Labor of Love
By Morgan Smith
In smaller communities, local support for one another seems to be the backbone of what binds us together. It helps the community flourish and betters the lives of the individuals in town. When I heard the story I’m about to tell, I knew it had to be shared because of the magnitude of the kindness and generosity of those involved.
In the early 1960’s, local Elmer Rasmuson decided to build a two bedroom, one bath cabin near where the Daylodge is located. In fact, there is a photo displayed in the Ice Cream Shop that shows the cabin in its original location. After the 1964 earthquake, the cabin was moved to a new location on Davos road. Several owners later, each having put effort into restoring and maintaining the cabin, it was purchased in 2011 by Meghan and Lars Nedwick. After years of living in and cherishing the cabin, they decided to sell it so it could continue to serve the community.
After finding the right buyer, the purchase was about to be complete when Meghan kept feeling this sense of unrest regarding the cabin. All of the unforgettable memories she had there made it seem like a loss if the cabin were to be torn down in order for the new owners to build their dream home. So on Sunday May 5th, the day before the purchase was complete, Meghan felt compelled to attend church. For Meghan, this wasn’t the norm and with her family busy, she decided to hop on her bike and go.
As she sat and listened to the Sermon at Girdwood Chapel delivered by Reverend David Hall, his words began to resonate with her. Using a hand carved totem during the sermon that day started to speak to Meghan, and she wasn’t sure why. She continued to listen to Reverend Hall, and he began to speak of the housing needs of the church. And as Meghan left the church that day on her bike, she didn’t expect what happened next.
On her ride home she passed the cabin nestled quietly amongst the trees on Davos. Sitting in front of the cabin with the sun beaming down on it was a totem. The totem had been such a familiar beloved part of the cabin, Meghan couldn’t believe she hadn’t thought of it sooner. In fact, Meghan and her family had nicknamed the cabin Totem Cabin. The sermon now seemed to come full circle in her mind and she knew exactly what she needed to do.
When she arrived home, she told Lars the need for housing at the Girdwood Chapel. She knew that the cabin was no longer hers to donate, and Lars agreed the only thing to do was to appeal to the new buyers. A phone call later, the new buyers were in. Ecstatic to help a community they cared so much about, they donated the cabin to Girdwood Chapel. I spoke to the buyers, and they choose to remain anonymous, but the one thing we agreed upon was that Meghan was the driving point of this kind act. “It was all Meghan. We were happy to have played a part in it,’ explained the buyers.
So one more move later, the Totem Cabin found a new home on church grounds, ready to get a facelift and serve the community once more. Now under the care of Reverend Nico Reijns, the cabin has been undergoing renovations since its move in June. Volunteers from all over have been jumping in to help out. Reverend Nico showed me around the cabin and its structural integrity is amazing for how old it is. And with fresh insulation, paint, flooring and so much more, the cabin will soon be ready for its debut.
It all seemed to come full circle. Each piece of the puzzle seemed to fall into place perfectly to get to where we are today.
“I was happy to have helped solve a need. I’m just glad it stayed with the community. It needed a new life,” Meghan explained. And as a community, we are thankful for the kindness everyone involved has shown by donating, not just the cabin, but their time. Girdwood is bettered by the thoughtfulness of all of these wonderful people and we are forever grateful.”