsin's finest ↩︎
- fight me ↩︎