“The smell of that buttered toast simply spoke to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cozy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one's ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender; of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Sometimes I forget that I had a unique childhood. Or that it isn't necessarily common to grow up on acreage, “off-the-grid”, in a log cabin.
When we moved to North Idaho, I was already accustomed to living simply and rural. We had lived on two acres of red clay in the mountains of Northern California with black bears and no electricity or running water. Even though our new home sported Grizzlies and Moose, it honestly was an upgrade because of the running water and the light switches.
It wasn't until recently I pondered at the question if there is much of a difference between a little stick built house in suburbia and a little cabin on the back side of a mountain?
Summers were filled with horse-back riding and huckleberry picking. Marshmallows and hotdogs around the fire-pit, fresh herbs and fruit from the garden, games of tag with our Bull Mastiff, and early mornings milking the goat. My six siblings and I lived outside most of the summer months. I think it was the Winter that made cabin living undeniably different than city living.
Winters are cold in North Idaho, sometimes we'd even have a white Thanksgiving. I have fond memories of sitting around the large table my Dad made, extended by a few card tables, all brought together by multiple harvest tablecloths, my family and friends enjoying mom's holiday homemade feasts. The clinking of the dark green glass cups, the dripping gravy boat, the loud laughs coming from my Aunt Weez's side of the table. And later, the comfort of having my grandparents there, they were always there, always at every event and occasion, my Grandma wrapped up in the large red knitted blanket, my Grandpa laughing and his handsome eyes sparkling. Somehow Christmas trees seem so naturally at home in log cabins; the evergreen aroma blending with the wood smoke. I am also convinced that stockings are meant to hang from wooden staircases, and Christmas morning sounds are supposed to include the chopping of kindling and the staccato beat of the percolator. The promise of coffee always awakened Mom and Dad. Or the times we would finally arrive back home from the dark and cold adventures of caroling. The tromping of the boys on the stairs to remove the wet clinging snow, the piles of wet boots, the need for extra socks, and the final satisfaction of piping mulled wassail.
I am sure that even in suburbia my mom would still have used wooden bowels and old fashioned mortar and pestles to chop her Thanksgiving herbs. And Dad still would have read aloud to us at night from Little House on the Prairie. Living in the city wouldn't have moved my mom to buy a fake Christmas tree, or buy a grocery-store pumpkin pie. But I am quite confident that living in the woods, in a log cabin made my childhood winters all the more satisfying.
Well I hope you enjoyed this week's blog post. Please join us again next week. As always, stay up-to-date with our adventures on our Facebook page @FidelityHome.
Here's to memories and musings during this holiday season!
Blessings, Rosanne and Toni