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Our granddaughters moved in with us at our cabin in the woods. The walls on their house were closing in, and since we had all been isolated for enough weeks with no possible contact with infectious diseases, we loaded them in the car and headed to the mountains.
The oldest is thirteen and her sister is nine. We promised to have them do their online homework, read the required minutes and do chores. In other words, we promised not to spoil them rotten and send them home. (My toes were crossed, but I figured we would try.)
When we arrived at the cabin, the driveway was covered in snow which lured them outside for sledding and snowballs. However, the cold pushed them inside before long. It didn’t take long for them to learn that life at the cabin requires different skills and moves at a more relaxed pace. Thus, finding time for reading wasn’t a problem.
Before going to the bed, Grandpa demonstrated how to stoke the fire, fill the wood box, and adjust the damper to keep a low fire burning throughout the night. They learned how to stay warm without a thermostat or the advanced technology provided by Nest.
The second morning, when hunger announced its presence, a math lesson began. We shared tasks in the kitchen as we prepared breakfast: measuring ingredients for waffles (nothing taken from the freezer and popped in the toaster), warmed up the huckleberries from the freezer and mixed in the correct amount of sweetener.
Before homework or recreation, we mixed the bread dough so it could rise on the fireplace mantle, made the Jello-O, and prepared the soup in the crock pot. Each task required more measurements, especially important when doubling the recipe for cookies.
Spring came practically overnight. Grandpa ventured outside first, with a plan in his head to disassemble the deck so that he could cut down the pine trees that had outgrown their space. To our astonishment, the girls wanted to help and to their surprise, they were handed drills and instructed on how to remove the screws that held the boards in place. Who knew a teenage girl would find so much pleasure in a power tool!
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