The Cabin at the End of the Road quickly became a cluttered place. All of the this and that needed to spend time comfortably there or to have at hand when needed or simply left out because there was no other place to put it was accumulating on the tables and chairs. Or in battered metal popcorn tins on the floor. I never liked the look of it. And when we needed to move a table onto the porch (for cooking on the camp stove), we’d first have to clear the junk from it.
I had long been on the look out for a metal cabinet to put in the cabin. Metal because it had to be mouse proof. So far we’ve never seen any evidence of mice in the cabin, but the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and I wasn’t about to get lazy over something like mice. So I scoured the used office furniture store near my house, always looking for a metal cabinet. And I found a few, but they tended to be in rough shape: battered and dented, even rusted in one case. Doors that wouldn’t close. Shelves missing. And not cheap either. It seems that everyone has a country cabin that needs a mouse-proof cabinet, and they’re driving up the price with their demand.
It was frustrating, but only in a low-boil, simmering sort of way. We could continue to keep our oatmeal and peanuts and seasoning in an ugly popcorn tin on the floor. It was a workable solution.
Then, one Saturday as we made a trip to the big-box hardware store by my house in faraway suburbia, looking for something altogether different, we came upon a metal cabinet that was on clearance. It was the display model and it was marked at half price. A price well under what I’d seen for used cabinets in shabby shape. Suddenly our plans changed. And our timing must have been fore ordained. I quickly decided to buy the display model, and as Libby hurried home to get the Prolechariot (instead of her Accord we’d arrived in), I practically had to wrap my arms around the cabinet as other shoppers began to show interest in it as well.
Purchase made and cabinet stowed in the back of my truck (it fit so perfectly with the bed extender that I took it as another sign of the kismet involved), we drove home and parked the truck in the garage, all the time switching our plans for the following day when we would dash down to Roundrock to deliver what we had so long sought.
Over the years, I had envisioned such a cabinet in various corners of the cabin. I didn’t want to block any windows, of course, and that left corners. Actually, given that the beds took up two of the corners, I only had two left, so the location scouting was easy enuf. We got the cabinet to the cabin without mishap and managed to carry it in without bending it too much out of square. Then I prepared the corner. I moved out the small wooden table that resided there, swept the floor dutifully, then taped the foil sheathing to the bottom stud of the cabin frame. (You can see a bit of the tape to the left of the cabinet in the photo above. This is an attempt to decrease the insect incursion. Possibly futile.) So the corner was ready, and we muscled the cabinet into place.
Except Libby didn’t like the look of it. She said that it was placed wrong if it was going to be among the first things seen as you walked in the cabin door. I trust her judgment, so we wrestled the cabinet into a new position, ninety degrees from where I had placed it, and Libby declared it acceptable. You see her preferred location above.
Then we began to de-clutter the cabin. I tried to be methodical about it, loading like items to each shelf. One was devoted to food and food preparation. Another to generic little stuff (first aid kit, sun lotions, dish washing liquid, hand warmers). And so on. We soon had nearly all of the loose and annoying dreck of the cabin stowed in the cabinet and found that we had plenty of space left for future accumulation. I suppose we’ll fine tune how we use the cabinet and what we shove in there. And that’s as it should be.
The cabinet is not perfect. It was a display model, and the right door does not hang properly from its hinges. When I close it, I have to toe the bottom part in so it will shut tight. But I have to do that with the cabinets at the office too, so I consider that a design issue. The back has some long dents in it from our loading and unloading. But these are minor points.
Since it is metal, I have already started applying magnets to it to adorn it.