Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cabin Life: The Day’s Worries

There’s big fat flakes of snow slowing drifting down out of the sky.  I just threw a few logs in the wood stove and the small waft of smoke that escaped is mixing with the aroma of the black beans I’m simmering on the stove.  It’s a nice night to be out here in the cabin.

Ed’s curled up next to the computer and his tail is leisurely hitting the back of my hand.  Herbie’s asleep and snoring on the foot stool near the wood stove while Pico is contentedly laying on the bed.  The temperature is supposed to go up a little in the next few days, but for now, it feels like winter.  If it does warm up, it will be a nice treat.

My parents came up this weekend to help stack the wood in the shed.  Four cords are in there, along with the other four stacked outside under tarps.  It’s nice to be all set with heat for the winter, bringing a deserved sense of satisfaction in having taken care of that one aspect.  When you live in nature, like most Adirondackers, you try to control what you can, knowing that you can’t control it all.  No one knows what type of winter it will be, but we can get ready the best we know how, and in the spring take pride in the fact that we made through another one.

As I watch the candle light flicker against the wood paneled walls, I can’t help but think about the path that brought me here.  Fighting depression, anxiety, stress, and self-loathing, I ended up in this little shack in the middle of nowhere.  I have no neighbors but wild animals.  I have to go outside to use the “bathroom.”  I force myself to have contact with the outside world.

I do want a simpler life.  No life is free from stress, but ensuring that there’s a fire going is usually the biggest worry of the day.  That, and the temperature of the seat in the outhouse.  That’s a big concern.  I once heard someone say that depression is like a train that comes barreling along, and the only thing you can do is hold on as best you can.  I think that’s an apt metaphor, and one I relate to well.  The nice thing about being out here is that I haven’t heard that train whistle in a long time.  And I now have the confidence to know that I will be able to hold on the next time it comes around.  Trust me, that’s a stress reliever if I ever knew one.

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Justin A Levine

Having grown up in the southern Adirondacks, Justin has always been at home in the mountains of New York. After graduating from Paul Smiths College, he began his career in the environmental field working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. After a brief five year detour to Florida, Justin returned to the Adirondacks to live off the grid in a small cabin with no running water or electricity.

Justin continues to work and play in the outdoors, and maintains a blog about living off grid, hiking, and being outside in the Adirondacks called Middle of the Trail.







One Response

  1. Marisa Muratori says:

    Justin…take the seat of your outhouse and keep it somewhere near your stove so it will be nice a warm when you need it…