Friday, August 12, 2005

Weekend At Standwell Day One

**transposed from scribblings that came from some long, thin stick thing that dripped blue liquid, and made strange, nearly unledgible markings on very thin pieces of bark.

It's sometime after lunch.

I say this because I honestly have no idea what time it is. We arrived about 12:30 and had lunch, so I'm sure it's somewhere in the before 3pm area. The entire week Bret has been all giddy, because we were coming up to the cabin this weekend. I know he feels somewhat guilty about not spending more time with his Grandparents, so this was a great way to reconnect with them, as well as give the girls a formal introduction to some Cutler history.

(I just need to add that as I sit here writing rain is pouring down in sheets with thunder booming in the distance. I'm actually chilly in my shorts and t-shirt, unlike when we have the storms down in the valley. I AM IN HEAVEN.)

Standwell. An appropriate name for a project that actually could be the core of the Cutler family. Started 25 years ago and built over a ten-year period, everyone had a hand in building the place. I can remember back in High School Bret asking me up one of those weekends. Of course my parents never allowed it (gee, why?), and back then I had no idea I would have many chances later in life to spend time here.

9:39 pm
So now we all sit here in bed. The girls are on the air mattress next to our bed in the bunkhouse. Bret is reading a chapter of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" to them, and I am finally having a moment to catch up from earlier today.

The rain poured down so hard this afternoon the kids could not even play in it anymore, then G.G. and Grumpy (as they are affectionately called by the girls) took their afternoon nap in the main cabin. Bret had drove back down to Payson (60 miles away) because silly us forgot to grab the sweaters on our way out the door this morning. So I tried my best to keep the very not-tired girls entertained and semi-calm in the very cramped quarters. During the times the rain would let up, they would run back outside, only to come back 5 minutes later with the next down pour. So I gave up on writing for the afternoon.

Once Bret returned, the rain let up for the last time that afternoon, so he went outside with them and I dozed a bit. Later, the girls took great joy in helping Grumpy bring in wood for the fireplace. We were planning on a campfire for dinner outside, but the rain was enough to turn the campfire area into a small swampland. We changed our plan to the dinner we had brought for the following evening, BBQ beef ribs and corn-on-the-cob.

We quickly encountered our next dilemma when we couldn't find something proper to cook them in the oven. Finally Bret decided to try the campfire, at least in which to cook the main course. He got it lit, and within 30 minutes or so had enough of the moisture that was underneath burned off to cook them. I had prepped them while he was doing so (yes folks she knows one or two things beyond mac-n-cheese in a box about cooking), and long story short we had a most excellent meal.

As Bret and I cleaned up, the girls watch excitedly as Grumpy fed the fire more wood. They had never roasted marshmallows before, and due to the wet outside, Grumpy bent his "rule" about using the inside fire for cooking so they would not miss out.

I love watching the girls with their Great-Grandparents and seeing how they relate with them. They are both SO quiet and reserved! Yet, they are each unique in their relating. Allison is more distant. Not quite uncomfortable, but she has a tad more stiffness about her than Sam. That is just Allison though. Heh, she was the only one at dinner who wanted her meat cut off the rib bone, unlike the rest of us savages!

Sam was quiet, but it was more of a careful, emotional connection. She was aware of the fact that they couldn't move the way the rest of us did, and was just very gentle around them. I had to let her know that it was ok to yell at Janet when talking to her, since her hearing is so bad. Later in the evening she took me aside and said simply, "I love GG and Grumpy."

Bret's grandparents amaze me. 85 and 83, they still trek up to Standwell several times during the summer all on their own. I can only hope to still be so full of life at that age. Gives me something to strive for, and look forward to.

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