I purchased this cabin and land with all the money my mom left me after she died in 2005.
I had a husband then; he begrudgingly helped with the mowing – usually mowing down baby trees I had planted and coddled. He claimed it was an accident. Now I don’t have a husband…only partly because of the tree desecration. Mostly because even at 30 years of age, I was too young a bride. He never liked coming here anyway. I never put his name on the title. I knew it would be my ace in the hole. Every woman should have one.
The bed is a single bunk, but we would sleep together in it. Well, he’d sleep. I couldn’t due to his snoring, (only after I left him did I realize how sleep deprived I had been.) There’s no escaping it in the cabin. The cabin measures 8′ x 12′, or 96 square. It has a quaint oval door which makes it appear hobbit-like. The ceiling is arched so as to appear more roomy inside. If I stretch my tallest I can touch it with my fingertips. It actually feels like a ship inside. The bunk takes up one end and has a large window where I can watch the riparian edges of the creek and the prairie sail by before I arise the mornings I am here; at least once a week for a couple days.
Today I am awakened by a magpie pecking at the skylight window above the bed, (there’s also one above the kitchen). Magpie is trying to eat the myriad tiny bugs that are on the inside of the window trying to get out. Magpie is molting, her antics are as silly as she looks right now. 4 snipe fly over and land creek side. There is something so comically cute about their long bill, striped head, and round little button eye. Maybe it’s the way they pull their chin in and stand so straight and tall. 2 dozen Hungarian partridge spook from their yard stroll around the cabin – like my little clutch of chickens, into the tall grass when I go out to pee. I hear a pheasant out in the tall grass.
There are two shelves at the east end of the bunk. The bottom shelf was made for me by my first boyfriend from a nice piece of hardwood he found. He burned the runic poem into the face of it as you can see. This is the cabin library. When I was married I had amassed an extensive library at the house. Actually, books have always been the one thing I wouldn’t part with in all my adult years. Every move to a new location entailed hoisting heavy boxes packed with my collection. And collect them, I have. I have procured a few rare ones along the way; Cornelius Agrippa, The Rock is my Home, The French Farm House. My very first job after I graduated high school was at a bookstore, and I have worked at many others since then.
While married, the cabin became my little playhouse. I put all my favorite things inside. This small trove of books are ones that make my heart sing or are filled with life saving practicality:
Carla Emery’s Encyclopedia of Country Living, Dick Proeneke’s One Man’s Wilderness, Pruitt Stewart’s Letters of a Woman Homesteader, Tasha Tudor’s Garden, Letters of Queen Elizabeth I, Outdoor Survival Skills, edible plants and animal identification books abound. The stack on the left bottom shelf are my ranch journals. Each time I come to the cabin I make notes of animal and bird sitings, irrigation water in the ditch, creek levels, lists of projects, projects accomplished, how much – if any I made on the hay. Much of what I write in them is dry and quite boring but now and again a nuance is captured in the way the wind blows through the tall grass, or the cat-like mew of a short eared owl, or how I can feel it-thru the tiny cabin, when a big horned owl lands on the chimney, or the covey of partridge take shelter under the cabin when the harrier makes a creek-long pass.
There’s a rageddy little brown title-less binding in the upper right. This is a journal I found in my Mother’s things when my brother and I cleaned out her apartment after she died. It has only a few meager entries but they are precious beyond description. They are dated 1965; the year my brother was born and I was one. The tiny glimpses into the day-to-day life of a mother with two babies encourages me to keep writing. One entry simply said: Loading the kids up on the stroller, we are going to the park. They just love being outside!
I like being at my cabin. Maybe it’s because outside is so right in my face.