“One day the dogs came back to our house wet. We didn’t even know the river was across the road.”
I’m standing on a raw roadbed speaking with a woman who owns a small cabin where my wife and I are spending a few days. She and her husband lived seven years in the small wooden space not much larger than a two-car garage in the big city they left behind.
“Our kids graduated high school and we moved out here. They thought we were crazy.”
The truth is, the owner and her husband might be the sanest people I’ve ever met.
After a lifetime of raising their family on the outskirts of one of the largest cities in America, the two decided to invest in themselves and head for the hills — the Texas Hill Country.
They followed the dogs back through the brush, down nature-cut rock pathways, to discover the Blanco River gently sweeping past. Also, as if forgotten by time and pushed aside, rest a small wooden cabin near the water’s edge.
“There were holes straight through the roof and the floor,” she says.
Then the next chapter began — they saved the cabin.
“We bought the property and my dad and I took the cabin apart, piece by piece, and dragged it up the hill,” she says.
“My husband and I planned to live a year in the cabin, but it turned into to seven years.” She pauses. “But you know how things can go,” she says with a warm smile.
Today they share their cabin with a few people looking for a quiet, simple place to reset or reconnect.
“We saved the cabin and the cabin saved us,” she says, her words hinting at another story reserved for another time.
The cabin demands you slow down. From the moment the screen door welcomes you with a universal rasp, the pace of the one-bedroom cabin permeates your being, as if insisting you turn yourself over to a time slightly beyond your memory.
Morning coffee? First grind your beans and wait for to coffee to be ready. Biscuits? Lift up the metal grate inside the small white appliance and light the pilot light. Cold? Grab a blanket while the cabin takes a more natural timeline to warming up.
There is something beautiful about living in a world where your coffee is not prepackaged in a small pod and ready at a moment’s notice. And to have to figure out how to light an oven without calling a repairman is rewarding. And as for a blanket, we could all learn this lesson.
The cabin offers a world where streaming television and movies are replaced by board games and compel deep and meaningful conversations between two people.
One evening sitting on the front porch, my feet up on the wooden railing, I again lose the sun behind the hills overlooking the gentle turquoise river. But if the cabin taught me anything it is that there will always be another day.