The fruits of ownership at this Minnesota cabin are so special.
I work in a hospital emergency department (ED), undergoing a daily assault of beeping, blood, babies and bowels. At the end of the day, re-connecting with your sanity can be a challenge. One year ago, I spent my birthday weekend in a rustic cabin off the Superior National Hiking Trail in Finland, Minn. Instantly, I fell in love with the idea of having my own plot in nature to find refuge from the daily grind. As I fed the wood fire that warmed the cool autumn air, I relished the simplicity that came with being sheltered inside Mother Nature’s pocket.
Returning home, I decided that I would set out to find my own forest retreat. The incessant hunt ensued, and with patience, I found and purchased refuge meant for me. This newly built Arts-and-Crafts-style cabin sat on the shores of Nine Mile Lake and nestled between two state parks. It was located about a dozen miles down the road from where I first decided to invest in cabin living – and was the home of my dreams. The property is located within a mix of mature boreal hardwoods. Towering conifers and giant birch trees flank this northwoods retreat. Past the private pond and through a cedar tree forest is the shoreline providing access to a pristine secluded bay. These clear waters are home for schools of walleye, bluegill and northern pike. The dock provides front-row tickets to each day’s sunset. Inside, tall picture windows rise to meet cathedral ceilings among an open layout that includes a stone fireplace and an upstairs loft. A shell of warm Douglas fir and alder wood welcomed my vision to transform this blank canvas into a culmination of “rustic farmhouse meets modern industrial.” My first step to complete the look was bringing in a large reclaimed elm dining room table. From there, my vision unfolded, and before I knew it, my cabin makeover was complete. While the cabin itself was a proud milestone in my life, it was fruits of the cabin ownership that made it special. These fruits include the smell of bacon, the laughter of friends, the forest symphony of crickets and frogs mixed with the occasional call of the common loon, the sound of food sizzling on the grill and the squeaking of the hammock rocking back and forth.
It includes the peacefulness of sitting in an Adirondack chair by the fire pit, drinking a morning espresso while reading a morning meditation on the dock, gazing upon the fireflies, standing under the northern lights, watching my dog joyfully leap through the cedar forest, or curling up by the fireplace to read a book. It is indeed a magical place … a forest retreat, my very own Serenity Lodge. At the end of a busy week in the ED, I now have a place to reconnect, a place to relax, a place to recoup and best of all, a place to share.