Step 1 in New Cabin Ownership: “Trash Out”

We agree to buy the cabin “furnished.” 

Meaning “we’ll take it with your shit inside.”  This actually sweetens the deal because now the owners don’t have to figure out how to move all their shit out or where to put it.  If I were Mrs. Cabin Owner, I’d look at Mr. Cabin Owner and all his crusty 45 year old cabin shit and I’d be like “Don’t even THINK about bringing that crusty cabin shit into my house.  Don’t….. even….” (dramatically holds hand up like Diana Ross).

So we’ve solved a huge problem for them and that helps them accept our modest offer.  We are actually paying LESS because they’ve included MORE.  We call this cabin math.

As a result of buying our cabin “furnished,” Janie Our Real-Tor recommends what is known in cabin-country as a “Trash Out”  –  and the fact that I just spent decades worth of my savings for something that requires a “Trash Out” makes me shudder just a little bit.  She gives me the number of Tammy and Duane, the trash out people, and I am both grateful and sad that someone has Trash Out as a job.

I dial the number and a man’s voice answers…..

“Hello?” he says.

“Hi!  Is this Duane?”

“No…’s Tammy.”

Damn!  Have you ever gotten that thing where your armpits just turn on like tub faucets?  Oh god, what is the proper response for mistaking a woman for a man on the phone?  Do I have time to google that?  I panic and decide to pretend it didn’t happen.  But it did happen and Tammy remembers it.  I know this because the next time I call Tammy and Duane, a man’s voice answers again and I say “Hi!  Is this Duane?”  And the man’s voice again says, “No……this is Tammy!”   A little annoyed this time.

The silence is a little longer this time and I consider just hanging up.  And then, thank god for Tammy, she busts out with a raspy smoker’s cough/laugh that totally saves my ass.  Thank you, Tammy and your big manly smoker’s cough/laugh.

When they arrive at the cabin, I’m expecting a giant, maybe a lumber jill or Paul Bunyan’s girlfriend or something.  At the very least, I expect a Northwoods Transvestite in hoop earrings and flannel.  But instead, she’s just a perfectly normal-sized woman……with a man’s voice.


There’s 45 years worth of collected furniture and garbage in this place including the world’s heaviest sleeper sofa and a steel vault  –  seriously, a vault.  It looks like something out of an old-timey bank robbery movie.  But nothing is impossible for these two;  Tammy may be perfectly normal-sized but she has the strength of ten thousand men.  Duane is only slightly weaker.  They bat an eye at nothing and take care of everything no matter how heavy or pee-stained.  They probably think Superman is just a regular guy.  If I had asked them to reverse time, I have no doubt that they would just go, “Oh sure.”

All day long they drag things out the front door and toss things into their trailer.  And everything they touch,  they stop and ask,

“Does this go?”

“How about this?”

“And this?”

And the answer to everything is yes.  Gone.  Gonzo.  Take it.  Toss it.  Get it out.  Outie.

I run out of ways to say it.

Until they get to the red teapot pictured above.  It’s probably been sitting on the stove, ready to boil, since the last visit by humans which we know was at least a couple of years ago.  It’s like a teapot from a ghost town.

That stays.  It’s the only I thing I keep.


  1. When I bought my first house my mother delivered to me a red, enamel tea pot just like that one pictured because a kitchen needs color. A few months later she thought it was full of water (I keep a tea pot on my stove, full of water for boiling at all times) and turned it on to make tea and then proceeded to go outside with the kids because, kids, and melted the pot all over the stove. Fire department, the whole nine yards. Fun times. I miss that tea pot. It was fun. Got a new stove. House was literally about six months old at the time. Brand new. No harm, no foul. She was something, that woman. I hope I grow into my southern eccentricity as well as she managed to do (she was from Brooklyn). I have four doors attached to my kitchen in my “new to me” house. Pantry, entrance, laundry room and half bath. They are all painted red. Red makes a kitchen happy.

    Liked by 1 person


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s