August 9, 2022, was our move-in date. After finding ourselves retired through layoffs in the mortgage banking industry, we sold the home we’d just spent three years renovating and chose full time cabin life on Mt. Hood. From city dwellers to cabin dwellers, our dream of moving to the woods became a reality.
Goodbye to our king-size bed and his and her walk-in closets. Hello to sharing a 5′ wide reach-in and getting cozy on a smaller bed. How are we going to move 2500 square feet worth of stuff into an 1100 square foot, furnished cabin, we wondered. Short answer is, we didn’t. We got rid of a lot! Things we weren’t quite ready to part with got put into storage.
Creating our Full Time Cabin Lifestyle
We quickly settled into cabin life, spending late summer and fall doing maintenance on the cabin. Firewood was rotated in the woodshed, approximately 6 cords of wood were cut/stacked, preventative wildfire maintenance was done and the cabin paint was touched up.
In the beginning, we started work first thing in the morning. The idea was that we would go for a walk or bike ride as a fun way to end our day. We soon realized that we rarely feel like going anywhere after a full day of work. So, we shifted our mindset and our timeline. Instead, we choose to begin our day with a fun, outdoor activity. We’re out of the cabin by 8:00 am for a bike ride to the lake or a hike on one of the many trails by our place.
A typical summer/fall morning looks like this: get up between 6:00 and 6:30 am, click on the lamps and press brew on the coffee maker (the best mornings always start the night before by getting the coffee maker prepped and ready!). Then, I sit at the kitchen table and write my morning pages. After writing, I move to my favorite cabin spot, the swivel chair by the window. Of course, I bring my second cup of coffee and a book with me. We then spend the next 45 minutes to an hour reading before heading out the door for whatever activity we decide on. Next summer we will write the names of trails we want to explore on scraps of paper and put them in a jar that we can pull from daily. I prepare breakfast after we get back from our morning adventure. Work starts after breakfast.
A winter morning looks similar: up by 6:30, lights, coffee, writing, reading. The difference is we light a fire in the wood-burning stove (the cabin is around 57F when we get up in the morning). Between December and May we have about 3 feet of snow at a minimum outside (currently close to 6 feet!). Consequently, except for our daily outdoor adventure and a few cabin chores, everything we do is inside. Our daily outdoor chores consist of restocking firewood from the woodshed to the porch, shoveling snow away from the front windows and maintaining/shoveling pathways from the cabin to the well-house and woodshed.
Discovering Slow Cabin Living
The concept of slow living presented itself organically. It’s hard to believe I’d really never thought about it before. Winter has forced us to slow down. Initially, the idea of not being able to come and go “easily” worried me a bit. We have to ski or snowshoe to our car to travel anywhere. However, it is an unexpected pleasure and gives us permission to do less. Our main excursion is skiing to Govy (about 2 miles) every 2-3 days to pick up our mail and stop to get filled in on the latest happenings from the locals at Charlie’s or the Ratskeller. In addition, we venture out to the grocery store every couple of weeks (about 45 miles away).
The cabin is a quiet refuge in the winter. It feels a bit like we are in hibernation as a result of being snowed in. I don’t feel guilty spending the afternoon curled up by the fire with a good book. It is easy lose a couple of hours in the kitchen. Sometimes we just sit at the window and watch the ravens dance and eat leftover scraps.
A Cabin Living Blog is Born
I’m glad you found Cabincore Living! I want to create a space to journal and share what it is like to move to the woods and discover what full time cabin life looks like. It’s exciting to see what was just a romantic dream of living in a cabin, escaping the fast pace of everyday life and creating a slow life, come to fruition. I hope you’ll come along on the journey and chime in. Isn’t life more fun when it’s shared?
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