04 February 2014

mateskared & nostalgia.

This is MATESKARED, the cabin in Upstate New York where my Grandpa Matt spent his summers (as a young person and as an adult, I believe) and where now my extended Zahniser family gathers every summer. I've been at those gatherings a handful of times throughout my childhood and it was pure bliss. I first went to the cabin as a newborn. Although I don't remember this, rumor has it that my Uncle Dave held me for the first time and I pooped on him. I was off to a good start at MATESKARED. 
When I was old enough to remember trips to the cabin I recall that I absolutely loved exploring the barn and the nearby stream, getting our drinking water from the spring, and swimming at Minerva Beach and Giant's Bathtub. I loved getting to see my Great Grandma Z (Pally) and other Aunts, Uncles and cousins. I was thrilled to go hiking and to spend time painting, drawing and playing games with my sister. One summer I remember getting to go on the grown-ups' backpacking trip to Crane Mountain. I think I might have cried when I found out my parents would be hiking without me, so they let me come along. I remember that I insisted on bringing my teddy and that we swam out to an island not too far from the shore of a very chilly lake. I curled up each night next to my mom and had the lightest pack of the group! Seeing these MATESKARED pictures brings back sweet memories.
 I've actually never seen the cabin like this, though, blanketed in snow. Grandma Ann sent me these pictures recently and you know what came to mind first? Not time spent here in the summers, but Norway. Memories of skiing and cabin trips in Oslomarka immediately flooded my thoughts. Today is a snow day in Wichita and we actually have snow! We already have several inches and the snowflakes continue to drift down from the sky. Josh and I are just dying to do some cross-country skiing. And what makes it worse is that just the other day I received an email from my friend Jana (whom I met in Norway) describing her latest skiing expedition. Jana was my best skiing buddy and she recently skied a route that we often took together. (Jana, I wish we could ski together!!) When Josh saw these pictures he said, "we should move to MATESKARED and go skiing all winter long!" Of course, the cabin is not really livable in wintertime, but we like to dream. That picture above sure looks like a good place to ski.
I've haven't been to MATESKARED in years. Since we were dating I've always wanted Josh to experience the beauty of this place and to get a glimpse of some of my fondest childhood memories. I hope that someday soon we can make our way up there. By the way, MATESKARED is a combination of the names of my grandpa and his siblings (Matt + Esther + Karen + Edward = MATESKARED). I love this place and I'm grateful for the time spent there connecting with my family and with nature. I am hoping that some of my MATESKARED-going family members are reading this. If so, please feel free to share your memories in the comments!

I think photo credit goes to my Great Uncle Ed, but I'm not quite sure.