I have lived in my cabin for five years now, and while it may not fit the hip millennial description of “cabin” (think, tiny home with a ridiculously stylish yet almost unusable kitchen and a sitting area that is uncomfortable just to look at) it is home. The decor is nothing I could garner praise by blogging about, and while I have big dreams for my outdoor space it looks more like a half assed idea than it does any of the Pinterest photos I drool over for inspiration. The cabin sits at the front of the accompanying 40 acres so on Saturdays and July 4th traffic on the road out front attempts to drown out the birds singing or the wind rustling through the leaves. In the five years I have lived here I have only had a few people stop by to visit (and most of those were just checking to see that my home truly did exist). And while my cabin will never be featured in Martha Stewart’s magazine or get a million likes on a social media platform for my use of space or decor it’s one of my most favorite things in life.
I am a home body. An unashamed, unapologetic home body that would rather be on my hands and knees pulling weeds from my garden than sitting down at someone else’s dining table for dinner. The sheer thought of knocking on someone else’s door makes me sink deeper into my own worn in and eclectic pillow adorned couch. Every time I pull out of my driveway a tear sits perched on the edge of my eye as I think of the moments I will miss away from home. Is it the carefully curated mix of antiques and thrift store finds filling the open living space or the chorus of birds streaming through the large, lace covered windows? I haven’t quite put my finger on it, but there is no place I’d rather be.
In this part of the Midwest most people have camps. Typically hunting camps, they are small, on a good sized piece of land, and usually include a sauna. In my neck of the woods these camps surround me, the owners coming up once or twice a year from other parts of the Midwest. On long summer weekends or holidays I like to pretend I am also at camp. My cozy, perfectly clean, and acutely organized space becomes my laid back vacationing spot. I go to town for supplies just once, and then sit back and pretend I have traveled eight hours to get here. The decorations on the wall, the thrift store plates and cups, and the low ceiling “bedroom” in the attic all take on a new look. My list of chores changes in order to address the vacationer version of myself; instead of organizing a junk drawer and cleaning out the fridge I take to sweeping the porch and mindefully pulling weeds from the flower bed alongside the house. I cook hotdogs over a fire, and I don’t get frustrated over my small kitchen while I prepare a traditional summery dessert. I don’t think about ironing clothes or preparing lunches for tomorrow’s start to the work week. I don’t clean the bathroom or turn on the tv. When I am stuck indoors because of the nasty mosquitoes, or have to limit my morning coffee on the porch because a small, protective phoebe has laid eggs in a nest just a few feet from my chair I don’t get upset. If I am unable to mow the grass because an abandoned fawn is calling for a new mother I don’t get impatient like I would any other day with my yardwork. I give nature its space, the broody phoebe, the terrified fawn, the fat squirrel hanging upside down from my bird feeder. Time is more relaxed, and I am more at ease. And when vacation time is done, I will still be right at home.