The Cedar Log Cabin

The Story of Living In & Restoring a Settler's Log Cabin

In the spring of 2011 my cat Cornelius took very ill. It was very difficult for me. I took ill as well. Being a vegan and not taking vitamin B12 had given me a bad case of anaemia, but at the time I didn't know that is what it was. I also got kidney stones from eating too much rhubarb, probably helped along by stress. At that same time my 79 year old mother was telling me in our weekly phone calls that she was not well, and she was not able to take care of her house herself. She was also telling me stories of being ripped off by people she hired to do jobs. One was a roofer that took months of constant prodding to finish the job. One was of a plumber that charged $400.00 to install a basic $50.00 kitchen sink faucet.

In the back of my mind, I knew that some day I'd have to take care of my mother. I was an only child, so it was me or nobody.

With the financial issues, Cornelius and myself getting sick, my mother not well, the decision was made to sell the cabin. I was to move into her large house, take care of the house repairs, cooking, shopping etc, and find a job and get myself back on my feet.

I wish I had the time to finish the cabin. I think that three more years would have done it. As it is, I made a good start for someone who is willing to carry on. With water and a septic system, a bathroom and proper kitchen, as well as a nice floor, it would make quite a nice place to live. I never bothered with the floor, as I wanted it to be the very last thing done, so construction wouldn't damage it. The plan was to make wide hardwood boards, cure them, tongue and groove them, put them in and finish them in place.

It was a hard decision to move, but I knew it had to be done, so the cabin was put on the market and to my surprise it sold right away. The compliments that came from lookers and agents was heart warming to me, and was a big boost. I met some of the nicest locals during the time the cabin was on the market. I wish I had met them before, but my shyness about my financial situation kept me hiding in the cabin. Two years after moving, I do miss living there.

The move itself was a nightmare. It was a long distance move, Cornelius was very ill, and there were eight other very scared cats in cat carriers – a total of nine cat carriers in a rented minivan for a six hour drive. Since I was not feeling well, I made the decision to just leave a lot of things behind. That was a good decision - I wish I had left even more. After the cats were dropped off, I went back again, dropped off the rented minivan, and drove off with the loaded truck, taking one last look back at the cabin, knowing I may never see it again, and honked the horn goodbye to Bill & Elva as I drove by.

Ten days after the move, Cornelius died. So this was the end of two eras of my life, living in the cabin and life with Cornelius. As I mentioned earlier, I wrote a book about our time together. It is hard enough for me to understand, let alone try to explain to anyone else what a profound influence Cornelius had on my life. His breathing issues where the reason I had moved away from the city to the area in the first place, and the pairing of his end and the end of the time at the cabin seemed both perplexing and fitting.

Things certainly did not go as planned, but I learned a lot about many things, including myself. I also got the chance to live alone in a log cabin in the woods, something few get a chance in life to do. I am also proud of many of the things I built while there, the loft especially.

When I look back on it all now, it seems like a dream. A lot happened in that five years.

One effect it has left on me is that every time I turn on a tap – especially the hot water – I realize how lucky I am to have running hot and cold water. It is a relatively new luxury in the scheme of human history, and I know what it is like to not have it for five years.

I hope that cabin survives the coming years, and is loved by whoever owns it. I know I made a lot of major changes to it, but the changes I went through were even greater.


Why does this site have ads?

Originally the content in this site was a book that was sold through Amazon worldwide. However, I wanted this story available to everyone free of charge, so I made this website. The ads on the site help cover the cost of maintaining the site and keeping it available.

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