My new life begins now! (Technically, it will begin on April 30, 2011 when we transition out of our current house.) I have decided to move from a lifestyle of stuff, accumulation, and hectic schedules (that is, the 3098 square foot home w/five bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, living room, kitchen, dining room, two family rooms, and a pantry the size of a walk-in closet…) to a modest cabin nestled amongst the birch, on an acre, with a mesmerizing view of the lake. My new life will be snuggled within four walls measuring a spacious 400 square feet plus an arctic entry. No garage needed here, because there is no road access. The five bedrooms have become a cozy corner of the room, the bathroom is now outdoors, and the kitchen is complete except for the sink. I know what you might be thinking. Oh my gosh, no indoor plumbing? Not to worry because we have all of the other creature comforts of home including electricity, heat, phone, and internet. See there, it’s not really “roughing” it as some of you may have been thinking.
Let’s take a step back in history for a moment, so I can share a bit of the backstory…Around 1998 my husband and I began dreaming of our own place on the lake and would cruise the shoreline, each summer by boat and each winter by snowmachine, hoping to find the perfect spot to call our own. In May 2002 that dream came true when I called on a property that had been taken off the market. As soon as I learned the owner might still be willing to sell the property my husband and I drove sixty-five miles then took a boat five miles across the lake to find the lot. At that time there was an old cabin from the 1950’s right on the shoreline and an outhouse perched on the hill behind it. The rest of the lot was grown over with trees and brush and most of the usable land was next to the water. The cabin was a complete tear down, but it was the perfect place for us and we fell in love with it immediately. I couldn’t wait to write up the offer and have it presented to the seller. We struck a deal and in June 2002 we were the proud new owners of a slice of heaven on Earth. (Well, that’s how much it meant to us. You know everything in life is all relative.)
Our first child was two years old at the time and we thought our family would always consist of the trio. So my husband began clearing the trees, knocking down the biggest hill with heavy equipment, and preparing the land for a small cabin fit perfectly for a family of three. Our gracious neighbors owned a big yellow barge and were very helpful in the transport of building materials to the property. This barge was large enough to carry everything we needed to build a cabin including the heavy equipment to move earth. My husband was determined to have the cabin framed in by the time snow started to fall in October, so we would have a place to visit by winter. This was his first construction project and his cousin (thank you Mark) was able to help him with the heavy lifting: framing, trusses, and the roof. Other than that he pretty much built the entire structure himself. I was very impressed to say the least. He and his cousin always laughed at my design and called the cabin a box with windows. (Imagine a 400 square foot cabin with five windows…yep, that’s right. I like light.) The property has gorgeous birch trees (what’s left any way…my husband acts like he was Paul Bunyan in a former life) surrounding it and they make me so happy. My idea for five windows stemmed from the desire to always see birch from every window of the cabin. My wish was his command. That’s what the cabin is to this day…a box with windows set back about fifty feet from the lake.
We have less than two hundred feet of lakefront which gives us an awesome view and a lot of room to play. The rippling waves lapping against the shore completely transfix me for moments at a time. The lake is completely magical to me. Add the eerie calls of the loons early in the morning, the breathtaking sunsets, and the prancing Northern Lights and you have all the ingredients for a perfect place to call home.
The first photo is the lot when it was cleared before the new cabin was built. The second photo is both cabins before the old cabin was removed.