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“This cabin was built in the 1890s,” shared Brad.

“Really!? You know I write about history mysteries…right? Could I do a blog entry on the cabin?” I responded.

“Sure, you can.” Brad continued, “The interior is kind of 1950s. You can take a look around.”

While I am always up for looking around an old house, this gem of a setting reflects on more than long ago homesteading. I have called this setting home for over two months. It has been a good place with a couple of challenges. I will be relocating to a tiny home in Poderosa. All of this will work out as do so many ventures in life.

Home is where you hang your hat, so the saying goes. I have living in various houses, apartments, dorms, shared rooming, hostels, and tents for extended periods of time; they were my home. I have visited homes of the super-rich (once used a toilet in a house owned by Sam Shepherd and Jessica Lang) and of the super-poor (Godfrey was a coworker in East Africa. He and his family of four along with several cattle slept in a house Godfrey had built in two weeks of mud, manure, branches and twigs). Houses comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are more than shelters and storage. They are the center of family, a monument to life, and a time capsule.

This cabin is no exception. While I had neither the time nor resources to do a full-scale in-depth history of this structure, there are some general indicators of the history of the structure.

The time frame of building may indicate the occupation of the builder. I do not think it would be too outlandish to speculate the original occupant may have grazed sheep for an income. While the Spanish influence on the area and occupation is obvious, there was also a notable amount of Irish in the mountain population.

The cabin was built from logs likely felled and harvested very locally. It was constructed with functionality in mind…a simple shelter. The downstairs consist of a main living space with heat, cooking and sharing in mind. A loft for sleeping was entered by a narrow stairwell which “chimney-ed” the heat produced by the fireplace down below.

At some point, likely in the 1950s, it was decided to expand off from the original structure. There is a front enclosed porch, a kitchen, a bathroom and some additional storage. The kitchen stove, the cupboards and building materials reflect on this update.

I would like to thank the current owners, Sabine and Brad, for their willingness to allow me to move in and occupy the lake house further round the lake. There are two cabins (the oldest already mentioned), a house, and a large storage build surrounding the small lake. It was a very nice setting!

I had been through many storms, both figurative and literal, while living there. The new job had many challenges, the sudden and unexpected death of a family member shocked, the time alone expanded, the navigating of an aged vehicle on mountain roads sometimes terrified, and concerns my cat would become the meal of a coyote, owl, or hawk—all were stressful.

There had also been some outlandishly beautiful moments. The starry nights, the reflection of sunset skies on the lake, nightly swims of a local muskrat, the visits to nearby hot springs for a soak, visits from friends both old and new, blue heron stop-bys, the constant koi pond atmosphere of wandering giant bottom feeders in the lake, the towering pines all around, hikes with a once romantic interest, galumphing down the highway for a health walk to Amanda’s store for an ice cream sandwich, and amazing music for several days bounced across the lake to me sipping a cider on the porch of my home. All of these wonders became a part of me and my memories.

So, while home may be where you hang your hat, it is also where you hang your heart. The original occupants of the old cabin had their hearts here for maybe a generation or two. While my heart was here for less than a full season. It may be this was a setting for a needed transformation. It may have been my cocoon, like my house in Cortez sheltered me through the Covid years (yes, I do wonder if they are truly over). Maybe I have transformed in ways I had never considered? Maybe I have been renovated?

Old cabins, natural rhythms, change, challenges and new homes, they all serve a purpose.In the end we pupae get to choose the butterflies we will be.

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