My family has a fantastic mountain cabin that was paid for and built by the family along with help from several neighbors and friends. My family spent about $100,000 to finish the cabin. Its location is so remote that specialized trucks, which are expensive to build and operate, are necessary to take us and our stuff to our cabin. We have the best truck, and our neighbors and friends who have part ownership of the cabin have similar but far inferior trucks.

Our truck can take all our stuff along with our whole family of seven up to the cabin. Our friends’ trucks are good but can only carry three people or fewer, and only a little bit of stuff. Our family is very proud of our truck — we built it ourselves — but our friends are sometimes jealous. Without our truck and its capacity we would not have been able to build the cabin in the first place.

Recently our family has had some financial challenges. Even though the portion of the family budget to go to the cabin and do stuff in the mountains is less than half of 1 percent, it was decided that the $450 it costs to drive our truck up to the cabin is just too much, and we are taking the truck to the junkyard. With our experience we could build a great new truck. In fact, the plan was to build two brand-new trucks to replace the old one, but Dad now thinks it’s too much trouble. He says someday, someone may offer us a ride in their new truck.

In the meantime, we can still go to the cabin, not as a family, but one at a time in our neighbor’s truck. We have to leave most of the stuff we usually took to the cabin in our truck at home. Our neighbor said we can ride in his truck for $63 per person, but I think he may ask for more money. At this price the cost for the entire family would be $441, but we can’t take our usual stuff and can’t be together as a family at the cabin.

I think my dad is not very interested in going to the cabin or the mountains anymore. I wonder if my younger brothers and sisters will even remember the great times we had there.

Allen Bartlett

Winnetka , Calif.