Log cabin living is something i grew up with.
But not actually, like, LIVING in one.
Or, knowing anyone who lived in one.
Or knowing anyone who knew anyone who lived in one.
But tv was my religion, and i raptly watched episodes of Grizzly Adams and Little House on the Prairie with an intensity of a convert hearing the word of God through the mouths of the grainy, alien-hued television characters i loved so much. i lived the 1800’s log cabin life week after week through the magic of television and for me – it was REAL.
We could call those my Golden Grizzly-Prairie years.
The world of gathering and selling chicken eggs, sweeping dirt floors with a straw broom, cooking mystery meat stew over an open fire and wild animals featured as local, friendly pranksters spoke to me so much that i wanted to LIVE it.
i begged my dad for a chicken, then a duck, then a goat until eventually his “no’s” just became an automatic response whenever a sentence started with, “Daddy, can i have a….?”
Eventually, he caved in to the feminine influences in the house, (my mom was a country girl too) and rented a stall in a nearby barn and bought a horse. And then another. When i was twelve, he moved us further out in to the country and built a ranch-style home with a barn and moved our horses there, and called it good.
And it WAS good! It was amazing! It was an exciting life for an animal-crazy girl and i loved it. And it was something like the 1800’s fight-for-survival, log cabin living i fantasized about – with our wood stove and hard work caring for the property and horses. But it was probably more like 1900’s ranch living since we wore store-bought clothes and spurs that went jingle jangle jingle. Heck, even our vehicle was a Ford Bronco.
We were practically the Wild West.
Exit Little House.
(Every chapter of my life can be summed up by a popular tv show of the time.)
So, between reruns of Bonanza, Gunsmoke and The Big Valley, i mucked stalls and rode horses and oiled saddles and pretended i was a rodeo princess, complete with a sparkly belt and a big straw hat with a roach-clip feather. I was a bedazzled Laura Ingalls. A Be-dingalls. i was a Rhinestone Cowgirl with buck teeth and pigtails, but we didn’t cook over an open fire in our home.
Or fight off cattle rustlers with shotguns.
Or sweep our dusty floors with straw brooms.
We had a vacuum. And electricity. And Safeway.
And there were no friendly, misunderstood bears that ever saved me from a hungry wolf and no helpful hawk ever landed on my arm. (i would have KILLED for a pet raccoon!)
But my country youth was not mis-spent and my soul grew into the ground and took root like the apple trees mom planted out by the barn. i grew up and moved out of the country and in to city after city, but i never lost my yearning for a cabin in the woods, preferably with a river.
And maybe a friendly bear.
And now i find myself in the middle of my life, with a laptop, a few personal belongings, an old, farty cattle dog and nothing but possibilities ahead of me. i could do something sensible like get an apartment in town, save my pennies and work on a retirement plan… segue into old age carefully and responsibly.
i could do this aging thing “Happy Catastrophy Style” and sink all my bank money and borrowed money and imaginary-money-not-yet-earned into a CABIN.
A LOG cabin.
By the RIVER.
With a BEAR.
Or a SPARKLY UNICORN.
(Since we’re dreaming here, anyway.)
But what if it isn’t just a dream?? There’s no time like the present to make a dream come true, right?? And what am i, if not an eternally optimistic and imaginative dreamer who is always open to new adventures and willing to take chances?
JUST like Laura Ingalls. Except i had braces. And cut off the pigtails. And don’t have a pet raccoon.
But otherwise, i might as well change my name to Laura and start bringing petticoats back into style because country cabin living….here i come!!!
UP NEXT…… The Dream Vs. Reality.
Or, what i like to call…… Riding Lawn Mowers Don’t Float.
(Check it out!!! Me and Laura….TELL me we aren’t sisters!!!)