Rosemary Zettler

3-18-21

We built our first cabin in 1972 in Sierra Cedars. Having fallen in love with the area we built a larger resident-like cabin on Littlefield Road in Meadow Ridge in 1980. Even though most of our family lives in Southern California, we often drive up to “our place in the mountains”.  Our grandson, David, and his wife, Connie, and four of their friends were at our place the weekend the Creek Fire broke out. They could see smoke beginning to build in the distance and local authorities informed them of the real danger and the need to evacuate. There was a huge risk that our beloved cabin would burn. The question quickly became what irreplaceable treasures would they have time to stuff into their cars??

The lamps in the master bedroom had bases made from Montana cedar and had been carved by an engineer on the Milwaukee Railroad eighty-six years before? The kerosine lamp above the fireplace his grandmother had filled with fuel each evening at the ranch in Montana where she grew up ninety years ago? And from the same ranch, over the fireplace hung a singletree, the bracket that attaches a horse harness to a wagon. 

Bearitone, the massive bear carved from the trunk of a tree that overlooked the deck was impossible to move as was the Birdseye Maple dresser, a treasured possession of his great, great grandmother. But what about the wash board his other great, great grandmother had used while living on what was called “Soap Suds Row” where the enlisted men’s wives scrubbed the clothing of officers and their families at Fort Keogh, Montana a hundred and twenty years ago. Above the front steps hung a big brass bell. It was presented to his grandfather when he opened Flying Tiger Air Freight service in Saigon, Viet Nam and was made from cartridge casings picked up on the battlefield during the Viet Nam war? Above the kitchen counter was an enlargement of the tourist-attracting post card of his great grandfather pulling in the first fish caught in the newly completed Boulder Dam in 1932. 

Two very special quilts would need to be included, one made by his grandmother from the fabric she had used in all the quilts she had made for her four kids, their spouses and eleven grandkids. The other one was even more special, the block pattern was called Autumn Pines and each of the seventy-two block in this king-sized quilt had been sewn together by either friends or family members who had, at one time or another, stayed at the cabin. 

The list went on and on and through it all, to hid waves of emotion, David, at times retired to the bathroom to blot his tears. The three cars finally pulled out, and tugging at his heart was the question. Would he ever see the cabin again? 

Yes, we were deeply blessed. The fire circled the area and the cabin still stands. It waits to welcome his return.