I've wanted to spend a night in the cabin with Iris since I got her, but for the several weeks she was snotting, I preferred not to sleep with her. She's been snot-free for about three weeks, and I decided the time was right.
In some ways, I dreaded going to the cabin after such a long time away: Mice have a tendency to take over during an extended vacancy. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see plenty of mouse poison still in place, which is a sure sign there's been no recent rodent activity.
Bugs were another story, though. There were many dead bodies of the ever-present Asian Lady Beetles; various kinds and sizes of spiders scurried away at my approach. Cluster flies buzzed at the windows. I sprayed the place liberally with Raid and swept up the dead bodies, then set my lounge chair up in the shade and began to read the book I'd taken with me: "Still Woman Enough" by Loretta Lynn.
I took only one picture at the cabin this trip, a grisly one. I keep one of those sticky mouse pads out at all times; usually I only find bugs of various sizes stuck on them, although a couple of mice have met their death there. Yesterday, along with assorted bugs, there were two skinks stuck to the glue... and one was still alive.
In 2004, when Cliff put the cabin in the spot where it stands today, I could see the Missouri River from the front deck. The trees and brush have totally blocked that view. It is an impossible task to keep the foliage open, and I now accept the coziness and isolation of the encroaching woods.
Originally I stored a few basic implements at the cabin, and kept coffee and a coffee pot there. I even had a camp-stove, intending to make a grilled cheese sandwich occasionally, or heat up some soup. I pictured myself spending two days at a time back there... my own little Walden. You know what they say about "the best-laid schemes". Turns out the only cooking I do at the cabin is to hold a hot dog or marshmallow over my campfire. As for coffee, I've found I prefer to walk back to my nice air-conditioned house where I can take a shower to get the smokey smell off myself, and drink wonderful coffee made in my Bunn Coffeemaker. Yeah, I'm not as much of a die-hard outdoors-woman as I pictured myself to be.
I didn't read as much of my book as I had intended because storm clouds gathered, making it an early nightfall. Before long it started raining, and Iris and I turned in around eight o'clock. I love being at the cabin when it rains, although I don't enjoy waking up with a full bladder and going out in the rain to relieve myself. After one such trip outside (at 2 A.M.), I crawled back into my sleeping bag and lay awake pondering those skinks, wondering how they got in. It occurred to me that if a skink can get in the cabin, so could a snake. I thought back to some old western I saw as a child where a cowboy woke up with a snake curled up on his chest; it had crawled in bed with him seeking heat. I mused on this for perhaps twenty minutes, and then went back to sleep.
And so it goes at my cabin in the woods. It isn't for the faint of heart, my friends.