Tales from the Cabin
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Cabinitis: Big Kid Toys

By Lars F
Published: October 1, 2004
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Photo by Cabin Life, Cabin Living
I recently got to wondering exactly how many toys I’ve purchased for the cabin while under the spell of cabinitis. So I sat up late one night making a list of everything.
   
When I saw how long it was, I understood quite well why my family thinks I’m out of control. I barely remember buying some of these things, yet they’re all around my cabin. I can’t even imagine the total amount of money I’ve invested in these toys.  
    
As I look at this, I realize I must have been in a stupefying daze – or a highly feverish condition – a great deal of the time. I think I belong in either the Consumer Hall of Fame … or Shame!  
   
But you know, each and every item gets used a lot by family and friends. Call it denial, but I can’t imagine my cabin life without them.
   
Take, for instance, my fleet. It currently includes three boats, two canoes and a kayak. Oh yes, and my wife’s favorite, the paddleboat. But the kayak disappeared about a year ago when my daughter “borrowed” it.
   
Hmmm. I notice I have more motors than boats. I have two brand-new four-stroke outboard motors, as well as a 25 hp, a 15 hp, a 9.9 four-stroke, two 3 hp and a 1.75 hp canoe motor. (But I have four children and four grandchildren, plus my wife and myself. So actually, there are barely enough motors to go around!)
   
The kids sometimes have contests to see who can water-ski behind the smallest outboard. The record is a 130-pound skier behind the 9.9 hp motor. Of course, the boat was very light, and the driver had to sit right in the middle – but it was quite a feat!
   
The kids also enjoy the large recreational swimming tube and the trampoline. Naturally, I had to get two air compressors to blow up these toys.
   
Seems like everyone likes to fish when they come up to the cabin. So I have 10 assorted rods and reels, three tackle boxes full of fishing lures, four electronic fishing graphs, an underwater camera, two fish houses, several ice augers (both manual and powered) and the pièce de résistance, military night vision goggles for late-night fishing.
   
Add to the above list one ATV, three snowmobiles, two LP gas salamanders (to melt ice underneath the snowmobiles, naturally) – and three barbeque grills. My son and his friends give these items heavy use in the winter – even the grills.
   
But the toys that are my personal favorites – the ones I try not to share – are my power tools. Two table saws, plus just about two of every other type of tool known to man, two chain saws and a truly wonderful large wood chipper.
   
And I’m out of garage space!
   
Then there’s my Bobcat skid-steer, which has a large snowblower, a large bucket and an enclosed heated cab. To be honest, I mainly use this beauty at my house. But I also have three other snowblowers. I guess I must have had dreams of my children pitching in.
   
To haul all this stuff around, I own five different trailers.
   
Plus I bought a 32-foot travel trailer to use for spillover guest housing when my cabin gets too crowded. It’s air conditioned and very comfortable. I haul it in and out with my 3/4-ton Silverado truck, which I purchased pretty much for hauling stuff to the cabin.
   
For relaxing, we have a hot tub and a screened gazebo on a rebuilt deck. Plus a small sauna.
   
Then, of course, there’s my pride and joy, the electric lift that takes me 100 feet down the cliff to the lakeshore. Without that device, I would have required new knees by now from climbing stairs.
   
As I look over this list I realize that yes, I have accumulated a lot of stuff at the cabin. But we’ve had a lot of fun with all these toys. Each item has memories and stories that will last a long time.
   
So, you ask, what’s left?
   
Well, I’m not sure, but I do know that the mind of man is highly fertile when it comes to dreaming of the fun to be had with yet another toy.
   
My children have been lobbying me to get a pontoon boat. So far, I’ve resisted that idea … But I can feel myself weakening every day.

Lars F. has refused the 12-step plan to control his cabinitis. Only his first name is used to protect his identity.
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