David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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The End of The Season


By this time almost everyone who is going to close a cabin this season has done so.

I had not realized what an intensely personal chore this is. In the first place people are reluctant to talk about it at all, since that will give you some idea of what's in their cabin (as if you haven't been looking at it for 20 years anyway.)

Second, everyone has a different system. Some people put things in attics, or basements, if they have them, or they hide stuff in the garage or in crawl spaces. Some people take darned near everything with them, and some people store things in Estes Park, or ship things home every year. Some people leave the curtains up; some take them down. Some have shutters they put up every year; others think shutters are a waste of time.

My mother has been closing her cabin for almost 50 years, and she has been doing it the same way all that time. She's missed a few years since 1927, what with WW II and all, but if she had been here she would have done it the same every year.

I tried to convince her this year that the wave of the future was to just walk out and close the door.

In the old days the cabin wasn't insulated and the animals pretty much came and went as they pleased. We used to put the mattresses up on tables with little skirts of tin foil on the legs. Still, we sometimes found nests when we came back the following year. And, of course, the miller moths made a mess of the place, including the windows, so everything had to be covered or put in boxes.

But these days, except for a little dust, the little cabin stays clean through the winter, so I thought I'd suggest that she just drape a few sheets over things and walk out.

That was when I found out that closing a summer cabin is a little like a family funeral; you don't mess around with established tradition. Certain things in certain places. Otherwise you can't be sure where it will be next summer, and as we get older it seems to be more and more important that we can lay our hands on that teapot or lamp or treasured mantel item or fishing rod as soon as we come through the door.

In the long run, of course, it doesn't make much difference how you do it, as long as it makes you happy and seems to work.

Still, it seems to be an important ritual in our seasons, and serves as a reminder that although this summer is truly, completely and finally over, another waits just over the horizon.




© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI



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