Tales from the Cabin
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Cabinitis: A Cabin State of Mind

It’s where I would rather be

By Lars F
Published: March 1, 2006
Photo by dreamstime.com
My doctor is convinced that I’m living in a state of denial and delusion fueled by my cabin obsession. Others might say my elevator doesn’t go quite to the top or that I’ve somehow lost some of my marbles.
But they are all vastly mistaken. I know precisely where I am and how far cabinitis has carried me down the road of my sometimes odd behavior. What my doctor doesn’t seem to understand is that I’m coping quite well – thriving actually. I truly don’t want a cure.
It’s the terminology. Today he wanted to argue with me about why I use the term “cabin” to describe the place I feel so passionately about. He says that, based on what I have done at my cabin, improvements I have made, facilities I have provided, etc., it sounds more like a second home. I think he’s saying that I’m living in a state of denial.
Well, he’s totally wrong. My place is a cabin. It is my cabin. It sits high above a lake, which allows me to look out over a marvel of nature that I don’t actually own but which I am fortunate enough to enjoy every time I visit.
It is My Place Away from The Place Where I Have To Be. And, even when I am not there, my thoughts always drift back to My Place Away and make The Place Where I Have To Be much more pleasant than it would otherwise be. That’s what my cabin does for me.  
A cabin by any other name. He also insists that the word “cabin” is not used by everyone to describe that kind of place. There, I totally agree with him. There are a lot of names in use to describe the kind of place I’m talking about. Cottage is in wide use, as is lakehome, camp, lodge and ranch. There are probably other names people use to describe their Place Away.
My point is, it really doesn’t matter. It is the function of the place that matters. I’ve seen vacation homes that could only be called palaces. I’ve seen others that were certainly modest but definitely loved by their owners. And the overall investment required is certainly not modest in either case. Just ask my family!
To be honest, I prefer the name “cabin” because, to me, it has more of a sense of adventure than some of the other names. “I’m going to the second home this weekend” just doesn’t have the ring of fun and adventure to me. There’s more of a sense of getting away with “cabin.” However, I realize that people will use the name they like best.  
About three years ago, my wife and I took a trip to Norway and I found it interesting that many Norwegians have cabins way up in the mountains that they use for weekend retreats. And, since I don’t speak Norwegian very well, it was interesting to me that most of them translated their places to the word “cabin” in English.
The impulse and the passion, I think, are rather universal.

Better than therapy. Every time my wife and I get a chance to say that we’re going to the cabin, my spirits tend to lift considerably – and I’m already a pretty upbeat person. But the lift is always there.
My cabin conveys to me a sense of adventure and getting away, a shift in my normal routine and, perhaps most importantly, a place where I get to do what I truly want to do.
I’m afraid my doctor will never understand. Actually, I think a trip to the cabin would do him a world of good.

Lars F. has refused the 12-step plan to control his cabinitis. Only his first name is used to protect his identity.
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