Cabin Fever

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Many of us dream of having a weekend, or annual getaway, I am no exception however mine is of the weekend variety. I want it close to home with much of the comforts, and conveniences I have at home, only a simpler, or minimal version, to include only the necessities for making my brief stay pleasant.

There are so many things to consider when contemplating a temporary abode. Even schlepping whatever is needed for a hotel stay, whether it’s for a weekend, a week, or more; a stay away from home can be challenging, the type of activities, weather, and proximity to groceries, etc., can make it more, or less stressful to pack only necessities. I like to bring my dedicated travel pillow, and my non-detergent-ized pillowcase everywhere I am to sleep, as I have difficulty finding one to my liking, or which will not irritate my sensitive skin… that, and comfortable shoes are a must for me when going just about anywhere. I wonder if this is related to being comfortable with the direction I’m headed.

It is exciting to enter unfamiliar territory, or to have an adventure, which may result in an unexpected experience, often landing us outside our usual level of comfort. Most of us strive to think of everything we might encounter (This is usually a fail, as, in general, something occurs bringing an element of surprise to our trip. Sometimes this is pleasant, other times, not so much). In my case (ha, in my suitcase, and in the case of me), I usually take more than I need, but have been glad of it on the occasion I needed both the heavy, and the light jacket, or other item I’ve carried because of a maybe, lugging on the, just to be safe side… once in a while, though, so glad I brought that! I am obviously a bit of a control freak; the upside to this, most of the time, I end up not having to wash the unused item, but have what I need with me, rather than search for, and/or purchase it again, at the time, or on the way, which doesn’t always end in success. My tendency is organizing with anticipation in mind; planning for the worst, and best case scenarios, which some people think is nuts due to the stress of putting it all together. For me, however, it is the manner in which I address most things, examining the pros and cons, cause and effect, believing this is perfectly logical, and yes it can be tedious, but it can be fun, to plan on the run, running around that is, cramming a whole lot into a little, both in time and planning, and into a suitcase (best case scenario, into a carry on)! It’s the same when looking at purchasing property, facing so many prospects with so many varied avenues to adventure, and a budget spread thin in comparison to the comfort-zone list in my head, making the direction hazy, because so many things would, wouldn’t, or might work out in this way, or that. At some point we hesitate in paralyzing fear, jump in, sink, or swim. We confront moments like this everyday in all things, most times we can’t get away from them, even temporarily; they catch up to us, if they are anything requiring attention. This is not to say we don’t have leisure, spare, or personal time.

We’re working continually, as man must work to stay alive. Even though, at least in America, we have a lot of leisure time due to the great, and many conveniences we take for granted, which in some countries, and regions would be considered extreme luxuries, or simply not considered at all.

We don’t ever stop working toward our personal comfort, regardless of the amount of opportunities for spare time we may be privileged to incorporate into our daily routines. Our overall lifestyle is the same as not having “spare” time if you consider, we are constantly in a state of unrest. We even work at relaxing, but never achieve true rest. Our relaxation is interrupted with thoughts, and actions pertaining to what we will do next. I feel temporarily relaxed when my time is spent without a thought to schedule, which is not ever, really, if you count the amount of time spent planning to relax, or planning a getaway, however brief!

Lately, contemplating the idea of purchasing a weekend getaway cabin to relax in before going hiking, or engaging in some other outdoor recreational activity relativly close to the cabin. I say cabin, but I really mean, a cozy box, brimming only with the necessities; the simplest, and least amount of urban comforts I can stand; a tiny house with essential minimalist versions of my smallish, humble, but bigger home.   My acceptable level of comfort is contingent upon several factors which include water, septic, power, and a king sized bed, so I can comfortably snooze with my long time love, staying cozy, safe, and warm; it’s a mountain cabin after all, could be chilly, and I’m away from home, will want to feel safe, and snug; we’re healthy sleepers, need that space!

I have come to realize, anyone who isn’t living like a hermit, but is living off the grid is to some degree, is still living on the grid, or has benefited handsomely by living on the grid, and/or in some way has contributed to the grid system, and whom could not otherwise afford to live off the grid in any manner coming close to living the easy, or simple life we are privileged to enjoy in urban American areas.

Short of living in a cardboard box, and in the gutter somewhere, in general, one either inherits or works on the grid to acquire funds for land, and a structure suitable for long-term living. Working doesn’t necessarily afford you the amount, nor the opportunity to acquire land close enough, or inexpensive enough, to have a home away from home, or to self-build a structure, not to mention, equipping it with hookups (running water/septic/gas & electric… basic utilities). A portable house won’t work well for this due to the lack of hookups, and is really based on the premise of not having them, being portable, so as to avoid the costs associated with the grid system (paying utilities, permits, licenses etc.). Government won’t allow you to build permanent structures without permits/licenses, and can deny water permits, etc.; all of this forcing you to stay dependent on the grid in some fashion, for life.

There is a Holy Day mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible called the Feast of Tabernacles. This was to be day of indefinite annual observance for God’s people, and is symbolic of them living in temporary homes prior to God giving them a permanent dwelling place. In the New Testament, it’s applied spiritually through representation of the physical body as a temporary home until the Last Great Day, which is the holy day following the Feast of Tabernacles, when God provides a permanent home for mankind (his people), after transforming us into spiritual bodies where we will finally have true rest (a true resting place) because we will no longer work for personal comfort, since we won’t need to maintain a physical body.

My getaway cabin search is really a futile effort to find rest in a world where it doesn’t exist. The cabin is the next best thing, regardless of it’s eluding me thus far.  I have hope I will find some comfort, ease, and rest; somewhere to lie my head with the smallest amount of worry possible, before heading out, to work, i.e., work-out (before working at hiking, outside).

Owning any dwelling requires some work to maintain. In down-scaling for a smaller weekend property, using it as a motel, where you may leave some personal belongings in order not to have to pack, and lug them around, keeping them in your temporary dwelling, makes things somewhat easier, but does not eliminate the work of getting away.

My goal is not to stay off the grid, although I would be thrilled not to be obligated to a utility company; the goal is to find comfort, and relaxation with the least amount of work involved, so as to forget the need to work, to have comfort, and enjoy nature’s splendor in an uninhibited way. I don’t see this as possible; in review of how nature works, never stopping, that is. Everything is at work needing… in need of sleep and restoration, to be fed, sheltered, and nurtured. There is no rest in this natural quest. To live off the grid, even for the weekend, requires resources just, as living on the grid does. Work is what we have to do to obtain resources. For most of us, work does not provide every comfort we could think of, we have to work at thinking the comfort provided is everything we need. Ever heard anyone tell you to be happy with what you have, or what you have is all you need? Ever met anyone who can do this, or anyone who doesn’t need anything to survive? Easier said than done. It is popular for people to give us peppy boosters, and make a living at it, however tomorrow comes, and we still need to be fed, clothed, sheltered; we need to get out there again, and work for it. This certainly doesn’t come easy to everyone. Some people are lacking one, or all of what I am referring to as essentials, to maintain a comfort zone, which is really these basics, but not afforded to all. So if I ever do find my mountain getaway cabin stocked full of the basics in comfort, I hope I appreciate all the work it takes to enjoy it, even temporarily, also hoping all the effort brings some relaxation, and not needless stress. Having afforded one home is amazing given how most of the world lives in extreme poverty, and having a second home is not essential to survival, especially since the whole premise is based on working to relax from work, but it sure sounds great.

God calls his holy spirit a comforter, who is able to shelter one from the evils of the world, and the harsh realities we must face, as fleshly beings subject to a laborious life, a life of toil… a working life. The comforter is a power source enabling us to endure the strife packed challenges we are put through during this begotten phase, this process of being groomed for the greatness (God is great, and we are being groomed to receive the blessing of his comfort). One would think we do not need to leave home to enjoy this kind of peace, and comfort; however we do need to leave this temporary earthly form to enjoy a permanent form of peace. If we already had comfort, we wouldn’t need to get away from our usual practices and routines, and we wouldn’t be seeking a calming, soothing respite, or another place to make ourselves feel at home.  We need the power of God to comfort us.

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