Friday, January 13, 2006

Growing up and moving out

Erin has moved into her own place! Over the holidays, with the weather unseasonably warm, and the resurgence of "issues" concerning her pre-bedtime routine and how it ostracizes Sophie from their shared bedroom, Erin decided to move out to the cabin.

It's a 140 sq.ft. log cabin situated about 30 ft. from our back door. The guy who homesteaded here 35 years ago built it his first summer here and lived in it for a winter while felling and seasoning logs for the main house. Two years ago we turned it from the storage shed it had become into a nice little three-season guest cabin with a proper subfloor and floor, some basic furniture and a new roof that doesn't leak. But it's unheated and basically unwinterized. The plan had been to put in a heating system and to double-glaze the window and fix the ill-fitting door this spring and turn it into a bedroom for Erin. That would give Fiona a bunk in the "girls'" bedroom and possibly encourage her to relinquish the family bed she inhabits now. It's a beautiful but simple little space and I was feeling quite envious -- the dark trek through the sometimes forbidding weather between bedroom and the rest of the living space (including the indoor plumbing) seemed a small price to pay for the serenity and space.

Erin decided to grab it early. It seemed a decent solution to the turf issues in the shared bedroom, and appealed to her sense of adventure. She moved about ten blankets and a space heater in and set about making herself comfortable. If the weather gets really cold again (below, say, minus 10 Celsius), she'll probably have to spend a few nights inside on the pull-out couch, but for now she's so happy.

For her birthday earlier this week she was given an electric blanket (to supplement the electric baseboard heater) and a wireless networking card which enables the old clunker of a laptop to grab basic internet content. She's begun writing stories again with a vengeance, and doing music composition projects. She's reading lots and basically enjoying a level of independence that is safe and comfortable for her right now. On the whole I think she's happier and more gracious in interacting with the family when she's inside with us too.

She is having fun working with me to plan furniture and d├ęcor. We will order a proper double-glazed window and build a properly-fitting door once spring comes. The heating issue is the big area of indecision right now. The clearance needed for a woodstove would eat up a lot of the floor space. A propane heating stove would be very pricey to purchase and install. And I can't stand the idea of using electricity to heat it. I'm leaning towards propane ...


  1. Anonymous9:26 am

    Miranda, I'm also envious of Erin's quiet place to have to herself. How many times have I wished that even as a mother and wife? LOL What an awesome life experience you're able to give her!! I hope she continues to love it. ;)

  2. Truth be told, I'm green with envy myself. ... Miranda


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