Big Lake, Alaska

Day One Hundred Twenty-Five: Today was a stroll down memory lane. A slice of time in my life that changed me. Made me. A time that will be with me forever. It was the summer of 2011 and our family of five lived in our tiny cabin on Big Lake. The cabin was four hundred square feet situated on a sloping one-acre lot with two hundred feet of lakefront. Pure paradise. It was like living in a fish tank with windows on every side. No running water. No indoor plumbing. No road access. It had electricity and internet though so we had everything we needed. Here is a short piece I wrote that summer about my experience of lake living. I hope you enjoy. Thank you as always for visiting my blog.

You know you live on Big Lake when:

The greatest pleasure in life is sharing your experience with others.

The book you remember the most from college is Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.

Everyone asks why you are grinning.

Watching TV becomes a distant memory.

You feel the adrenalin rush with news of a mama grizzly and three cubs in the area.

You brush your teeth outdoors.

You have more beer in the fridge than water.

You look into the eyes of a squirrel and it holds your gaze without moving a muscle.

Your boys pee in the woods.

Your life redefines “reality show.”

You impress your kids with your wood splitting skills.

You walk out the door and a spider web sticks to your face.

A birch tree becomes your most attentive friend.

You remember the joy and wonder of being a child.

Crocs are your favorite shoes and sunglasses your favorite accessory.

You fill your shed with gasoline, water, propane, and toilet paper.

An owl flies near your head with prey in its claws at 1:00 a.m.

You write as though the well will never run dry.

Every moment is a Kodak moment.

A sparrow lands on your easel as you are painting.

You purchase baby wipes in bulk even though you have no kids in diapers.

You worry about bears breaking into your home instead of people.

You shush mice and swat flies when you go to the bathroom.

Your clothes and hair smell like campfire smoke.

The local grocer scrunches his face when you ask for tofu.

Your tan consists of millions of freckles that have run together.

The weekly visit to the laundromat is a social experiment.

You have replaced hair spray with bear spray.

You experience goose bumps when you hear the eerie calls of a loon.

Mosquitoes are as big as birds.

You prepare meals without a stove.

Catching a movie has become catching frogs and dragonflies.

Floatplanes buzz your space daily.

You are always eager to return home and enjoy your private sanctuary.

Leeches, beetles, ladybugs, frogs, and stickleback fish become your pets.

Any kind of weather makes a great day.

The lens in which you view the world softens.

The sound of birds singing becomes your favorite background noise.

The favorite part of your day is skipping stones, tubing, hiking, swimming, boating, roasting marshmallows, picking flowers, chasing butterflies, chopping wood, and blowing bubbles.

You go to bed when you want and get up when you want.

A robin builds a nest above your shower.

Your greatest source of inspiration and entertainment is watching the ripples in the water.

You sit on the dock and watch the waves go by.

You witness a bird return to life after it crashes into a window.

You swing in the afternoon sun, eating peanuts tossing the shells into the lake.

You enjoy watching the grass grow and fish jumping out of the water.

Nature inspires the best version of you.

You pause each evening to watch the most amazing sunsets.

The sweetest words you hear are, “hey Mom look” and “I love you.”

Your neighbors are three chickens, one duck, and a Rottweiler named Tiny.

You feel like a newlywed after twenty years of marriage.

Your favorite question becomes “do birds have belly buttons?”

Your heater is a Toyo.

You boil water to wash dishes.

It takes ten minutes to clean your entire house.

It is okay to sweat, wear no makeup, break a nail, and get dirt between your toes.

Your biggest concern is hoping this life will last forever.

You go to bed when most people are just waking up.

You are happier than you have ever been in your entire life.

Your key chain floats.

You sit by the fire listening to Norah Jones and watch the loons swim by.

You misplace your makeup bag.

Four hundred square feet feels like four thousand square feet.

You wear clothes several times before they land in the laundry basket.

You burn your trash.

Your kids drive the boat more than you do.

You snap over one hundred photos each day.

You dine al fresco most meals.

You are grateful for being alive and every breath you are given.

Neosporin, Band-Aids, and anti-itch cream become your first aid kit.

Everything around you is alive and never sleeps.

Your kitchen is missing the sink.

You stockpile gallons of hand sanitizer.

You scream and screech at least once per day as you encounter a critter on the trail.

You learn the big red itchy bumps you thought were mosquito bites are actually swimmer’s itch.

You can sit still, do nothing, and be okay.

Your kids attend school at the picnic table.

Your computer is your gateway to the world some days.

Your favorite snacks are popcorn and s’mores.

You replace your bike with a paddleboat.

You look into the woods knowing many eyes are watching you.

Your favorite meal consists of grilled corn on the cob, veggie burger, and salad.

The melody of wind chimes soothes your soul.

Your “home away from home” is the gym.

There is always a rustling and crunching in the bushes no matter where you sit.

Your house is a ten-minute boat ride from your truck.

You have the courage to live the life of your dreams.

You are complete!

— Memories are made each day as we explore new possibilities and seek new adventures. Here are a few of my “prized” cabin accessories. I’m living and loving a cabin experience in a new location.

Life is always good in Nature

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