Our Paper Cabin 

Freda Wooten

© Copyright 2022 by Freda Wooten

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Most people donít think about the things collected inside their home. But Tom and I are deep sentimental creatures. I can testify; the old house we live in has more to say than the people I met recently. More to show than the pompous neighbors who seem to stay entertained by estranged rumors, local gossip and eerie superstitions.

Unlike the foundation they built on money, our home has real character. It houses some of the most intriguing collections of my life.
I swing beneath itís covered porch as morning rises, spreading golden fingers over the wild mustard and milkweed that greet me from the busy mountain meadows.

Buckeyes, cherries and poplar trees form a half emerald moon around the lawn. The tin roof pings overhead as chestnuts leap from their branches and burst at the steeple.

I watch the live events; wild grapes that swing like beaded ponytails on a windy day, a red bird crafting a nest at the corner of our tool shed and blackberry blooms forming archways for honey bees. Hummingbirds flitter near the wood railing, supping from their feeders.

I marvel at their page flipping sounds and my mind soon tarries. Stress flows away like the trickling stream as I sail back to the day Tom and I moved into a corn crib which had been used for nearly a century to store livestock feed. The place was never meant to be a home for anyone but Tom and I were dead set on the project.

Remembering our first year together, I called our house a paper cabin because we had used cardboard boxes to help insulate its airy walls. They hadnít been chinked and winter was brutal that year. During preparations to make the place livable I often questioned my ability to stay motivated but grittiness pushed me through.

Looking back now, I appreciate how each oak board lain to uneven floor crackles with loving history.
The bedroom, once a bare dirt floor squared between uncovered locust poles, soaked up all the warm memories of our honeymoon. Images of us swim in the night as I sprawl against grandmaís feather mattress.

Gazing at the ceiling we painted together and the fan carved from maple, I recall every fiery kiss and soft whisper that folded into the splintered crevices. Every inch of our home is like my personal scrap book. The images brought to life by total companionship. We have since papered and textured the walls, installed wood flooring and carpet but the paper cabin ripples with the romance it stores. And it whispers to me like a sweet song, one that replays when long days are weary.

Although, the value of this house will never reach an equivalent of all we put into it, it says more than most people. It whispers like the wind sweeping the cliffs. It reminds me that like the grass, woven into blue-green carpet around its ankles, I belong here. And we are at home together.

Freda Wooten is an author, poet and photographer residing in Southwest Virginia. Being surrounded by nature and wildlife along the Appalachian inspires her work. Her most recent work can be viewed at The Ilanot Review, Poets Choice and Red Flag Poetry to name a few. 

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