I live at the very top of what is locally known as Old Stoney Hill. I've heard many stories about this steep hill and I have a few of my own since it's a real adventure to navigate the hill in icy weather. In the early years of my town, Stoney Hill was just a steep gravel-covered path. It's been said the hill was a well-used testing ground for teams of work horses. Before a farmer purchased or bartered for a team of horses, he tested the team on old Stoney Hill - or so the legend goes. If the team could successfully climb the hill while pulling a hay wagon, it was considered a good working team and worth the price paid. The hill has been paved for many years but there are townspeople who keep the legends of Stoney Hill alive.
I've always wanted a little place to call my own but never had one. I suppose having one's own space isn't something absolutely necessary in life, but it surely is a nice thing. At first, my spouse wasn't too keen on the idea of building a cabin in our backyard. I confided in my sweet cousin, Jeanette, and my dear friend, Deanna, that it was my dream to have a little rustic cabin to call my own - a place where I could entertain the grandkids and work on my crafts and sewing. They encouraged me to keep my dream alive and urged me to keep talking to my spouse about finding a way for me to have a cabin.
To our great surprise, my spouse and I one day learned he had a potentially life-threatening condition. It was found during a routine physical exam and shortly thereafter, he underwent open heart surgery. His outlook on life completely changed while he was in the rehabilitation and recovery period. When he had recovered sufficiently and was able to ride in a car, we went out together one day on errands - I was driving. Since he was my captive passenger, I decided to ask once more about having a backyard cabin. I took a deep breath and asked him to hear me out and to not speak until I had pled my case. I promised to never bring up the subject again if he was still against building a cabin after hearing what I had to say.
I calmly listed many of the things he had secured for his own enjoyment through our married years - camping equipment, a substantial tent, expensive bicycles, a Corvette, a Fiero, and golf clubs, just to name a few. He had traveled to car shows and participated in numerous out-of-state biking excursions over the years. He had gone camping with friends, and had done basically whatever he had wanted to do that had been within our means - all of which had been fine with me. I wanted him to enjoy his life and his friends. He would readily admit I had never objected to anything he'd chosen to buy for himself. I gingerly inquired as to whether I'd ever asked for or purchased any major item for myself during our 30 plus years together. I added that since our daughter and grandson were allergic to our cats, a cabin would be a nice place for us all to gather and visit. Spouse was silent for awhile. I don't think he knew what to say.
After thinking about what I'd said, he affirmed that I had never asked for anything substantial for myself. He added that he had simply never thought about things from my point of view. His next statement was, "Turn around and we'll go look at some lumber".
In the weeks that followed, he drew a plan for a small cabin with a loft and ordered the lumber needed to build it. He and I decided to locate the cabin on a level spot nicely situated between two sets of pine trees, and we measured the area on which it was to be built. Even though I truly wanted the cabin, I doubted he was strong enough or should even attempt to build it, but he assured me he felt better than he had in years.
Approximately nine months after experiencing open heart surgery, my spouse was happily building my cozy little dream cabin. He beamed as he worked on the cabin and I was ecstatic knowing I would soon have a place to call my own. I took daily pictures of the progess and our grandkids were thrilled to be witness to their granddad's handywork.
My spouse has often expressed how thankful he is for a second chance and has said he knows life is too short to not have some of the things our hearts desire. I'm blessed to have a spouse who was given that second chance and who cared enough to want to fulfill my dream - even if it took a little prodding.