Letting Go

Many of you know that my Daddy passed away nearly 2-1/2 years ago.  I miss him every single day.  Like I’ve said before, I have only good and happy memories of my father.  There’s not a bad one in the bunch, and I am very blessed to be able to say that.

One of the places that holds some of the best memories is my Daddy’s camp house on a lake in the Hatchie Wildlife Refuge.  It’s not a fine house or a showplace, but it’s comfortable and it’s what Daddy wanted.  When he bought it, it was a lot smaller than it is now.  Several years before he got sick, he just about doubled its size.  Before, it was cramped and dark, but the addition lightened everything up.  Plus, it added enough space for him to comfortably have his friends down for cookouts.  He had the best time with his friends down there.  Truth be told, I think he was happiest at the camp, whether he was with friends or all by himself.  He just loved it.

When he added on to the house, he also had a cookhouse built.  It has a neat little porch on the front that’s just big enough for you to sit on and prop your fishing pole over the water.  I think it’s everyone’s favorite thing about the whole camp.

This is the view from the cookhouse porch.

When Tater Tot was about to turn one year old, we couldn’t really decide on a good place to have his birthday party that would be convenient for all of our family.  We live in Memphis, but no one else does.  We finally thought of the camp, and it was just perfect.  Plus, it tickled Daddy to no end to have his grandson’s birthday party at his camp house.  He was so proud.

Daddy died before Tater Tot’s second birthday, but we celebrated his birthday that year — in addition to his third one — back at the camp.  It just seemed natural to have his parties there.  It’s where I feel closest to Daddy, and I knew how happy it would make him to know that we kept the tradition going.

But other than birthday gatherings, no one in our family uses the house much anymore.  David isn’t outdoorsy at all, and I’m not one for staying somewhere in which I might run up on a snake.  I’m a wilderness wimp.  My brother lives in Knoxville, so it’s not like he’s going to use the camp.  And it’s sort of a liability for Mama to keep any longer, so she decided that it was time to sell it and let someone enjoy it.  It’s sad to think of such a great place just sitting there empty.

A couple of weeks ago, Mama put the word out that we were interested in selling it, and she now has a buyer.  A very nice man and his wife, who have a house down there already, are selling their camp house and buying Daddy’s.  They’re delighted to have it, and we think that Daddy would be happy for them to be there and love it as much as he did.

When I went home Sunday, we rode down to the camp so that I could visit it one last time.  It was a bittersweet trip, as you can imagine.  A couple of times I was overcome with sadness, but I know that it’s time to let it go.

Farewell old camp.  You served our family well.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jennifer
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 10:07:15

    Okay, I have tears. This makes me sad/happy at the same time. I’m like you, I bet your dad would be thrilled to know that the camp will have LIFE again. But sad for you and your family. What a neat place and what great memories.

    Where in the world are you from? I wish I lived wherever it is, I always love hearing you talk about it! We crave small town life. I liked yesterday’s post about the church, too. That’s how I feel about my home church. 🙂

    Hope your summer is going exactly the way you hoped!


  2. JLI
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 10:35:41

    It looks so beautiful down there and I can just see from the pictures it the sort of place where there have been lots of great memories made…that’s the beautiful thing about memories – you will always have them to reflect on and there’s something extra sweet about looking back on all the good times had.

    The cabin reminds me A LOT of one that I stayed in several years ago. It was in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A friend of my dad’s owned the home in a little town called Curtis, MI. I experienced a lot of firsts during that trip – my first fish ever caught (a walleye), my first time watching a fish get cleaned, wearing waders and holding a fly rod, being on a boat on a lake during sunny, calm days and windy, rough days and loving every moment of it. That was just one trip for me…

    I can just imagine how many sweet memories you have from years at your Daddy’s cabin!

    I’m betting that the new owners will feel something warm & wonderful at the cabin…it’s ripe with love and kindness and memorable times where a family bonded and spent time together. I hope they know just how special of a place they’re getting!


  3. Quirky is a Compliment
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 10:51:45

    What a wonderful story about a wonderful place! And memories never go away, even when you sell the house. I’ve really enjoyed hearing all about the church and the camp house and your Daddy. So lovely!


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