…a lot of front porch sitt’n

As promised, here is the second installment of what my life was like before civilization  (If you missed the first one, read it here).

We did live in a “normal” house before that, so I knew what we had left behind for our new old dwelling.

I shared a loft with my sister.  A loft which overlooked the main part of the house cabin.  My dresser functioned as a wall as well as for storing my outfit.  We used an old picking ladder propped against the wall for stairs.  It had baling twine wrapped around part of it to keep it together.  It was old.  And rickety.  And squeeky.  No way I could sneak in late without my parents hearing from the other end of the cabin.  We got so good at using that ladder that we could walk down it like stairs.  My little brother will tell you that we tied him up one time and pushed him down the ladder, but it’s not true.  Don’t listen to him.

My parents had a loft with a real wall at the other end of the main room.  It had a nice ladder going up to it that was more like really steep stairs.

My little brother slept in the room below them, which was a converted porch.  We used most of it for storage.  Luke got the corner away from the old door to outside that didn’t exactly keep outside out.  There were lots of drafty windows in that room so he could look out at the stars.

I know it sounds pretty cool to have a loft for a bedroom, and I loved it, but this loft was small.  My twin mattresses fit across the end, but once I had a daybed frame, it was about an inch too long.  I had to put it lengthwise (ahh, the price of vanity).  That left about 3 feet at the foot of my bed before it was into Hannah’s half.  My dresser/wall tucked under the gable a bit so I had about 3.6 feet of space between furniture.  Hannah had about 2 feet.

Hannah’s window overlooked the chicken house.  Mine overlooked the barn and pasture.  Made perfect sense since I had the horse and the chickens were Hannah’s chore.  I think she still hates chickens to this day.

We each had another window that opened up so we could crawl out on the porch roof.  Now you’re jealous.

Mom and dad had a DOUBLE bed tucked into the corner of the loft that had a wall, and the computer desk was at the other end.  Yes, we had a computer!  Back when most people didn’t.  My dad used it for writing papers while he was in school to be a nurse.  He lost many a paragraph on that thing.  Nobody had internet back then.

Nobody had cell phones either.  We did though, cause there was no landline.  It was one of those big grey brick ones that was about a foot long.  If we lived up there any earlier, we’d have had a HAM radio to communicate with the outside world.

When we moved up there, we added 6 feet to the front of the cabin to add a large pantry and room for the various clothes washing equipment we used and a woodbox and utility sink.  The bathroom was already built in under my room, so we didn’t have to add too much indoor plumbing.

The main room was about 24×24 feet with a huge stone fireplace in one corner that we never used cause it sucked all the heat out, our makeshift living room in another corner, the gas stove, woodstove and door to the bathroom in another, and the little L-shaped kitchen in the last corner.  Two solid wood dutch doors were centered at opposite ends of the room.  One to the front porch, the other to Luke’s room.  The piano was tucked in next to the fireplace, and that completed the tour.  It was compact, to say the least.

The cabin was built by hippies in the sixties, and although the craftsmanship was superb (the tongue and groove floors were gorgeous once we got all the grime off), I don’t think they bothered with using a tape measure or a level.  Every gable in the cabin had a different slope on the ceiling, like they just made it up as they went.  The entire inside -other than the log walls- had tongue and groove cedar paneling (not the nasty paneling like in old mobile homes).

It was quite dark in the cabin unless we had all the lights on at night, so we don’t have a lot of decent pictures of the inside, but here’s what the ceiling in the main room looked like.

cabinceiling1

I have never been crazy about chevron patterns but I love this ceiling.  You can see the top of the large fireplace and the little window that was in our living room at the lower right corner.  The piano was between the two.

Well, there’s more to tell about the inside of the cabin, but I’ll leave it at that for now.  Next is the tour of outside.  I always liked being outside.  I’ll show your our managerie of animals.  Did you know we had llamas??

 

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