Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Mile High City

My family has been visiting the mile high city of Prescott, Arizona since I was a girl. The city itself is most often a place to stock up on groceries for weekends at the family cabin in the mountains just out of town.

The original streets of Prescott are lined with vintage houses and the courthouse grounds is the hub for  craft fairs, art shows, classic car shows, cowboy poetry,  concerts, and even nights of square dancing.

The courthouse grounds is a full square block and it is covered in grass, sidewalks, and huge shade trees. The streets and sidewalks are lit with vintage light posts. It is a square block of America where no one is ever in a hurry and time is spent strolling through the retail shops and Whiskey Row. Small family owned restaurants, bakeries, and park benches dot the streets.

It has been a place of timeless beauty. I am sure the trees have grown over the forty plus years but to me they have only gone from big to maybe bigger. I grew up, dated, married, started my family, raised my four children, became a grandma, became an empty nester, and have passed on the love of this mile high city to my own children and grandchildren within the four plus decades.

More important than the city itself is what has brought us to this place. It is a small mountain cabin that sits high on a hill.

The rustic dirt driveway that takes us to the little red cabin on the hill is often rough and challenging to climb. The cabin was built by my father with the help of family.

It is always worth the effort it tote boatloads of food and luggage up the steep flight of redwood stairs to the cabins deck.

The cabin deck is lined with rocking chairs and a big stack of plastic outdoor chairs are added for seating as the number of cabin guests swells. I have many memories of wall to wall family members sharing the cabin together. Twenty-two cousins from my children's generation experienced the wide open arms and hospitality of loving grandparents with each and every visit to the cabin.

Grandma (my mother) had batches and batches of baked goodies ready and waiting for her guests and always a meal on the stove for anyone who arrived hungry.

While the cabin on the hill and the hometown feel of Prescott, Arizona have not changed over the 40 plus years my family has. The toy trucks and the handmade blocks at the cabin have been passed down to the next generation. My generation is now baking the batches of goodies for our own grandchildren. The 22 cousins are now the parents to the new generation of great grands.

Bedtime brings a sea of people both big and little who are scattered throughout the cabin. Most bunk together in the big open loft upstairs. When numbers are huge we even have air mattresses on the kitchen floor. It has always been a place of good food, games, laughter, and quality time spent with family.

My father who recently celebrated his 90th birthday has always said that joy is 50% anticipation and 50% memories. This is so true with the cabin.

My parents are no longer able to go to the cabin that they built for themselves and for their family to visit. They are deeply missed by myself, my children, and my grandchildren. My mother would always stand at the deck railing and wave good-bye until our cars had driven out of site for each and every visitor to the cabin. Her good-byes were just as loving as her open arm hospitality on our arrival. Our family would always honk twice which meant we love you too!

The cabin on the hill has always brought great joy to my family. The anticipation of seeing my parents, my children's grandparents, and our extended family. The delicious oatmeal molasses cookies that my mom baked, home made fudge made by my dad and the dozens and dozens of hand tied quilts that were made by my mother that awaited to be snuggled with at bedtime.

Now, those days are memories for me, my children, and my grandchildren. The joy of the time spent at the cabin with my parents is now found in our treasured memories. When leaving I still picture my mother standing on the deck waving. And, the honk? Yep..... two honks which now says "I miss you being there mom!"

The cabin on the hill is rich in memories for the four generations of my family who have shared time there. It is a place where the cycles of anticipation and memories will abound as the traditions and the history is kept alive for the coming generations of my family. Mile high joy for generations. Now, that is a great legacy. Thanks mom and dad!

1 comment:

  1. I am Mile High in the beauty of your memories. What a wonderful place of belonging, of connection. The walls of your beloved cabin are soaked in love and that patina is reflected in your every word. Thank you so much for sharing.