“Hope” is the thing with feathers, That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops ... at all - Emily Dickenson

Monday, August 27, 2012

"The Shack"

Larry and Linda called it "The Shack", mostly because he didn't want his employees to think he was living fat on the lake, want their cut and ask him for a raise. It was next door to us, their weekend house. Honestly, the house wasn't much. It had no insulation, a crumbling foundation, an antique gravity furnace and minimal wiring. It was small and not well built even when it was new. There was no fine woodwork or details.

But it was situated down the hill, so our view out of the north window or from the high deck was across a lawn punctuated with bur oaks all the way to Joanie's house. It seemed as if we had no neighbors. Miss it? Hell yes, we'll miss it. Maude was an Oakwood institution. She helped raise our young daughter. She lived there in Oakwood for 65 years, documenting her life in a weekly newspaper column in the Albert Lea Tribune. She was a great neighbor. And as I get older, any change is hard.

The new house will be wonderful, but because of the lot size and layout, it will be very close to us. It will be next door, not down the hill. We will have next door neighbors. Eventually, if the actuary tables are correct, Larry and I will die, leaving our wives to cope with life as widows, those crazy old Hanson sisters, living in Oakwood, next door to each other. Supporting each other. Or ... possibly even living in the same house?

And she was eaten by a yellow, steel dinosaur, punched to smithereens, crunched to splinters, and packed into four neat Thompson Sanitation coffins to be hauled away for a proper burial. R.I.P. The Shack.


Linda said...

It was a sad day when the shack went down. It was named because it was a shack when we bought it in 1994, not because we wanted to hide it from our employees. It was fun fixing it up, but the 104 year old house needed more than cosmetics now. We have many good memories of the time we spent there and know there will be many good memories in the new house to be built there as well.

Linda & Larry

Anonymous said...

Gunnar - Good musical score for that clip.


Rick M.

Gunnar Berg said...

Kudos go to my nephew Chris for the video.

Silk Hope said...

Progress.... Ppppfffftttt.

Margadant said...

For being panned as being poorly constructed, I was pretty impressed with the way the old girl stood up, square and unwavering, while the shovel took her down. I hope some old carpenters were kicked back on a cloud, watching over some beers.