Roughly 20 years ago, my husband and I, along with our two young daughters and some dear friends and their children decided to take a weekend camping trip. These weekends were chock full of great hikes, wonderful meals, campfires, marshmallow roasting, games and lots of laughter. After years of successful camping trips, we began to repeatedly ask the same question around the campfire: “Where is our cabin?” It started out as a notion, but soon became a dream. Often on a lazy afternoon at the campsite while our children skipped rocks or played hide and seek, we would find ourselves fleshing out the details of our dream. Where would our cabin be located? What would it look like? How would we decorate it?
My husband and I began to collect magazine articles, cabin books and draw out design plans for our dream cabin. Our dream began to take shape. We talked about how much land we wanted and what type of terrain it should be. We decided how far away we thought we wanted it to be from our home and if we wanted to be on some type of body of water. Before we realized it, we were driving by properties on the weekends and trying to envision our imaginary cabin on each plot of land.
Just about 5 years ago, we found a perfect piece of land just 35 minutes away. It was about 22 acres of rolling hills that was wild and overgrown (the property had not been touched in about 30 years). We immediately fell in love. So, as the saying goes, we bought the farm. We began right away to tame the wild beast, which, I must admit, seemed a bit daunting and overwhelming at first. But soon we could see bits and pieces of it starting to take shape. We spent most weekends out there working on projects: making the little “driveway” accessible for our cars, taking out old rusted barb wire fencing that was covered in poison ivy, uncovering and repairing an old tobacco barn to use for our first shelter and storage for tools and equipment. It was hard work, and my husband did the majority of it by himself. Sometimes I was there to help with or without some combination of our children. Sometimes friends and family would offer to help. But, it was mostly him.
Today our cabin is nearly completed. We still spend many weekends and nights out there working on it, but now also have the ability to enjoy it and share it with our friends and family. My husband is still doing most of the work – by himself!
In this blog, I will take you through our journey thus far and share photos, ideas, lessons learned, and resources for making your own cabin in the woods a reality. The first resource I’ll share is a website called landwatch.com. It’s a great site for finding acreage that meets your criteria. Check it out!
Each week I will post a new chapter in our adventure. Stay tuned.