Posted by: highmountainmuse | October 23, 2009

A little remodeling project begins

Looks like I won’t just be baking bread this winter…

In the middle of the last storm, demolition began. 

In the midst of demolition, the walls of Cabin #2 still standing.

In the midst of demolition, the walls of Cabin #2 still standing.

And now the walls (and more) removed.  Too bad I didn't take a true "before" picture.  Beka - do you have one of the kitchen area?

And now the walls (and more) removed. Too bad I didn't take a true "before" picture. Beka - do you have one of the kitchen area?

The weather determines our lives, our patterns, our habits, our events not so differently as that of the wilds around us.  The red wing black birds gathered about yesterday on a thawed section of grass outside my kitchen window, feeding on what I could not tell.  And then they left.  I will not see them again until spring.  They are among the first to return, calling out their arrival from the old tree to the east of my cabin before the snow has even melted off pasture.

We can seek shelter of roofs and walls, of wood stoves and down jackets.  Were it not for these, we would not remain, would leave as the geese, gathering and moving on as the seasons dictates.

But we do remain.  Stubborn and solitary.  In a world that will slowly ice over before us, weighty and white like an aged stone statue. A cold blank stare is all you may see at first.  But stay longer, look deeper, and in the still and subtle ways of the long winter, all around us there is a beauty unlike any other you may ever see.  It whispers in the long shadows through the pale green gray bark of the dormant aspen, in the softness of a heavy storm as we walk through the dense spruce forests laden with the weight of the snow, in the endless soundless reverberations that be still our senses and allow us to hear what really matters within and without as we stand alone in the open parks, in the vast and frighteningly wild open world above tree line, and in the time and space of our family together here alone with the smoke from the stove slowly wafting down the protected valley, the only noise is our voice as we read aloud together before the warmth of the fire.

Forced indoors by the might of the passing storm, we began a winter project, the remodeling of guest cabin in need of a change.  The cabins are like our children.  We care for them, clean them, get to know them, their strengths and weaknesses, and help them grow in times of need.  This one needed it.

While the tempest ruptures in the world outside, under this roof we proceeded to rip and tear. This part goes quickly.  What we do from here will take up much of the winter.  Starting with plans.  A blue print, so to say.  Last major remodel we did, the blue print was drawn out on a dinner napkin.  I still have that napkin, a keepsake of sorts.

For now, just the crow bar, a screw gun, and a big hammer.  The interior becomes an open page, a clean slate, in no time at all.  We look around together and smile.  A new little world about to slowly unfold.



  1. But what will you do with all that flour if there’s no time to bake!

    Keep us posted on the remodel progress. Can’t wait to see the “new” cabin.

  2. Hmmm… you’re right… can’t forget about that flour. Guess I’ll find time to bake too!

  3. Gin,

    Wow, your “before” looks better than many places on an “after” basis. So is a hot tub going in?

    I have a few other rose pictures to send you if you would like and some commentary. Let me know.

    Really cold here this A.M., with temps. at 48 and a cold north wind of 20. What’s the A.M. temp. at Lost Trail these days?

    But the sun is awesome. I am giving a tour at the Dallas Arboretum this afternoon, so a light jacket will be called for.


  4. The cabin looked even worse in the true “before” shot, with this full sized hot water heater out there in the open next to the counter.
    And you know how many folks have indeed asked about a hot tub… would be nice… tempting…
    Yes, please do send me more updates on the roses at your arboretum. They are a breath of fresh air to see. Seems so far away. I need to remember to get you a picture of the wild roses up by one of the cabins here. The sky and ground was all pale and grey and rather gloomy, but the leaves on the wild rose bushes were this vivid almost neon bright red, or so they seemed when I looked up in the middle of a storm. Today it is sunny. It won’t have the same vibrancy and impact.
    A mild 16 degrees this morning. More than a light jacket required…

  5. It would seem Al and I are in the same part of the country… I’m freezing to death at 48/windy!

    I love that little cabin, and can’t wait to see what you guys have in store! I’ve sent you an email with some pictures from inside, they’re not the best, but you can see that honkin’ water heater

    Maybe you can come up with an industrial use for flour and combine the work/baking into one!

    Stay warm…

  6. GIN!!
    WOW! I will see if I can find a before picture! I am sure I have something that will show it! I am anxious to see what happens in what was my home this summer!! 🙂

  7. What do you think about paper mache walls to use up some of that flour?

  8. Beka, And what about this coming summer? Better give us some input as we’re planning it for you…

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