cabin sweet cabin

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.

cabin sweet cabin

spring comfort

After five years of trying to convince my husband to be content with our little home in the woods he has finally settled.  Set back from the country highway our house is blocked by a few rows of tall pines, and if one slowly drives by and looks down our driveway they will really only see our pole barn and two solar panels.  It’s a mostly quiet neck of the woods.  Logging trucks go by in the late morning, but the bird feeders are tucked back alongside the house and aren’t bothered by traffic passing by.  In the spring the birds are noisy; the red breasted grosbeak doing his mating dance while a gang of bluebirds looks on wth what I imagine is a look that says “little idiot.”  The chicken coop sits on the opposite end of our large yard, but the hens can be heard squawking as they run around looking for small snakes and pink little worms.  With the recent addition of an Ikea windchime on our porch the area has gotten a bit more nosey as the hallow wood pieces knock together.  But apart from these spring time sounds, the place is quiet.

We don’t have neighbors, which is the main point my husband brings up when he unexpectedly states that we will not be moving anywhere else any time soon.  On either side of our 40 acres are multiple other 40’s owned by people who only make a visit to their land a couple of times a year. Some of the properites have small, rough looking cabins tucked back into the woods.  In the summer time we hear the occasional gun shot, but other than that we sit undisturbed.  The lack of peeping toms and snooping neighbors gives my husband elaborate liberty to pee off the side of our porch into the patch of dirt that lacked grass long before we ever moved in.  He does this with pride as if he were a dog marking his territory.  And it makes me happy to know he finally sees this quiet place as his own.

As the ironic fate that follows me would have it, three months after purchasing my cabin of solitude as a single, independent woman, I met my now husband.  He was more than content with his centrally located apartment in town.  Cooley riding his bike to school and work it was beyond his mental capacity how someone could enjoy living 40 minutes outside of town, away from the action. While I was in my weed filled garden tilling until the mosquitoes ate me alive he was sitting in a restaurant’s outdoor patio with friends, his bike parked casually on the sidewalk.

How we made it to this point is hazy to me.  My social husband spends only a day a week with friends, and on weekends when I get all my outdoor chores done we go out to eat in town, sitting inside the dimly lit, modern restaurants while our vehicle sits casually parked outside.  Nonetheless, despite the five years of compromise, I am still a bit shocked he has grown so comfortable in our little home so far away from the hustle and bustle.  Three weeks ago I was finding us apartments to move into in downtown Chicago (a good 5 1/2 hour drive from our current rural existence).  When I told my husband I had found us just the right one on the river I am not sure what reaction I was hoping for.  I was ready to take my turn in the compromise and move to the land of opportunity and public transportation.  It turns out somewhere between the sound of chirping spring peepers and the grouses’ non stop thumping he found the peace to settle in.  So here we’ll stay, at least for a little bit longer.

spring comfort