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A toad in the house

We do realize that we are not getting any younger, and even though I love climbing the steep loft steps every night, I know that, in time, it would be a good idea to sleep in a more elderly friendly fashion.

At first we thought that we would add a downstairs bedroom to the cabin, and revamp the bathroom so that it was large enough for an old bone warming bathtub, and then as long as we were under construction, we thought that we would rework the kitchen so that it had a bit more counter space. The cabin’s kitchen actually has no counter space at all. I either place a board over the stove burners or the sink to use for my slicing, dicing and food prep.

And then it occurred to us that we were basically planning to rebuild the cabin. One day it struck us, like a bolt of lightning, that rather than live in our 388 square foot cabin as we remodeled it, we might as well build a new cabin, perhaps just a wee bit larger, that would be more old age friendly as our lives flow on by.

So, we are building! Our new 930-square foot home will be just off to the side of the cabin, within a stone’s throw. And the cabin will become my work shop, and will also serve as our guest house. Our plan is to have our new home under roof by this fall, and then we will be able to leisurely finish off the inside over the winter.

Now we have built everything at the farm ourselves, even the cabin windows and much of the furniture. We built the sugar shed, the pole barn, Greg’s workshop, the green house, the goat shed and condos, and the chicken coop. We cleared the old fence row and put up the pasture fence.

We have built everything ourselves that is, until now. We quickly decided that a cement foundation was a project that we would not endeavor.

For, you see, our new house will have a basement, where I can put my 12-volt deep freeze, so that I will not need to go back to the sugar shed in my older age in order to retrieve dinner fixings. I will even be able to have a basement laundry area, where my washer will go, and where I can have retractable lines for drying clothes that I will no longer need to string across the cabin’s main living space in the winter. And we will have shelves for storage. Ahh … such luxury!

But our life has been so very perfect these last eight years. I really could not imagine it being any better. Without a doubt, our little cabin has really been our dream home, both inside and out, all throughout the creek’s beautiful seasons.

So I have been wondering, how will I like this new house? Will I sit on the front porch and look out across the gravel drive and long for the old days? Will we pack lightly and take weekend vacations and move back into our little cabin if only for a day or two? I wonder.

And then today, as we started to work on the house, finishing off the floor joists that span the cement basement, I bent down to move a tool box, and there, behind the box, was a medium sized toad. The area behind the box was wet, by virtue of rainy days and a cement basement covered only with joists.

I bent down to pick up the toad. It felt cool in my hands. I cupped one hand over it as I started to carry it outside, but then I stopped and turned around. I peered between my fingers at the speckled creature, and it looked back at me as if to say, “Welcome home, Christine.”

I set the toad back down on the cool cement floor behind the tool box. It snuggled down into its damp covey, and as Greg and I began to work, finishing off the joists, I knew that our new, spacious, 930-square foot home, would be perfectly all that we could imagine, and even more. Our new house has a toad to watch over both it and us.

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2016 News Democrat