A tour of the compound.
As we were preparing for our annual trek to New York, several friends asked me about the place that we stay here. I realized that most of my friends and family don’t have much of a picture of this place, so I thought I’d give a little photo tour.
Steve’s parents bought the land that the cabin sits on in 1975 from Steve’s uncle. It sits on a hill overlooking the farm where Steve’s mom grew up. For the first ten years or so, Steve and his family camped out in an old bus that had been being used as an office (on a construction site maybe?). After that, his dad found and bought a tiny vacation cabin nearby, and had it moved to the hill. With some renovation and expansion, it became the Cameron’s summer home. When I met and married Steve in 1995, his parents were spending all summer and sometimes part of the fall in the little cabin.
Inside the cabin, there is a tiny but well-equipped kitchen:
I’m sorry that when I took these pictures, I didn’t get a picture of one of my favorite details in the kitchen: left over from it’s days as a vacation cabin, there is a small sign over the table that says, “Guests staying past check-out time will be charged for an additional day.”
The rest of the cabin is a single bedroom/living room with an attached bath.
That’s my mother-in-law at her bed; the cabin is really still her space, though she now only comes for a couple of weeks. Since the travel became too difficult for my father-in-law a few years ago, my brother-in-law stays up here in the cabin with her. I’m sure he’s thankful not to be living with the chaos that comes from sharing one room with a two small children.
One of the best features of the cabin is the huge deck, which has about as much square footage as the interior of the cabin, I think. Because even on the hottest days it’s still pleasant outside, the deck is where we spend a lot of our time. This is where we eat meals and hang out with visitors. It’s also where we feed the chipmunks, our frequent visitors.
(Holy cow, it’s taking me a long time to complete this picture-intensive post using our slow internet…)
Up until about fifteen years ago, the cabin was the only building on the property. But then I entered the picture. : ) The first summer that Steve and I came to New York together, we stayed in a little trailer that belonged to one of the many nearby cousins. It worked fine, but Steve’s dad got to thinking (with visions of future grandchildren, I think) that it was time to expand the living space. He generously undertook to build what we call “the bunkhouse,” a separate structure in a spot he had long-ago picked out, for its beautiful view across the valley.
Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself, but that’s the view from the deck of the bunkhouse. Now we’ll go back to the cabin and head up the path towards the bunkhouse…past the clothesline….
(It is worth noting that when we arrived this year, there were no paths. Steve–after driving all night–cheerfully set to mowing. And this was some serious mowing. What a guy.)
Can you see the bunkhouse at the end of the path? Here’s a closer look.
And then, a peek inside!
(And yes, it is suddenly night-time.)
Theoretically, the big bed is for Steve and me, and the bunk beds are for the kids. You can guess how that works out. One improvement we have our eye on is replacing the queen-size bed with a king, but the practicalities are bogging us down a bit. Not so easy to locate a king-sized futon and frame in rural central New York. The frames on the wall around the bed are a project from last summer–pictures of the girls u here in NY, with some from each year since they were born.
On the other side of the room, one of the things I would have never put in any residence of mine: his and her recliners. They were lovingly tracked down and bought for the bunkhouse by Steve’s dad, a lover of recliners.
Despite not being something I would have chosen, I’ve become quite attached to these chairs over the years. This is the spot where Steve and I spend our evenings after the girls have gone to sleep–reading, doing crossword puzzles, me knitting. I remember when girl sleep felt so tentative and we would oh-so-carefully lean back in the creaking recliners so that the noise wouldn’t wake them. And while I still don’t think a recliner is anything I’d buy for my own house, it’s part of the New York experience for us.
In the other corner, is the craft area. It’s actually a desk, and was intended to be a spot where you could sit and write an enjoy the view. In my hands (no big surprise), it’s become a place where you can sit and sew and enjoy the view.
And last but not least, the kitchen/bathroom.
You can see this is a busy little corner. When the bunkhouse was first built, we didn’t have running water. We had a sink with a drain, but used water in bottles for drinking and washing. And there certainly weren’t any toileting facilities. About seven years ago, we made some improvements–ran a water line to the bunkhouse, installed an outdoor shower (yay! one of our favorite things up here!), and also put in a composting toilet (in the little room to the left). We aren’t really set up to do any actual cooking up here, but bewteen the little fridge, the microwave, and the toaster, we can usually manage breakfast. It’s not such an issue now, but when the kids were really little, it prevented us from storming the cabin with loud little ones looking for their breakfast at 6 in the morning.
So there you have it. A little tour of our home-away-from-home. I’ll close with a final picture of the evening sky out our bunkhouse window.