There’s this thing that amuses me about “cabin” or “homestead” types of publications. You always see these perfectly manicured little vegetable gardens and everything is tastefully decorated. People are all smiles. The weather is perfect. The cute little, fuzzy animals are happy. Life is grand. Let’s all head on down to the local farmers’ market in our authentically retro pickup truck and peddle our heirloom, organic vegetables! Raise your glass of locally produced wine or craft beer! Ahhh… heaven.
Personally, I’ve never met those people. Ever.
I’ll admit I have a pretty sweet cabin. I’ve been in magazines. Mother Earth News even once featured me on their website. In terms of cabin living, I have street cred. (Maybe dirt road cred?)… Anyway.
Here’s the part that gets left out far too often. For all the moments that it’s every bit as wonderful as you imagine, there are other times that it really kind of sucks. Yep. I said it. Faked you out with that title, huh?
Those tiny house folks living in their dream 200 square foot homes? I bet you buffalo nickel they get tired of staring at each other after a month if they can’t go outside.
I’m a little prone to mentioning this today because it’s been way colder than average, I’m stopped up from allergies, the cabin is having a hard time staying warm and these god forsaken ladybug looking Asian Beetles keep finding their way inside. Which is a way to let you know I’m a little grumpy. I’ve been stung by wasps more time than I can possibly remember. I’ve been swarmed by fire ants. The summers are brutal and when the weather is nice it’s hard to keep the windows open because there’s always some jack-wagon who doesn’t live around here who will drive down the dirt road in front of the cabin like he’s in a Nascar race and kicks up a cloud of dust that WILL find its way inside and coat everything with yet another layer of soil.
Sometimes your garden doesn’t take like you think it will. The tomatoes don’t produce and the zucchini and okra won’t stop. And if you live in a southern enough climate I’d love to introduce you to joys of chiggers and seed ticks.
Those fluffy animals? Let’s not even go there. Are you capable of telling people the personality of the burger they’re eating? Or how about when you’re elbow deep in a cow’s bum at one o’clock in the morning because something hasn’t gone right with a pregnancy and you’re the closest thing to a vet anywhere around you start to gain perspective on things. You know people are going to make fun of you. But at that moment. That animal is your responsibility and you have to step up.
There’s a reason people left farms to go to cities.
They got a steady paycheck. There were restaurants to eat at when you didn’t want to cook. You could go to a store and buy what you needed and weren’t required to grow or kill it.
Do a Google image search of old pioneers and homesteaders. Notice their faces and hands. They’re hard. They’re worn. Sunburned and calloused. You know good and well life wasn’t easy for them. You know good and well if they didn’t get that garden in they’ll starve. Or if they didn’t get the firewood cut they’d freeze to death.
But most of all you know…
They’re not whiners.
They appreciate the things that matter.
They ignore the things that don’t.
The only safe space in their lives is in a grave.
There’s no happy little garden. No flipping the switch to turn the heater on. No heading to Wal-Mart if they need something.
Now that I think about it. Maybe a little homestead and cabin living might knock some sense into some of us.
In the meantime… live well… laugh often… love always,
P.S. I’m waiting for the Lady to get home with a bottle of some locally produced wine.