Are We Having Fun Yet?


Wow! It’s been almost six years since I stopped adding posts to this blog and set it as a private site. Let’s just say that things happen in our lives that are often out of our control – sometimes good, sometimes not. Unlike the wild creatures of nature who must take each moment as it comes and move on with life without judgement, we humans tend to let things lie in darkness and fester, continuing to allow them to have a voice and affect our lives for far too long. Eventually (hopefully) though, we manage to find acceptance of events that occur along life’s path, and realize our lives are much bigger than the bumps we encounter – and that our lives are full of wonderful stories of happiness, adventure, and achievement that deserve to be told. Such is the story of the building of this cabin.

The lumber from Stinking Creek bridge awaits its transformation to a new life as a cabin.

Let the story continue…

When Hoot and I were in our wonderful, crazy, adolescent and early-adult years, we spent many fall days and nights camping and hunting the Weyerhaeuser-owned forests of southeast Oklahoma. Our practice was not much different than for any group of guys and gals enjoying the same experience, with friends and family telling stories around the campfire and generally enjoying the camaraderie and atmosphere of “Deer Camp”. But sometimes, that “atmosphere” took a turn for the worse – and usually the weather was the culprit.

It was one such experience at camp, when the weather quit smiling on us and, instead, sent several days and nights of continuous rain, that I adopted a phrase I have continued to use since that deer camp so many years ago. Standing around a soggy campfire having coffee and Hoot’s mom’s to-die-for apricot bread on yet another cold, wet morning, Hoot’s younger cousin, Travis, who was “enjoying” his first deer camp, plodded up to the campfire sporting a tired, defeated, “do-we-really-have-to-do-this-again” look of despair. Seeing this, Hoot’s dad, John, greeted Travis with an exuberant, “Well, good morning, Travis! How ya like this deer hunting? Are we having fun yet? This deer hunting is a lot of fun, isn’t it?”

I don’t recall what Travis said in response, or even if there was one but, if he had been older, I’m pretty sure it would have included a varied array of colorful words and/or symbols directed John’s way. Still, John’s address to Travis served as an ice-breaker and created an opening through which Travis could be pulled from his gloom. So to this day, when things or tasks seem daunting or become mundane, or painful, or just downright tiring, I remember the effect John’s words had on Travis that gloomy, wet morning in the deer woods of southeast Oklahoma, and try to apply them to the situation at hand.

Hoot swings the the big boy – the 10 lb. sledge hammer.

In the case of the cabin building progress, it was the Sledge Hammer Blues that had me and Hoot down. If one could recall this last blog post (but of course you cannot, as it came six, long years ago), one would be reminded that the pounding, and bending over, and pounding some more of unsharpened, one-half-inch rebar pins 16 inches through the pre-drilled hole of one beam, and eight inches into the not-pre-drilled, solid beam below was, well, not a lot of fun. Being the self-professed “grunt” of the operation, Hoot took this task on as his own, while I measured and cut beams, and drilled pilot holes for the rebar pins. After seeing Hoot wearing completely out and taking a few turns at it myself, we were both as tired and defeated as Travis had been that morning at deer camp.

I drill ahead while Hoot, “The Grunt” swings the big hammer.
Hoot catches his breath before driving another rebar pin.
Tired and a little downtrodden, Hoot and I plan our next move.

At this point, it was obvious we both could use a break, so we plodded our tired butts to a shady spot with our old friend Adolph Coors. Hoot and I sat in exhausted quietness as we gulped down our cold ones and stared blankly at the sledge hammers and pins that had beaten us so badly. About halfway through our Cowboy Kool-aid, it seemed an appropriate time for a pick-me-up of sorts so, recalling the words of his father so many years ago, I turned to Hoot with a big smile and said, “How ya like this cabin building, Hoot? Are we having fun yet? This cabin building is a lot of fun, isn’t it?”

Trust me, Hoot was old enough to let the colorful words and symbols fly my way – but he did find his smile afterward. As conversation picked back up, we decided the cabin building purists could kiss our butts. We would sharpen our rebar pins if we darn well pleased. Heck, we might even drill a pilot hole for the eight-inch drive into the beam below! Yeah, the heck with them, we’ll do this our way! And with that and our last slug of Adolph’s elixir, we were both ready to continue our journey with a new idea, an invigorated spirit, and, of course, a little of Granny Moses’ Rhuematiz Medicine.

The heck with it – we’re sharpening our rebar pins!
Are ya having fun yet? Darn right we are!

And so the story continues…

© From Creek to Cabin in 287 Days