The Flower Pot

In 1948, when my dad was a boy, his family built a cabin on Priest Lake, Idaho. That cabin was home to countless memories for the extended Fry family. Even after my grandmother sold it in the early 1980s, we rented it for a few weeks during summers for family reunions. The cabin was torn down in 2003 and replaced with a new home. Earlier this year, when that house came up for sale, my parents bought it. We decided to celebrate the Fry Family Thanksgiving there this year.

For several years, while my dad’s family gradually built it, the old Priest Lake cabin had no running water. As a boy, upon arrival, my dad’s first job was to fill two buckets of water from the lake – one for drinking and one for washing. His dad, my Grandpa Fry, built an outhouse up the hill from the cabin. They called it The Flower Pot, and hung a sign inside that said “No matter how much you water it, nothing ever grows.” The outhouse’s unique feature: it was a double holer. Apparently my aunts, uncles and grandparents had no problem sitting next to each other while they did their business.

When my parents bought the current Priest Lake house this summer, The Flower Pot still sat atop the hill. It had long since fallen over, and nobody had used either one of its holes in decades. Before having the relic hauled off, my parents salvaged several of the boards that were used to build the outhouse in 1948.

This Thanksgiving weekend, we used those boards to spruce up the new Priest Lake cabin’s modern day Flower Pot. My dad and brother nailed the old boards to the bathroom wall to support the towel rack and toilet paper holder. My daughter Ruby, using my old wood burning set, made a new sign, which now hangs proudly above the toilet. It’s just like 1948. But now, you don’t have somebody sitting next to you while you water the flowers.


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Shredded

This is the second year in a row that I’ve missed Halloween at Fry Lodge due to a business trip. My banana costume will sit in my closet for another year. I would have lost the Fry Lodge costume contest anyway. Kristine’s shredded Banksy is brilliant. Happy Halloween!

Fry Lodge Mixed Media 

It’s been a summer of creativity so far at Fry Lodge. Screens have been *mostly* pushed aside to make room for sketch books. Henry and Ruby have discovered Manga. Now, instead of fighting over who gets the computer, they fight over who gets the Manga how-to manual. This morning, Ruby woke up at 6AM and immediately started drawing in her sketch book. She’s such a perfectionist when it comes to art. Henry’s work, just as creative, has been on the more practical end of the spectrum. The other day he drew a yellow chalk center line all the way up the access road behind our house. It confused the hell out of the construction crew building the house next door. 

The summer’s art hasn’t been limited to drawing. Today, Ruby turned to science experiments in the kitchen. I’m a little nervous about the road ahead. 

New center line, courtesy Henry 

Hello Summer 

Another year, another school for the Fry kids. The 2016-17 academic year is a wrap, and Henry and Ruby are one summer away from 5th and 3rd grade. It seems like they both grew at an accelerated rate this year – on every level. Comparing their first and last day of school photos, it looks like each is a head taller. 

Emotionally, socially and academically, both Henry and Ruby made big strides this year in Bellingham. Henry joined the chess club and made it to the state tournament. Ruby discovered her artist self and blew all of us away with her unique perspective on the world. Both took up ice skating and soccer and made so many friends in the process. 

The week before school let out, Kristine and I had the opportunity to review the kids’ portfolios that document their units of inquiry and work over the course of the year. Among Henry’s projects was a how-to chess book, which he sweetly dedicated to me. Ruby’s art section was stunning. Both of their teachers were amazing, which is a huge reason why they both excelled as much as they did. 

The Fry kids have hit their stride in Bellingham. This weekend we start a well deserved summer vacation. In preparation for our cross country RV trip in July, we’re doing a shake down cruise with the RV this weekend. Next week Ruby begins swimming lessons. Then Henry goes to LARP camp. The adventure continues.