Friday, April 27, 2012
Resting on a rock shoal that's washed daily by the warm Texas tides and the wakes of tugs pulling barges up and down the carved channel that is the Intercoastal Waterway, the cabin persists. Electricity comes at the generous whim of the generator, via the gas pump. It ain't cheap. But air conditioning in July isn't a luxury. It's a necessity. Rainwater collected from the roof plumbs the house. Some business can be handled in the john, but it's best to just piss in the sea.
It can be a contemplative place. Grabbing a chair on the porch at sunset can tune you into the sounds of singing coyotes and bleating cattle wandering the expanse of the King Ranch off in the distance. The little deck on the opposite side is for watching the sun rise over the Gulf of Mexico and the Laguna Madre. It's where you can sit with a hot cup of coffee and point and giggle at the guides as they frantically race to the flats, their up-before-dawn clients facing anxiously into the wind tunnel. And the flats, by the way, are right out the back door.
It's a place to sip a beer and maybe smoke a decent cigar--the constant breeze that massages the body also works to blow the acrid smoke out over the water. From the dock, it's a place to tune up the double-haul and cast for specks, to test your mettle against that breeze that doesn't quit.
It's a place to party amid the aromatic cloud of smoke wafting from the Weber kettle, and the sound of cheap gin cracking ice as its poured into a cup before it's diluted with tonic and lime. It's a place for laughs and foul jokes. It's a place for "pull my finger," and fake fart noises. It's a place to celebrate success. To buckle down and utter, "we'll get 'em tomorrow."
The one-room, clapboard cabin is a sacred escape. It's a place where keeping the faith means telling only those who are trustworthy that it exists at all, and telling even fewer exactly where it sits. Lined with bunks it can handle a dozen souls for a night or for a summer. Or for a nap.
It's a retreat. A destination for a tired psyche. Yeah, it's just a cabin. But it's home for as long as you make it so.
Or for as long as you need it to be.