Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mater's Cabin

Let me tell you about my brother Mater. I'm sure you are thinking, "Mater?? What kind of name is that?" 
Obviously it's his nickname but very fitting. If you've seen the movie Cars you'll know Mater is the rusted out, redneck tow truck in the film. Right after the movie came out in theaters my brother's friends all came to school calling him Mater, well, because my brother is just like Mater. 

(BTW - if you search Facebook for Mater's Words of Wisdom you'll find his videos of redneck wisdom. He's the next Duck Dynasty!!) 

Anyhow, my Mater is the youngest of us seven kids and I'm the oldest. I left for college when he was only 3 years old and he doesn't even remember me living with him. We lived and romped in the woods and while we were visiting Mater helped the boys carve their names in a beech tree that all my brothers had carved their names in. 

Half a mile from where we grew up lived our grandparents. Grandpa woods butted up against our woods and we roamed through both freely. When I was in about 6 or 7 my grandparents moved a log cabin from a few miles away to it's current location, restored and renovated it. Grandpa died almost 10 years ago and Grandma died about 4 years ago. In the last years of Grandma's life and the time it took to settle the estate the cabin has fallen into some major disrepair. I, and I'm sure many of my cousins, would have loved to take over the cabin but for most of us it just wasn't possible. Mater however is young and single and needed a home of his own so he's bought the cabin and is fixing it up. 

While we were home in Indiana Mater, our other brother John Deere and some of his buddies were putting on a tin roof. Some of the logs have rotten away on the opposite side of the house and Mater was telling me how there's just no way to keep it uncovered much longer though he'd like to. He's going to replace the rotten logs and eventually put siding on the outside to protect the rest of the wood from rotting and insects. I'm pretty sure that's how Grandpa found it in the 80's covered in siding.

The inside is still in pretty good shape though. My family has done a HUGE job of cleaning out the house. Grandma had a lot of stuff! They've ripped up carpets and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned! 

My favorite part of the cabin is the chimney/fireplace. When Grandpa was restoring the cabin he hired someone to dig a basement and build the fireplace/chimney. I can remember my sisters and cousins and I taking our little red wagon into the cornfield and filling it with rocks. Then we'd haul it to the cabin where the chimney guy would sort through them and pick out the ones he thought would work. Grandma had some stones that she and Grandpa had collected on their travels put into the fireplace. 

I got to go with Grandma and Grandpa to Missouri to pick up this stuff. Ha, it was pretty to look at but I also remember Grandma complaining that it was awful to bake anything in! 

Though the inside of the house is in fairly good shape there is this spot of water damage in the kitchen. Mater may need a house but he's still got a ways before he can move in! 

Who's that gorgeous baby with the enormous bonnet? 

Grandma's biggest prize from the county fair is still on the wall. 

It was so much fun growing up down the road from the cabin. I'm sure we were in the way but my sisters and I got to see it all done; moving the cabin, sandblasting it, Grandpa putting in the electricity, Grandma wallpapering. I imagined being Laura Ingalls walking into the cabin. There was always a sense of going back in time when we visited. Grandpa gave us a little adventure right down the road. 

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