This week is my very good friend D’s birthday. One of those birthdays when you have a party and everyone comes over to celebrate a new decade. D invited all of us over last weekend and I made the long drive (snowing on the way down, icy on the way back, of course). Totally worth it – not just for the New York bagels, but for the company and for the glimpse of a younger D that we got to see, enshrined in shaky, sometimes fuzzy video footage of a 1980s TV show on which he ‘guest starred’ (for lack of a better term, and to protect anonymity).
Seeing thirty-years-ago D, with the same gestures, mannerisms, deadpan matter-of-factness, and perfect comedic/sarcastic timing was absolutely priceless. I mean, who can get a whole room laughing hysterically at age 11 just by saying, “I didn’t do anything” at exactly the right moment? We are who we are. Spending the weekend with old friends – now dispersed all over, and all far from where we started, each in careers or with hobbies or lifestyles we would never have guessed for each other – I was struck by how exactly the same everyone is, in all the right ways.
Which is as good a place as any to segue into cabin-land. As you might guess, not a lot of building this week – it was mostly driving. We drove a lot this weekend too – but it was cabin-related (as well as celebrating another January birthday). We headed out to a cedar yard, to pick logs to replace those that had disappeared or are steadily disintegrating. We worried that they would look too shiny and new. Until we got there, and, prying them out of an icy pile in the freezing cold wind, we saw that they looked oh-so-familiar. The cabin will be 85 years old – we think – this year. Its old logs are probably over 100 years old. And these little whippersnappers are barely pushing 20, if that – but there they are looking just as full of character, steadfast, and sturdy as the old ones. Double-dare us to install them?