Thursday, May 28, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

Lily got out of school at 10:30 am on the last day, and by 5 pm, she and I and her friend were on our way up to the cabin for a quick girls' trip. While they went down to the stream to get a few great action shots for Instagram, I did the boring work of unloading the Suburban. I wasn't paying attention, and when I turned around after shutting the tailgate, 40 feet in front of me was a cow elk standing in the driveway, staring me down. I didn't know what to do, so we stood at detente for almost a minute before she soft-shoed into the trees.

I took a load of stuff into the house, and when I came back out four deer were in our yard. They stayed there while I returned to the house for my camera and got within 25 feet of the porch.
These unpredictable close encounters with wildlife are one of my favorite things about the cabin.

Friday morning, the three headed back to the valley, and after dropping off Lily's friend, I unpacked the Suburban and repacked it with supplies for the whole family's weekend up north.

I love it up there. Eve and Hyrum each brought me a handful of yellow wildflowers before we could explain to them that it's better to leave them and let them grow. They stayed happy and bright on my counter all weekend long.
We had a constant stream of company while we were there. One of Brad's clients has been doing some metalwork for us, and he brought his family up and installed the swing one morning. They stayed for lunch and we visited while their son showed my boys how to shoot his BB gun. The swing quickly became the most sought-after spot on the property.

Brad's sister's family surprised us one evening--texted Brad and asked, "Do you miss us? Won't for long!" And around the corner they appeared. Cousins spilled from every corner. We ate dinner and made s'mores and talked until it got dark. The only bummer was that they couldn't spend the night with us. Lily was happy about that--she'd had a migraine on and off all weekend, and she rode back to the valley with them to sleep in her own bed for a few nights.
I got up early to go on a walk before anyone else was up, and a family of javelina were snorting around the yard. I had never seen one in the wild before, and to see eight all at once was a little disconcerting. I've heard they can be a little fierce when startled.
After watching them meander off into the forest, I headed down the driveway, only to hear a snort and heavy breathing off to my right. I had awoken a cow elk, and she was giving me the eye as I passed by. I love walking that road early in the morning. You never know what animal friends you'll encounter. Besides the javelina and elk, I saw a few rabbits and a squirrel school--all before anyone else in the cabin was awake.

I had another surprise waiting for me after my walk. We FaceTimed with Tucker and Karli the night before, and somehow, after talking for a few minutes, they decided to pile in their car and drive 9 hours to spend a night with us. They had their car packed and left their apartment seventeen minutes after hanging up the call, and they pulled into the cabin just before 2 am.

We put them to work, I'll tell you. Tucker was the muscles for the concrete pouring operation to set our address and property sign.
Hyrum's job was to hold the stake steady and level while the concrete was being mixed.
It was a dusty job that he took seriously.

Karli was the water pourer and Micah observed Dad mix the concrete in the hole.

Eve entertained Annie from the window of the Suburban.

Grandpa Tucker made our Denton sign, and it's just right. And all of these people that I love? Make it even better!
That wasn't all--we cleaned up construction debris, collected garbage, transplanted wild flowers and grasses to cover places cleared during the building process, sewed bed covers, hung pictures and towel rods, and  Tucker and Brad finished another stretch of a rock retaining wall.

And that night, we invited Karli's family up for dinner. It was a little rough--the ribs didn't finish on time and it delayed us for a while--but the s'more contest that night was the best I've seen. Karli's brothers have some pretty mad marshmallow skills.

The day passed way too fast, and before we knew it, it was time to return to real life--them to Utah, and us back to Mesa. It had been a perfect trip.

But it didn't stay that way.

As we were packing up to leave, Micah shouted, "Hey, Eve! Leave the car door open and watch this!" He leaped from a short rock wall towards the open Suburban door, just as Eve was shutting it. It all seemed to happen in slow motion--Micah flew through the air, the door shut . . . and Micah's hand slammed in the door. I ran over to help as he screamed and tried to open the door.
He was lucky. No broken bones, just a real good smashing. It's been swollen and sore, but yesterday he was able to reach an octave on the piano. Think he's going to be ok.

Evie, on the other hand, took it pretty hard.
She sat on that stair, tears streaming down her face, yelling, "It was a ACCIDENT!"

Later, she cowered in her seat in the car and admitted, "It wasn't a accident. I just didn't want to see that. But I didn't KNOW his thumb would get stuck! I didn't mean to! I didn't mean to!"

Poor little girl.

Here's Brad's video of the weekend. Such great memories.


  1. oh the deer remind me of iowa!!!! my grandparents always had sugar posts in the backyard of their giant lot and the deer would always come to lick every night. between that and the fire flies i was in heaven.

  2. oh the deer remind me of iowa!!!! my grandparents always had sugar posts in the backyard of their giant lot and the deer would always come to lick every night. between that and the fire flies i was in heaven.

  3. Love it! I have a feeling you're going to be deserting us in the valley for the whole summer!