Chapter 3. The Epiphany
My house has only one bedroom. If I had guests, what was I to do if they stayed over? Why, show them to the guest cabin, of course! One day as I was exploring my property, I arrived at the end of the Raccoon Ravine and instantly realized it was the perfect spot for the cabin (and that realization also inspired its name). Because it would technically be an outbuilding, I dispensed with plans and permits and inspections and all the other formalities, and just built it. By myself. In six weeks. Not bad for a crippled, diseased, sixty-something old fart.
But I had a secondary motive for building the cabin: the camper had become rather cramped, since by that time I was sharing it with four full-grown cats. And besides, I couldn't envision having to endure another bone-chilling winter in it. The guest cabin would be my new temporary home—and a much warmer one at that—while the kids could have the camper all to themselves.
Construction began on the morning of 22 September 2015. After one week, thanks to a run of perfect weather, the framing was done and the roof was going on. A week later, the sheathing was up and I'd started work on the interior. And just a few more weeks after that, I was moving in.
The cabin measures 12 by 12 feet, plus a 4-foot porch. The dimensions were chosen to reduce the amount of cutting required—particularly the heavy 4 by 8 foot sheets of ¾-inch ply—which helped simplify and accelerate construction.
The interior features a lot of storage space: prefab kitchen cabinets line the back wall, and more cabinets make up the night stands, as well as the base for the platform bed. The headboard is just leftover oak flooring attached to the wall.
The Epiphany was cozy—really cozy. The little wood stove could bring the temperature from 50 to 80 in half an hour. It was kind of a fun place to live, actually, and it taught me how to get by with a lot less. Still, it was obviously not a long-term living solution, since it lacked running water, and up until September 2017 it also had no electricity, except for what was generated with gasoline.
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