About a month ago, I was surprised to find a “for sale” sign on the Bill Waite cabin, which practically sits in my front yard (right). The owner told me a year ago he planned to sell it, so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I had lulled myself into a belief that maybe he had changed his mind or forgotten.
I’ve spent more than two years enjoying the view of the cabin, named for its original owner, while sitting at my laptop. I’ve photographed it in every season, so it’s become an icon, as much a part of my landscape as Mount Meeker or the three large ponderosas that anchor my front yard. The cabin has framed snowstorms, deep red sunsets, and the last light of day bathing the front of the house.
rustic fixture in my landscape: with its peeled log exterior, its metal roof and stovepipe chimney, its red-painted door. I even love the “decorations” on the front of the cabin: a waffle iron hanging from antlers above the door(left), an old thermometer and bed pan. I love the two plain wooden chairs, slightly askew, which have been there so long they’ve sunk into the ground. On the ponderosa tree in front hangs a cowboy boot turned into a bird house (below). The small cabin (432 square feet) forms a perfect rectangle that sits on a small rise, as if set up to be properly displayed as a rustic piece of art.
When I realized that my view was threatened, my first impulse was to think about using my retirement money to buy the property. That way I wouldn’t have to contend with someone who might not share my feelings about this small slice of the world, might try to cut the tall grasses down, be noisy, own an ATV, or have TV or loud music going. The cabin had once been rented to a family, and I thought about children running around, making a lot of noise that would disturb my tranquility.
And then there was another part of me, maybe the side that I’ve nurtured the two years I’ve had this place, that had an inkling that life was full of new experiences and that trying to keep everything the same was futile and useless. Maybe I could be open to whatever might happen: a party of hunters having wild parties next door? I think I could handle it if it wasn’t every night. A family with kids playing in my front yard? They probably enjoy the ground squirrels as much as I do. A recluse who stuck his head out the door to check the weather? Even better. A fellow naturalist and book reader? Best of all.
I’ll just wait and see.