Monday, November 23, 2020

cabin life and other remote delusions

On weekends, I've been watching a lot of #cabinlife videos, as in people living in and renovating  rather remote cabins.  Some of these are my favorite #vanlifers who, after the pandemic, decided to settle in somewhere specific. Others are people who have always seemed to live in a cabin or a cottage, or are the type who own it as a second piece of land for retreat. There is something calming---and it may totally be my desire to run away from the world into the woods.  Since I am not exactly Henry David Thoreau, what I would actually do there is open to debate, but after watching them go through morning routines and days somewhat isolated from the world, it has a certain charm I'm sure in no ways reflects the reality.  For one, a wood burning stove is lovely, but having to keep it filled and fired up all day, seems like a job in and of itself.  Otherwise, you freeze to death.  Add in snow and treks to the outhouse, and I start to greatly appreciate my clunky radiators and my pink tiled bathroom right off the hallway.  (also, it seems really hard to like, order Chinese food at 2AM.) Also bugs.

It's probably just the covid-brain that makes isolation seem so delightful.  I grew up semi-rural, which means we had a sizeable piece of land bequeathed from my grandmother surrounded by fields and forest, but there were other houses in proximity. The neighbors about my bedroom window had horses and it was a good 10 minute drive into "town".  There was a nearby river, where if you wandered down the steep hill from our road, you could probably find neighborhood boys getting drunk.  I spent good chunks of my childhood every summer in Wisconsin, camping in various campgrounds with my Dad's extended family, usually in RV's or tents, but occasionally in cabins that slept like 20 people.  As an adult, I've tent camped a couple times, and stayed with a work friend at a cottage in Michigan, but always wish there was a little more time for extended, more woodsy liesure, (my only requirement being that I don't get too hold, too hot, and have access to a

It was pretty obvious from a young age that I was destined to live in a city.  While the country is lovely in summer, I hate the winter bleakness of the landscape.  At 14, I came in for a day trip to the Field Museum, saw Chicago for the first time,  and it was kind of sealed. (barring that brief period where I wanted to live by the sea and study marine science.) But in covid time, with Loyola students filling the building like contagious little roaches that seem to multiply overnight,  my double-masked exploits on public transportation,  the general anxieties of too many people, too close together and I've been romanticizing that remote life. Even in snow, the idea of a comfy firelit cottage where I had my time devoted to nothing but creating is a lovely dream. Untenable and probably not at all fiscally feasible. But lovely nonetheless. 

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