We spent the weekend at the cabin. It was raining when we arrived, and by morning the rain had turned to snow. I put on my glasses Sunday morning and watched the snow flock the Lodge Pole Pines, and I considered that it should be a peaceful scene.
However. We took our kids, two of their friends, two of Martin's buddies and our two dogs. One guy claimed the master bedroom with the cushy bed, and because men can't possibly sleep with other men, everyone else crashed in the living room. At dark thirty, when the house was still except for the sound of the crackling fire and eight people snoring, Blue came unglued. He leaped and snarled and raged at the door. I yelled and cursed and commanded, Blue crawled underneath the hide-a-bed and whined for the next two night time hours--which may have only been minutes. Minutes at night can feel like hours. Nobody else in the house woke up with the snarling and snapping dog, so I was alone with the sounds of snoring and whining dog. (He placed himself directly underneath me so it sounded like he had his head on my pillow.)
I hiss whispered at him to, "Shut up! Blue! Shut. Up." and then I got quiet and began to listen to the night--to see what he was whining about. It was a bad decision because as soon as I paid attention to what was happening outside of the warm cabin, I could hear the wolves howling. They were probably a few miles away because it was a lonely sound that blended with the wind. It was the sound of lost souls crying for redemption, and I wanted to suggest that if they became vegetarian, they would have less to cry about. I didn't feel sorry for them for long though, because I could hear the howling getting closer, and it wasn't long before my imagination invented wolves panting at the door.
Which is when Blue lost his shit and barreled from underneath the bed snarling and drooling. Again I commanded, again he whined and still my family and their friends slept. There is something about the first night at the cabin that makes me an unwilling sentinel. I stay up most of the night fretting over possible problems and I wake up the next morning glad that the light is in and ready for a nap.
Other then the night time problems, the rest of the stay was exactly as it should be--it rained and the moisture seeped pine scent through the chinks in the logs. I got to set by the creek, all by my lonesome, with a notebook on my lap. Raindrops sprinkled the page and I could see an edge of Rhea's writing on the loose pages inside the book. I wrote a passage by the creek that said, "With Rhea's hand writing on my lap" and it was the only salvageable thought that I recorded before I went back into the cabin to cook a meal for all of those people.
It is poignant that I had Rhea's handwriting on my lap because Rhea passed away two years ago. When I am at her cabin, the scrawling handwriting reminds me to be quiet. Just for a minute.
It was a perfect Memorial Day because I had the oppurtunity to reflect on the sacrifices of the people who came before us, people who kept the wolves away from our doors.