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  • My daughter and I are on the way to the cabin. We are at the grocery store in Carlyle, Saskatchewan buying food and supplies. We have weaved our way back and forth through the aisles about 4 times. Grocery shopping in a strange store is a challenge. On a whim I stop by the syrup section.

    "N--, do you want to have strawberry milk at the cabin?"

    My daughter looks at me with a puzzled expression. Strawberry milk is a concept she has never encountered before. N-- is unsure how to answer my question. Normally, I keep sugary drinks to a militant minimum.

    "You are going to love it," I say, placing the red plastic container in the cart. "It's a cabin thing."

    There are a few other cabin things in the cart already - cookies, blue
    cheese, cinnamon buns - foods we don't eat at home because they are bad for you.

    Bad, until they are enjoyed within the context of the cabin.

    The cabin is the place where the rules you set for yourself may be broken. You are allowed to cut yourself some slack, coast a bit, take a break from the tight ball of musts and must nots you adhere to.

    Leave the cobwebs in the corner.
    Just throw the quilt over the bed and call it made.
    Care not what your hair/make-up/clothes look like.
    Play first then do chores.
    Eat what you like when you are hungry.
    Drink a beer before lunch.
    Take a nap.

    The cabin is only an hour away from home, but there is enough distance between it and normal life to allow the unraveling to happen.

    At the dinner table later that evening N-- and I raise our plastic glasses full of pink milk in a toast to the weekend ahead. For the next 48 hours, we will live by different rules. We will eat junk, stay up late, and do nothing productive.

    We will be all the better for it.
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