Cousins’ Cabin Camp ©
Sorry I’ve been AWOL for a couple weeks but I’ve been at Cousins’ Cabin Camp, a much higher calling in more than one way. The first way is that the cabin is literally high in the Western Pennsylvania mountains. The second way is that my wife and I were reconnecting our granddaughters from GA and CT, who rarely get to see each other, and that indeed is a “Higher calling”!
Long time readers of this column may recall that several years ago my wife and her brother bought an old cabin in the PA mountains that had been in their cousins’ family for over sixty years. As a child, my wife spent the happiest days of her life there and she is passionate about sharing those memories with our grandchildren in such a way that they’ll feel the same about the place as she does.
The cabin itself is not exceptional in any way other than a beautiful and rustic old stone fireplace in the center of the living room. Other than that, quite modest. In fact, the only running water is the creek next door, the hand pump at the kitchen sink and the mile-away running mountain spring from which we collect and haul our drinking water. But these “Inconveniences” are part of the mystique of the place, especially to our grandkids.
So we packed up two granddaughters from Georgia and drove tag-team all night to Hershey, PA where we collected another three granddaughters from CT, and checked into a hotel. Next morning we were up bright and early ready to visit “Chocolate Town USA”. It’s a fascinating town and company with a rich, history of reaching out to underprivileged kids and helping employees through tough times as well. It was a day well spent, and spent we were after touring the “Factory”, which is really a tourist’s version of a real chocolate factory. The whole place reminded me of a chocolate-centric Cracker Barrel ® restaurant/store.
Then off to the cabin for a week. You talk about an exercise in patience, I think I deserve a “Gold Star” waiting on five granddaughters for a week, especially with three of them being teenagers!
But was it worth it? That’s the “$64,000 dollar question” (remember that show starring Hal March from 1955 to ’58 that got cancelled amongst a raft of quiz show scandals?). Only time will tell in the long term if our “Cousin knitting” will hold, but at the end of the week they all said they wanted to do a repeat next year so we took that as a good sign.
What did we do for a whole week? We hiked and swam under a mountain waterfall; swam in a stream under a covered bridge and picnicked IN the bridge when a thunderstorm broke on us; visited our favorite Amish store and bought lots of local maple syrup; sat around the fireplace every night reading aloud to each other The Long Winter, which kept everyone on the edge of their seats. I started the reading the first night while several of the girls were actually knitting, but thereafter the girls wanted to take turns reading which they did. I’d say that was a novel way to get teenage girls involved in this age of smart phones that everyone wants to talk to instead of real people.
Bottom line: Was it worth it? Yes, we’re already talking about making it an annual excursion and we have no shortage of grandchildren coming behind these to keep it going. As long as we have the health to do it and willing cousins, I’d say it’s a “Go”.
Why put forth such an effort for a Cousins’ Cabin Camp? These days, families need all the help they can get to stay together. Do you have some grandchildren that need to be “knit together” too?
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!
Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org