August 4, 2006

Beginning of the Road

By Dane Sorensen


Life throws curves that can keep you from doing important things. A big curve for me was breaking my leg into three pieces. That was July 13, 1999. Until that time I would religiously go to my parent's cabin that is on a lovely three-acre island. I have many fond memories of being at the island with both family and friends. (Even girlfriends - wink, wink, nod, nod) Then I got married and enjoyed it as a place to have happy weekend honeymoons. Then came the kids. Our oldest slept in a drawer when we first took her up as a baby.

However, good things come to an end and that came when number two was born. To transport diapers, car seats, baby food, and all the other needs of toddlers made trips to the island too much like work. In the fall of the year our three daughters form a numeric run. For instance this fall they will be 21, 22, and 23 years old. Now you can understand how when they were only 1, 2, and 3 years old we lost interest in coming to the cabin.

When they grew a few years older we did re-discover the cabin and formed many new memories; Mayfly hotels, pet crayfish, secret forts, swimming, illegal fireworks, wild blueberry pancakes and wood cooked steaks were enjoyed by all. It can't get better than that.

Then came the leg incident. While rehabbing the Robertson building, I jumped down backwards and landed on my feet. I did not fall, but something was too much for my tibia and I ended up being sent to St. Mary's Hospital to have 2 metal plates, 3 washers and 5 screws added to my right leg. Thus ended our summer escapes to the island. Life started getting into the way.

The following summer while I was still using a cane, I had to finish the Robertson Building makeover. Lord knows, we took it in the shorts with the delays in getting the rental spaces fixed up. Then we started our new import business and that took a lot of our time. The positive side of that business was a lot of traveling abroad. Also, this period was the during high school years for our girls and they all had very busy summers.

So even though we were only 25 miles away from the cabin we never had the time to go there.

Several vain attempts were made to restart the tradition. When the docks were destroyed in a storm I hired an Ely contractor to rebuild them in the fall of '04. Unfortunately, his skills were not very clever and the result was the docks did not make it through the winter. I still do not know if they were torn apart in a November storm or floated away in the spring thaw.

We made an attempt to open the island in 2005, so my high school friend from Switzerland could see the place after 34 years. Alas, a huge tree branch had broken off sometime in the winter and smashed through the roof and ceiling. Water damage was everywhere. Due to insurance delays and finding a carpenter to replace the roof and ceiling it wasn't repaired until late October - just in time to close it up.

So it is not until this year that the bad luck streak that started that fateful July 13, ended with my family once again enjoying a steak cooked over a wood fire. Watching the sun set on the island's rocky point with a gentle breeze was so calming. Sitting here with my little laptop computer, I can't believe I waited so long. What was I thinking? How could I be so stupid? The answer is simple. Life got in the way.

With the passing of Bob Cary, I think one of the messages he showed by example is to make life interesting and not to deprive yourself of enjoying the natural beauty that is part of our area. Don't let life get in the way if you can. If not, when fate finally offers you a break, try and make up for lost time.



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