abandonment, cabin, memoirs, memories, mixed black and white, mixed race, parent with mental illness, raised by grandparents

The Cabin

The youngest memory I have with my grandma is at our vacation cabin at a local mountain ski area.  I remember sitting on the stairs, using the nutcracker to open nuts and eat them while she cooked in the kitchen.    I think I was about 3 years old.  At that age, the squirrel-shaped nutcracker was the funnest part of the whole trip.  I also remember climbing the snow banks, making snow angels, and eating the snow.  I loved sitting on the comfy couches in the warm sun and just looking out at the white snow everywhere.
Over the years, we went to the cabin almost every winter and lots of new memories were made as I grew older.  The cabin was always teaming with people: my grandma and grandpa, mom, uncle, aunt and even friends as I got older.  Building snowmen and digging snow forts, going sledding and learning to ski were activities I cherished.  I loved special time with my grandpa teaching me to ski and reading bedtime stories to me by the fireplace.
For some reason, coloring with my crayons and coloring book (in my younger years) was always a big part of the cabin experience.  I guess I enjoyed the alone time, or the one-on-one time with my mom or a friend in my room.  And, I was proud of my coloring skills.  Every visit, the diagonally slanted walls of my bedroom would start out bare.  By the end of our time there, my bedroom was filled with colorful pictures.  I still remember my technique of outlining each section dark, and then coloring the inside really light.
My grandparents sold the cabin as we all grew older and grandpa retired.  I think the main reason for selling it was the upkeep.  Whenever there was a big snow, he and my uncle would have to drive up to the mountain and shovel the snow off of the roof and away from the cabin, so that the weight wouldn’t collapse it.  I was sad to see it go after being part of our family story for so many years, but I’m so grateful for the memories.

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