Closing up shop

Took a couple in their young 30’s over to the cabin yesterday. They are about the same age as Sara and I were when we bought it back in 1996 from Pete. Kurt had helped me start cleaning out some things there the day before, and these two said they’d be pack mules for a ride over to take a look at it.

Lots of memories in this cabin. A walking stick I cut for my mom that I’d saved. An afghan my grandmother made for me, and a blanket my mom sent with me to college, I think. Two fleece blankets given as a wedding present by Ken and Audrey Dunshie. A statue of a dolphin my Uncle Ted gave me as a memento from Tampa. A set of wedding goblets from Erik’s first wedding that I won at a gift exchange auction at the Campbell’s. A photo of Nick Campbell in his scout uniform just returned from 10 days at scout camp in Whitehorse hugging his television. I stopped and gave that to his mother to give to Nick’s kids next time they see them. A photo of me with the biggest buck I ever got on Admiralty that walked right up to me. My grandfather’s whitetail deer racks from the 1930’s from New York state. Several needlepoint (?) pictures made by my grandma of farm scenes and Polish dancers. Old card game scorecards from the Josephsons.  And lots of good hunting gear that I didn’t bring home, from nice gun cases to fancy flashlights – all left by people who used the cabin and didn’t take their gear home with them and didn’t put their names on it. A little ammo bag with Sara’s Dad’s name Leo Hannan on it.

Many of our family have been there over the years, and lots and lots of friends. We packed up 3 back packs of stuff and 2 hand bags each.

Then we took a tour of the original lot that was subdivided among 4 buddies. A cabin behind us now occasionally used by the owner’s kids, who were on their parent’s backs when Sara and I first moved in. Another lot next to it that was never built because the friend died over on Douglas when his boat started dragging anchor, and he tried to get it in his punt and capsized. The last place is a sauna owned by people from Fairbanks, last I knew.

We returned to the cabin, and hauled the gear to the boat. I got, as expected, an email today, from the couple. They’ll take the cabin.  I knew they would. Just like Pete knew I would when I looked at the place he’d built in 1988. All I needed was their word. Just like Pete did of me. No security deposit necessary. They’ll put the financing together and we’ll figure out a closing date. I left everything else – pots, pans, dishes, bedding, chain saw, splitting malls, radios, a good supply of firewood, a long ladder to get up on the roof, a leaky skiff for going to Admiralty, and all the tools.  Felt good to pass on a rock solid cabin to younger people who will use it and love it like it should be. And both of them are Juneau kids who went to school with Jeff and Teri and Jeanne and Ron’s kids. I’m sure I’ll go back to pick berries, but don’t have remorse from selling the place. I hadn’t been getting there even once a month anymore, and friends who used to use it sometimes now have wives and other lives.  I’m excited for the new owners. And feeling a little old.