I have cleaned cabins this week. Tuesday's cabin was built over a hundred years ago. When you drive up through the tree lined lane you see a low lying log structure with four stone chimneys. There are two screened in porches and the front door is fronted by one of these. The door is solid wood planking with a brass knocker and the family crest emblazoned there. No door knob, just an old fashioned barn door handle with a catch. The later generations have added a dead bolt. The door swings open grandly to a huge room with two spacious fireplaces, french doors leading to the other porch that stretches the full length of the house, and a low ceiling of logs and planks. It's dusky in this room always, the only lighting is lamps on stands and two very rustic fixtures with forty watt bulbs in them.
The family has brought to this room deep chairs, rugs, a couch, and all sorts of oddments of coffee tables, lamp stands and the decor of a hundred years of styles.
The mice had the run of the two cabins we cleaned today. The Guest House cabin was the worst. Frances and I vacuumed, scrubbed, and polished for almost two hours to make it welcoming again. Its just a tiny little cabin with white walls, and chinz upholsery. In the sitting room is a Norwegian painting that covers one whole wall. The romantic couple depicted there seem never to tire of smiling into each others' eyes.
The last cabin we cleaned is straight out of a Carol Ryrie Brink book to be sure. There's no running water there unless you count the hand pump outside. And the floors are all slanty in unexpected places. The owners have added new wood to the floors, and the fireplace is fake, but most everything else is authentic cabin stuff.
BTW, Carol Ryrie Brink's son lives on Windigo Lake not too far around the shore from where we cleaned today. Read Brink's book called Winter Cottage. The setting is right here in our area. The two children in the book canoe across three lakes to visit the St. Francis Mission. When the weather is right we can hear the bells at six in the morning and evening from the mission.
Okay, so that was a rambling tale. Come visit us in our own cabin in the woods in Wisconsin. We'll take you fishing if you like or we can sit around a fire all evening and visit.