Cabin fever

Please – someone tell me I’m not the only person who, at the age of 27, is thinking seriously ahead about what they want to do once they retire and decide to sell the family home.

It’s truly been on my mind. Not in any seriousness, granted, as I know I’m still 35 years from finishing my career and settling down with my Mac Uberchip and writing the memoirs of my long illustrious life, but the thought’s been sitting there, slowly gaining a calcium crust and creating a niche for itself in my head. With all of my luck, something will dislodge this thought and sent it hurtling down towards my bladder. And I don’t want to pass this one.

Here’s the story. Kerrie and I spent all of Memorial Day weekend sitting around at Lake Herman, our favorite South Dakota campground. We braved the choppy water of Lake Herman in our two-person kayak. We lounged in chairs and read half a book a piece. We drove into Madison twice to buy beers and ice because, after three summers of camping, we still can’t manage to gauge how much alcohol we’ll drink over a three-day weekend. We enjoyed ourselves beyond belief, and with a heavy heart managed to pack up and return home in time to do laundry and get ourselves prepared for another week of work.

Over the weekend I came to the realization, along with Kerrie, that I could easily get used to the camping life. I could see the two of us, with children or dogs or whatever sort of hangers-on we develop over the years, camping for the rest of our lives, wasting away every weekend at some state park. We’ll be pulling RV’s before too long. And we’ll be buying a lake cabin as soon as we can afford it.

Yes. That’s it. My dream in life is to retire, sell our house, and move to a lake cabin. The parents of one of a close friend just did that. I’m jealous to say the least. Imagine that: every weekend, you’re going to the beach. During the summer, you’ve got water and boats and fun and sun, and during the winter, you’ve got a sheet of ice and a pack of frozen rabbits.

I’m late to the game with this. I’d never really experienced cabin life until the past couple of years. But I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I latched on; how little time it took me to gain sea legs and feel content sitting and floating in some larger body of water and then getting out only to sit on a lawn chair in front of a roaring fire. Camping is great. And it would be better if it included a small house to retire to when it rained – a shower, a stove, the basic luxuries of home life that makes sitting around a fire and grilling and boating and playing Frisbee golf and lazing around with no agenda whatsoever so appealing.

Yeah, I know. My dream in life is to be lazy at a cabin on a lake. It’s not original. But it’s a goal, and for now, it’s mine.

That is, until next week, when I’ll be working towards that London flat with a porch overlooking Hyde Park.

This was lovingly handwritten on May 30th, 2006