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Burn It Down or Build It Up

Updated: Nov 19, 2023

The story of how Cabin 7 came to be is a simple yet quite magical story in my mind. I had been dreaming of the resort for at least two decades by this point, though I wouldn't truly admit that out loud. I'd been cleaning cabins and helping my grandma with minor computer work for many years. But I could "take it or leave," I'd say to anyone who asked me about the resort. I didn't want to admit how attached I'd become.

In real life, it was time for a serious family discussion. My Grandmother was 90, my parents in their 70's, and the rest of my siblings busy and tied up in their own lives mostly far away from The Angle. In July 2022, when everyone was home for Uncle Tim's memorial, my dad called us all together for a conversation about the future of the resort. Some of my siblings had ideas for big real estate ventures, for resort timeshares, for a family corporation, and so on. When it came my turn, I spoke plainly: My family lived here at The Angle. We wanted to buy the resort, and I was hoping for their "blessing" - so to speak.

We had a wonderful memorial for Uncle Tim and memorable family time on top of that. And then everyone went back to their respective lives half the country away in many cases. Nothing more was said and no decisions were made.

Until, that is, a few months later the new owners of the land next door to the resort called and asked us over for a visit. My mom had already prepared us: they'd been out to dinner together and the new owners of "Cabin 7" mentioned that they did not want to live in another log cabin and were considering burning down the existing structure in order to build a new home. My mom hurriedly told them that her dad, gone these last six years, had built it and that we were considering buying the resort and wouldn't it be neat if it could be moved to be part of the resort or for a place for our little family to live. I imagine her stumbling over her words in their pell mell rush to be spoken, but that's me projecting my own frantic sense of urgency to save the cabin from destruction. In reality, my mom was probably cool as a cucumber, logically explaining what a loss that would be to burn something so beautiful and solid.

The new owners thought it over for many weeks and then made us a generous offer contingent on a lot of other factors and involving a lot of hard work. We sat together in their living room, I down on the floor with my children, on a braided rug my mom had made for them, trying to keep the 3 year-old from climbing on the furniture and the fireplace.

We accepted with gratitude and a few tears.

I remember getting all tingly inside. I remember feeling like I was floating. I remember not truly believing it was real. I looked at Tony and he looked at me. I barely heard them speaking at the end of our visit. As we left their home, noisy children in tow, we both spoke in a whisper, as if any volume might break the spell.

It felt like it was meant to be. It felt like the universe was opening a clear path forward for us.

We had not yet made a formal offer to my Grandma Grace, and now it finally felt like it was time to do so. The little bit of magic in an old cabin coming HOME to the resort finally gave me the confidence to approach her with all the ideas and research and numbers I'd quietly been compiling. Or maybe it was the subtle empowerment passed from mother to daughter to daughter. Her definitive answer was slow in coming back, but ultimately, my grandma accepted, and we moved forward.

Now, a full year later and one resort season under our belts, we're moving Cabin 7 down the grassy driveway, through the woods and home to Prothero's Post. It has the same look and feel as the other cabins, and dare I say belongs here. Each log touched and turned and cajoled into place by the bent hands and firm words of my hard-working Grandfather. Did Huston help him? Did my uncles? Did Grandma? Or did she do double duty at their small resort while he toiled earning extra income on the side?

I have questions, and I hope she has stories in answer. I hope she'll be proud to see it sitting next to the other cabins when she visits next summer. I hope the new owners next door are glad to see it going to such good use and don't regret how many trees we had to cut just to squeeze it from one parcel to the next.

And mostly, I hope my mom knows what she did by speaking those words at that dinner outing last year. I hope she knows how very impactful it was to the direction of my life and that of my family. And maybe even to the lives of others who love Prothero's Post. When a woman finds her voice and speaks her ideas, it's amazing what can happen. It's amazing what can reverberate out, building up instead of burning down.

Thank you for reading. I'm very glad you're here.

Love, - Kellie

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1 Comment

Jean Emmen
Jean Emmen
Dec 29, 2023

This story of building instead of burning is very symbolic! Too many things (buildings included) are considered "disposable" in our society and country. It takes blood, sweat, tears and heart to maintain, improve and appreciate the things that were created "by hand". It is a tribute to your parents and grandparents that you and Tony and your family have embraced Prothero's Post and the cabins and handcrafted fixtures, furniture and personal touches. It is a special place and you are very special folks!

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