I love the morning, especially daybreak. It makes me smile as I remember a special time with my parents. There are times when even in the strangest of circumstances, humor can make all the difference. Such was the case in an unusual story about my parents at daybreak.
I was just newly married to my first husband, Dana. My parents decided it was time to visit and see how we were doing.Dana had the idea that we should take my parents to his family’s hunting cabin in the woods. I silently groaned at his suggestion. The dilapidated cabin was isolated but in a really pretty location. We had to pack all our provisions and then take a very long rutted road alongside a creek up a holler (what they called a narrow space between two high hills) to get to it. The road was so bad we had to take a beat-up jeep that was left at the foot of the holler at his Uncle Charlie’s house just for that purpose.
The cabin had well water, electricity and propane gas. The living area in the cabin had three rooms. The main room of the cabin off the front porch acted as the master bedroom, another small bedroom and a kitchen of sorts that was the main gathering place. That was the best part.
The parts I disliked, hated really, were we had to use an outhouse… ugh. The cabin structure itself was ancient, in disrepair and leaning slightly. The floors creaked and groaned when you walked on them. You could hear mice and other creatures running along the rafters at night above our heads while we tried to sleep. Dana and his father assured me the cabin was safe, sound and wouldn’t fall down.
Shortly after my parents arrived we packed all our provisions and headed for the cabin. We drove for a while and finally reached Uncle Charlie’s house. Uncle Charlie was a real character. He was 90 years old, smoked like a fiend, drank his homemade moonshine with abandon and raised and ran coon dogs on long hunting treks through the woods. This is who greeted my parents before we began our journey up the holler. We made all the introductions with Charlie’s offer of moonshine, shared pleasantries and loaded up the jeep to make our trek up the creek to the cabin. All in all, my parents seemed to be having a great time. I was dubious and not so fond of the whole thing.
As we bumped, grinded and jerked along the road on our way toward the cabin, my dad started asking questions about where we were going, the cabin, what they used if for and so on. As the ride progressed and terrain roughened, Mom grew pretty quiet with an expression of concern, caution and curiosity only my dad and I could interpret. I knew then this was going to be a very long couple of days.
It was a beautiful sunlit day. When we arrived my parents could see the cabin sitting on the hill. Mom said, “How charming.” It was a pretty location. We unloaded the jeep and settled into the cabin. We placed my parents in the main bedroom, while Dana and I took the smaller bedroom. Dad made note of the creaking floors and laughed as he mentioned how they bounced when he walked over them.
We sat on the porch for a while talking about all manner of things and then had dinner. It was getting late and we settled in for the night. Both my parents were pretty tired and fell asleep fairly quickly. I could hear my dad snoring along with the scurrying of random creatures over my head. I could barely sleep. Sometime in the night I did finally fall asleep.
Something woke me. That wasn’t unusual because I really didn’t like staying in the cabin. This sound was different. It was a loud moaning and groaning sound and then… BOOM!!! Dana and I were up in a flash wondering what had happened. We opened the bedroom door and dust was everywhere. I couldn’t see anything let alone my parents. I was really upset and called out to my parents. I heard them coughing.
As the dust settled, I couldn’t see anything, and then I looked down. The floor had caved in, bed and all. When the dust subsided, I could see mom and dad below, sitting up in bed covered in dust. The bed and the cabin floor where on the ground below the cabin. Dad waved away the dust looking at mom and said, “That lends a new meaning to daybreak.” It was just too funny, we all started to laugh.
Needless to say, our stay at the cabin was over. We dusted my parents off, dressed, packed our provisions and headed back down the holler. We changed cars at Charlie’s house. He had a puzzled look, and asked why we were leaving so soon. When we explained, he said to Dana, “I’ve been telling your dad to fix that floor for as long as I can remember.” My dad just chuckled.
I never returned to that cabin. Regardless, my parents and I had many a good laugh remembering that particular “daybreak.”
What did I learn? Fix the obvious… LOL. But above all, laughter, no matter the circumstances, can improve any situation.
Life’s journey continues…