As practical as can be
When I was much younger (seriously, I once was), I almost bought a cabin. This was in those halcyon days of the mid-1990s, when I was making almost nothing. As opposed to today, when I am making almost nothing. There were a few good years in between. Anyhoo, this cabin was up by Willmar, a rundown A-frame on seven wooded acres, with a wildlife-filled marsh and many bugs. I was absolutely smitten. And it was $24,000; my mortgage would be $220 per month. After signing the purchase agreement, I set about doing what any self-respecting cabin owner would do: I began to acquire those elements essential to making this rustic building livable. A sump pump? I don't even know what that is. Traps? God no; I would be one with the earth and all its creatures.
I bought fabric. My friend Kevin and I went to Mill End Textiles and I bought armloads of wildly-patterned fabric. I would have pillows and curtains and cushions and tablecloths and duvet covers. Friends would drive up from the city and I would serve them lemonade from canning jars whilst cavorting under a canvas umbrella I had stitched myself. Country Living would feature my little haven in its Guess Where's the Midwest issue.
The sellers pulled out before a few weeks before closing. I was devastated, then relieved, because at the time $220 was some good money. It still is, though I seriously wanted sunglasses last week that were $285 (hey, they were pretty, and I thought they would add interest to my face).
I—this time not by myself but with my long-suffering love—will have a country home someday. And whenever I see a pile of quirky vintage fabric, I wonder how it will look as pillows, brought down to the dock on a lazy summer afternoon.