My brother and his wife built a log cabin nearly fifty years ago in the Colorado mountains near a small town called Fairplay. Little by little, they added a kitchen, a bathroom, a loft, a deck attached to the kitchen and a large, boarded porch entrance with rocking chairs. There are a few cabins “down the road,” as they say, but not many. They are surrounded by tall pine trees and white aspen with its quaking leaves.
Their cabin is less than three hours from where we live, and they have extended an open invitation to stay with them anytime they are there. We love being with them in the cabin, yet commit, then withdraw, then plan again to meet them, because it seems as if life, even at this age, (we four are retired) keeps us busy with our grandchildren, along with muddy roads, snowstorms, Covid and so on. This past weekend, we actually made it and were surprised to realize it had been over two years. Time has secretly shifted into overdrive. My husband and I relish the drive there in the fall to leaf peep. Aspen trees gather themselves in golden groups climbing the side of a mountain. There are a few independent ones straddling the mountainside by themselves or with a companion or two, but no matter what, the view is glorious as their color bursts beside the thick green pine trees.
My brother and wife are allowed to cut dead trees on their property, which they do to create furniture—wooden Santas, animal chairs for their teacher daughter, kitchen and coffee tables, and hiking canes my brother wood burns on a pattern his wife has made. Two years ago, the four of us were going to make a bookshelf for my writing room. Nix that. We didn’t come close. This time, we drove into Fairplay for lunch, then perused through one of the stores. We eyed a gorgeous hall table with a shelf below, all made of aspen. “Let’s make that!” We drove back to the cabin, rode four-wheelers into the forest and felled more than one dead aspen. We proclaimed the cut wood was gorgeous, drug the logs home on our vehicles and began the project. After three days, with close and even closer measuring, we finished stripping bark and cutting the shelves and legs, with a little sanding on the side for a table for each couple.
On Monday morning, we all had to leave and head home, our hall table pieces with us. We have very little left to do on them. Just measure and cut supports for the table, fit and join the legs to it, sand them and the shelves many, many times so the shine hurts your eyes AND polyurethane it with an unknown number of coats. Seriously? Just joking. I only hope we finish it before our next visit to the cabin and hopefully, it isn’t years!