Four Princesses and a Cabin

My father unexpectedly passed away almost four years ago.  This is what he left us. 

My dad was a hard working man, and he built this cabin himself.  Even after the cabin was built, he was always working, stoking the fires, cooking beef stew, chopping wood, building a garage.  There was always more to be done.  The rest of us always had a good time.  Now that he’s gone, and we have to do it ourselves, we realize just how much he did for us.  Thanks Dad.

In thinking about my peter pan list, the list of things I hope to do with my children before they grow up, I’m turning to my parents and my grandparents.  There’s a scripture in the Bible that says the hearts of the children will turn to their fathers.  I really felt that this weekend.  One of the things that my dad taught me was that gathering people together is important.  Seven of my dad’s eight children were able to come to the cabin this weekend for a little reunion.

I really love seeing the little cousins gathered together.  When I was young, I was so shy.  I remember that school recess was so awkward and terrifying. But when our family would go to California or Salt Lake, I would be with my cousins, and they were just nuts about me.  They didn’t know how uncool I really was at my school.

I remember sitting at my aunt’s table, and all of the cousins would fight over who could sit by me.  Even by little brothers got in on it.  It felt amazing to be the “it” girl. That’s the magic of cousins–they always love you no matter what.  So I just had to smile to myself when I saw that Rachel was the new “it” girl this weekend, all the cousins fighting over her.  She’s the one in the green sweatshirt.

We had a lot of princesses in the cabin which really increased the drama.  

I loved watching them watch Snow White.  Yeah.  The scene they’re watching is pretty intense.  

I think if we could change any architectural component of the cabin, it would definitely be the loft.  There’s where all the little kids hang out.  We would probably opt to get that closed off.

Getting the kids to go to sleep took forever because they were all so wired.  My little Shirley was absolutely falling apart, and I tried to hold her, telling her she could sleep on our bed with me. “No!” she replied.  “I want to be with my cousins!”

My dad would always call us together in the family room for a moment of reflection.  He’d ask us to share a highlight of the reunion or a highlight of our year.  We always dragged out feet, and he had to be pretty insistent.  After he passed away, we kind of quit doing it.  But this weekend, we got together and we all shared a memory we had at the cabin.  Most of them included our dad.  

Cousins coming back to the cabin from church. 


  1. It stinks to be the military sibling far away when every one else gets together. Luckily in my fam…they all live far away. So it's even harder. Good job getting 7 siblings together.

  2. I know, Mindy…thought about you lots. You weren't there, but the legacy is still yours, as well. You are part of the memories there.

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