When you walk into a home, or more to the point, a cabin, what should you see? Clearly it sets the pace for the home and allows you to see into the soul of the people who abide there. Are there fluffy teddy bears or psychedelic paintings? Do you witness plush carpet, lush drapes and the finest damask tapestries, or do you find stone, wood and iron? They are more than merely design choices.
Are you greeted by a welcoming fire, so you can dry off if you’re snowy or wet? Is the “mud room” just dry wall and linoleum or is it a place where you hang your coat, your hat and your chaps? Do you smell the aroma of a hot apple pie melding with a bar-b-que’d steak or must you pull a TV dinner from a freezer and nuke it? Is the air you breathe scented with pine, sagebrush and hint of wood smoke, or is it industrial pollution mixed with diesel and gasoline fumes?
Does the fire invite you to read and doze in the evening before you retire, or are you compelled to watch bad news and blatant lies on the television where an evil clown and a black ringmaster try to keep you distracted?
Is the kitchen the heart of the home?
And when you walk outside in the early morning do you see elk grazing in the fields or deer browsing, with the only noise being a breeze through the pines? Or can you hear distant trains, the constant background rush of traffic and people rushing to work? Can you actually cook your bacon and eggs with homemade toast or do you drive-through and order from a speaker, in a rush to get from here to there? Do your chores include grooming the horses and milking the Jersey? Do you even KNOW what fresh whole milk from a Jersey cow tastes like? (If you don’t, you have missed out, my friend.)
Do you fall asleep as the logs crumble into coals and lose their light? Do you wake to cold, fresh, dry mountain air and just want to snuggle deeper beneath the goose down quilt? Or do you awake to the shrill quacking of an alarm, and turn on the business channel to see what’s happening to your stock portfolio?
These are the questions that I ask myself.