It’s every writer’s dream: a writing cabin, maybe set in the woods or tucked into the trees along the shoreline of a private lake. I’m one of the lucky few to own such a thing, though it’s really rough right now. Actually, it’s been really rough for about fifteen years. It started out as a tiny sawmill with a roof like drunken L. I removed the roof, added a second floor with a high ceiling, an Ondura roof (would not recommend), and Pella windows and sliding doors. We finished off the outside first floor with sandstone facing. Everything was going according to plan. Then . . . immigration. Life came to a screeching halt as my husband’s immigration process devoured our souls and our small budget. My writing cabin sat empty while we fought for our marriage.
My husband was finally able to join me in 2012, but we’ve been struggling to recover emotionally and financially ever since. The search for a home took precedence and ended with the purchase of a 1926 Colonial Craftsman in dire need of restoration. My writing cabin was all but forgotten, considered only when tax bills arrived in the mail.
This year, we decided to turn our attention back to my little haven. We’re installing a wood stove and a stainless steel chimney. An outhouse comes next, with a perfectly legal composting toilet.
There’s no electricity and no running water, but guess what? There’s no internet or cell coverage either, which means NO DISTRACTIONS. The place doesn’t even register on my GPS. How cool is that? I can be “off the grid” just thirty minutes from my home.
Don’t be put off by the lack of amenities. This place is going to be fabulous when we’re finished. I don’t do anything half-assed, people. I’ve been studying “dry cabins.” It’s a thing now, you know, these dry cabins. It doesn’t mean sacrificing basic hygiene. We plan to gather rainwater in a cistern and heat it with a propane shower pump similar to This One
Here’s the rear of my writing cabin from a distance:
The inside is taking shape as well, with a kitchen unit in place and waiting to be finished off.
A loft will go above this, where we plan to have a queen-size platform bed and plenty of storage. The metal ladder will be replaced by a wooden one, perhaps one made with the hemlock tree we just felled. All in all, we will be able to sleep four or five comfortably.
I’m excited about finishing this off, and even more excited about the possibility of offering it to fellow authors in the future as a retreat destination. After all, don’t we all need a quiet place to clear our heads? Stay tuned!