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Classic cabin memories

Oct. 13, 2008

by Roz Kohls

My husband and I were laughing recently about what we call a “classic cabin moment.”

Every summer we spend several weekends at the family cabin next to Big Bass Lake in the Chippewa forest in northern Minnesota. When the cabin season draws to a close, we start remembering some of the funny or unusual things that happened while we were there.

The most recent incident we laughed about happened after a big rain storm. Before we arrived at the cabin, it had hailed and rained two inches. As we sat around the campfire, my husband, Craig, looked up at the sky and said “Stars are out. It’s clearing up.”

We all looked up and agreed, the stars showed the rain was over. Ten seconds later, it rained. There are so many tall trees on the north side of the cabin that rain clouds often sneak up on us.

Here are some other “classic cabin moments:”

Visits from odd looking animals.

One summer, the bait in Craig’s bait bucket kept disappearing. Craig was beginning to think the bucket had a defective lid, until we discovered a strange little animal was helping himself to Craig’s minnows and leeches.

It had a high-arched back like a mink, but didn’t look like one. It didn’t look like an otter, a beaver, fisher, or a muskrat either. We never found out for sure what it was.

He seemed to think Craig was a kind soul who brought him food every weekend.

It didn’t stay by the water’s edge, either. It came clear up to the patio next to the cabin and walked around like it owned the place.

We have seen all kinds of animals that we don’t recognize, but that one was the most tame.

Alcohol must have been involved.

Another family of cabin dwellers on the lake was gathering rocks from the lakeshore for a cabin project. After they collected enough rocks, they loaded them on their boat, and pushed the boat out into about 20 feet of water so they could get back to their cabin.

The over-loaded boat immediately sank to the bottom of the lake. Fortunately, the people and the gear in the boat bobbed to the top of the water. It was work, though, getting the rocks out of their boat, and the boat off the bottom of the lake.

Ugly naked man, a la “Friends.”

A few years later, a man from the same family that sank their boat stepped out of his sauna just as I was paddle boating past their cabin. He was wearing only a smile, and I got an eyeful.

Take that, gun.

Craig’s uncle had a golden retriever that was a bit gun-shy. The uncle was standing with the gun stock resting on the ground while he talked with some other deer hunters. The dog lifted his leg and urinated on the gun.

Splashing the man who did the most work.

A long time ago, before we put in a modern septic system at the cabin, a new septic drainfield needed to be dug. Craig’s brother-in-law did most of the back-breaking digging for the project.

After the pit was dug and before the pit was filled in, the brother-in-law wanted to test the system. He called to my niece to flush the toilet. She did, and we all stood around the pit looking down to see if it worked.

For some inexplicable reason, my nephew dropped a rock into the pit at that moment. It splashed the toilet’s contents right into my brother-in-law’s face.