The family cabin is slowly collapsing… this photo is from 2005, so things have probably gotten even more dilapidated. My cousins own it and though we used to have access, apparently that’s no longer as simple as asking for the key and checking the calendar. My oldest cousin tried to sell it a few years back, causing shock and dismay. Yet it’s a pretty big tax payment each year, so I can see why he’d want to sell.
Reportedly he sold off the piece of the property where I stood to take this… there’s a fancy new vacation home there now. There’s some sad memories associated with that spot, but some of us consider the property almost sacred ground. So it’s painful. I still have dreams where I’m in the mountains, trying to get to The Cabin.
My mom’s old house still looks much the same; on last weekend’s visit to Salt Lake, I didn’t need to drive by, but my niece did, and took this photo.
Both buildings have seen better days. Both contain memories of people long gone. I spent last weekend with family and had fun, but felt this pull to look for places I remembered (so much of Salt Lake is being rebuilt, it’s hard to find those old familiar places).
My room was the dormer window. They’ve put in window-mounted AC there and in the dining room window… the weaklings. And the only visible change is the fence on the side, and they took all the stinky “Trees of Heaven” down. Good riddance, they rot from the inside out and drop a mess of branches after the smallest storms.
What I wouldn’t give to smell the scent of those trees on a sticky, hot night again… or to lie awake in an old Coleman sleeping bag at The Cabin, listening to the faint hooting of owls and the stealthy fluttering of the resident bat.
It was good to see my side of the family last week – both sisters, all four nieces and most of their spouses. It wasn’t a super planned long weekend; we hung out at Holly’s house to reconnect Thursday and Friday, we managed to meet up with Raeanne and her husband Ron at Hogle Zoo (Ranny and I were raised together and we’re closer in age than I am to my sisters; same with all of my nieces).
We even had a chance to meet some of David’s co-workers face-to-face for dinner at a suburban Italian joint, a very enjoyable evening. Who knew that one couple would turn out to be avid parachutists??
Salt lake has changed and is changing so much. We stayed downtown near the City-County Building, now surrounded by a nice park and a lot of Trax light rail lines. I chuckled as we passed the corner where Mom got a ticket for pulling a “U-ey” in the middle of the road. “Ma’am, I’m afraid I have to ticket you, you can’t do that right in front of the main police station.” Heh.
Every time we went somewhere, I felt a need to spot familiar buildings and landmarks and reconnect to forgotten memories. However, though we drove down the neighborhood arterial street near Mom’s house, I didn’t need to drive by (although Raeanne did later to take her picture). It was somehow comforting to see some of my neighborhood remains as I remember it, and some shops and houses have been nicely updated.
Holly’s party was held at Trolley Square and it was fabulous – the local arts alliance have a theater and event space and the food was catered by a local Brazilian restaurant and butcher, so good. I even danced with my sister and nieces, though the band was a Grateful Dead tribute outfit and definitely not my favorite party music. It was interesting though in that the keyboard player was Mike Lookinland, yep, from The Brady Bunch.
David and I drove up the canyons – ALL of them. Emigration, Parley’s, Mill Creek, Little Cottonwood, Big Cottonwood. But we mostly had to go to Lamb’s Canyon to see how far up we could drive in our rented SUV. Turns out, not far at all, there’s a new gate at the mouth of the canyon, just off I-80.