Working on the Cabin

This time last year, I was considering renting my cabin because it was becoming increasingly evident that my father would, soon, not be able to live by himself. I had hoped to be able to have him live with me or to live with him if/when that need arose.

That was never to be.

The renting of the cabin was put on hold because the upstairs bathroom (the only place with a shower) needed to be remodeled. I was on a tight budget and by the time the finances were in place to buy the last bulk of supplies needed to do the remodel, Papa was in the hospital. He never came out.

Now, a year later, I am neither glad nor sad that I didn’t get my act together enough to rent the cabin. Perhaps my lack of emotion around it is tied to my depression and mourning and the lingering numbness that still colors all non-essential parts of my life as I am getting my emotional strength back to filter…everything… I tend to thing, however, that it is a reflection on what might have been, a path not taken, and not regretting the way that things turned out.

I mentioned in my 2015 round-up (read: pity-party rant) that I am selling the cabin. The real estate market has turned drastically since I bought a few years ago and I had planned to sell at some point this year to cash out the investment. The 2nd day in December my company called a meeting and announced that they were closing the mountain location of our office, meaning that even if I retained work with the company I would have to work in an office off the mountain. That was best-case scenario, worst case scenario (and most likely) was that I would be getting laid off in the near future. My timeline for selling my house was put on the fast track.

Because of the predicted tourist traffic and raising of interest rates with the New Year, I pushed to get it on the market before Christmas. It wasn’t ready to list. The bathroom still isn’t finished, there is a lot of my stuff everywhere, it wasn’t ready and I didn’t have the heart or energy to make it so. I listed it, but barely. I told the realtor I would be up often, expecting that I would be pink-slipped any day and have time on my hands while I found a new job at the holidays (because that’s such a great time to be on the job market). Since they closed my office in the first week of December, however, I’ve been basically living at the Sailor’s house. Work has continued (luckily) to be full-time for me, but out of a different location. So it was a matter of convenience since his place isn’t any further from my remaining work than the cabin and it doesn’t have winter weather conditions and tourist traffic. It was also a mater of comfort – the Sailor’s house has him, a nice cozy couch and bed, a backyard for the dogs, and the dogs who love having each other around. It has, however, made it harder than I thought it would be to get the rest of the work on the cabin finished.

Finally, after weeks of trying to get there and beating myself up every spare day when the weather, holidays or depression kept me away, I called the realtor and took the listing down. The Sailor is having some minor surgery next week which will leave him anchored on the couch for recovery for most of February. I don’t yet have the mental strength to do the work on my own, though he’s been very good about holding my hand and encouraging me to do what needs to be done. The plan is to re-list once the snow melts in March or April, giving me time to get everything finished and cleaned up.

We went up to get some work done on the remaining bathroom projects, and it was weird to step back into that space. I’ve been away, living in my corner of the Sailor’s house, and I’ve not missed much. I miss my plates and my silverware, but that’s about it. I have all my personal memento stuff packed up in the garage at the Sailor’s because I didn’t want to leave it there with the house empty and listed, but even still I find that there is nearly nothing that I miss.

So it was strange to me to walk into that space and see just how much STUFF I have accumulated in three years of living there. A LOT of stuff. All of which I don’t really need, especially if I don’t have a house. It was weird to be amidst it all again, just as I had abandoned it the night we were working on the sub-floor in the bathroom and had to literally run out the door and down the mountain to avoid getting stuck in a snow storm.

It was like stepping into a different head space. I was surprised to find how much it was both ME still and not me at all anymore.

I had expected to feel nostalgia. Always, when I went up there this fall, I felt homesickness. I would stay the weekend at the Sailor’s but by Monday night I couldn’t wait to get home to my space, to be among my things, to no longer compromise or share or even talk if I didn’t need to.

This time, it felt more like stepping through a looking-glass, or standing at a crossroads. I could still feel myself in and among the things and the space there, but it didn’t hold emotional fishing hooks in my soul the way it once had. I knew I could walk away.

And I did.

We got the tile laid. The super heavy TV stand that I had found on the side of the road when I needed one had been concerning me – I couldn’t lift it alone, but we were able to get it taken to the thrift store in town so that it can have a new life with a new home.  Other projects remain in abundance but now I can begin to chip away at myself over the next month or so. We were packing up to leave, putting my cut wood pile in his truck to take down to his house and use there, and he asked what else I needed.

“Nothing right now” was all I said. We got the dogs in the cars and left.

It feels manageable and light, not the onerous burden I had been making it out to be in my head the days I avoided coming up over the past few months. This is also a part of my depression. In the making things feel overwhelming due to the lack of filters, I also make them larger than life in my head. Rocks in the road become boulders and cracks become canyons.

I am sure there will be things I won’t part with from the cabin. Things I will store or incorporate into our life at the Sailor’s house. But the things I was keeping “just in case” I might someday need them? I am ready to let them go. They served me well but they need to have life of their own, out there and doing good in the universe. As do I.

Craigslist and Ebay, here I come.

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