November 26, 2012 9:07:49 AM
Shannon Bardwell - [email protected]
Down by the Prairie ponds sits a tiny cabin. For the last few years it has been the receptacle of old lawn chairs, extra fishing poles, a boogie board, a torn fishing net, an assortment of tackle, a half-used bag of fish food and various and sundry items.
The thought came one day to make the Prairie cabin into a mountain cabin. It is said that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed that you can move a mountain. I'm not there yet, but maybe soon. Thus, I began a radical makeover on the cabin.
The contents were emptied and out came the spider webs, cracked acorn shells, mouse droppings, windblown leaves and debris. Piles were divided into that which could be useful or those that should be discarded.
From the useful pile came fishing poles that were hung on mounted wooden brackets over the large windows. The net was useful for the 5-pound bass we would catch. I set aside the tackle, spinner baits, crank baits, worms, lizards and assorted lines and hooks. A couple of "goozle getters" are a must for removing the hook when it gets down the fish's goozle.
All the beach stuff went into discards; seems like more and more we like the idea of staying home, even if it means moving mountains.
Over the years and through many seasons a number of items have accumulated at the homestead, some stored in the closets, garage, sheds or outbuildings. I've always told Sam it was somewhat like living at the Salvation Army. If you look hard enough you can find something you need, or something that can be transformed into something you need. And thus the hunt for cabin furnishings began.
There was one half of a bunk bed, perfect for a cabin, complemented by a moss green blanket and an old quilt from the upstairs closet. A worm-wood cabinet formerly in the kitchen would serve as a night stand, or hold a coffee pot from the RV.
The two green chairs I meant to have re-covered and a table and six chairs that were headed for charity were loaded in the back of the Gator and hauled down to the cabin. The garage yielded an abandoned dorm-size refrigerator and a cheap floor lamp.
A trip to Palmer Home Thrift Store netted a mossy green corduroy ottoman for $19 and a decorative pillow for 50 cents. A couple of scatter rugs covered the floor.
The one expense was one of those Amish-like electric "wood stoves." A mountain cabin can get nippy in the mornings.
Once finished, I slipped down to the cabin early one morning. The ducks glided by, responding to my call for their feeding. A mist hovered over the lake.
Standing on the dock one could almost imagine somewhere over the dam and through the haze there might possibly loom a snow-topped mountain.
Shannon Rule Bardwell is a Southern writer living quietly in the Prairie.