Do you have a big dream right now? Something concrete and completely realizable? Watch out: it may become true some day. Maybe not quite painlessly and not right away, but some day what is now only a dream may actually be reality
I had a dream when I was still under fifty and was taking a sabbatical. I had an obsession: I wanted to have a small cabin fit for winter habitation on the yard of my old family home. The old house was getting dilapidated, and it was not even possible to use the crumbling brick oven for heating any more. No way could I stay the winter in that house.
I began a frantic search. I wanted the cabin for that very autumn, and it was not to be too expensive. Reading the classified ads in the local paper, I found a suitable cabin in a remote Suomussalmi village. I guess most people considered it a waste of effort, and some found it just stupid and funny – I could see that from the way they looked at the picture. But I thought it was wonderful, and that was enough.
The cabin, or rather the container, had previously served as the office of the foreman of a road construction crew. It had been placed on the steel bed of a truck. Even the large wheels were still there for transportation. Wasn’t that great?!
The cabin had layers of memories of past times: there was the flue pipe of an iron stove, a piece of hose pipe from a liquid gas heater, a hot water boiler and a cold water tank, the handle of a manual pump, a draining board with a sink and a sewer pipe that ran down to the clearing behind the cabin, a socket for a landline phone and, as the most modern contraption, electric central heating with antifreeze liquid flowing through the radiators. The heater gurgled like a small brook – there was not enough liquid in the system. When I added some antifreeze, the gurgling turned to faint dribbling. The deal included an electric stove, a fridge and several other useful items. The guy who sold the cabin promised to arrange its transportation that same week.
It was a cloudy October day. I was waiting for the cabin to arrive. To pass the time, I began to clear away the thick brushwood. It was getting dark and it began to drizzle. I felt gloomy and worried. Finally, I heard the truck clattering loudly up the narrow, bumpy road. The eaves of the cabin were catching on the branches of the surrounding spruce trees. I felt downright desperate. Why on earth did I ever take on this project? I would have needed some male intelligence and strength!
The driver set to work: he reversed and turned the truck this way and that, trying to settle the cabin on the correct spot – it would remain on its wheels, and we only needed to put a pile of cinder blocks under the drive shaft. We finally got that done. The driver then began to reverse the truck back to the road. Or tried to. The wheels of the truck just sank deeper into the rain-softened soil and got stuck.
I was close to utter despair. I called the neighbor and asked if he could bring his tractor. I was ashamed and disappointed. The tractor hauled the truck easily out of the mud, but my nice yard was like a freshly plowed field. I was sick with fatigue. The container was leaning on one side and seemed horrible against the pale glimmer of sunset. Like a sinking Ti¬ta¬nic. If I had had a stick of dynamite, I would have blown up that hovel of my dreams.
The following morning was sunny, at least in some respects. I had people come in to help, both children and adults. Even my elderly mother was driven up to enjoy the company in the warm glow of the fireplace. Three capable male relatives began to remove the wheels from under the body of the truck bed. Again, I felt worried and scared, especially when I heard one of the men tinkering with the underside of the cabin say:
– Many have lost their lives doing things like this.
I froze with horror. What if my crazy idea ended up in a terrible accident! I paced around restless and agitated. I must have gone in a few times to see about the pot of soup on the stove, but I do not remember it.
At last the long day of hard work began to draw to an end. The cabin stood on cinder blocks. The helpers went home. I had to take my mother to town to have some rest. But I could not find my cat and had to go back one more time. I did not want to leave the poor cat at the mercy of lynxes and wolverines.
When I returned to pick up the cat, I saw a huge, crimson moon rise behind the lake. I walked around the frost-covered yard calling out for my cat. Suddenly I was struck by a terrible thought: what if the children had left the well lid open and my cat had fallen into the old well. I went to the well, opened the lid and called the cat’s name into the dark, cold depths. As if the cat had answered me if it had been there! Dead tired and desperate I went into the house and left the door open. Suddenly I saw a familiar figure flash through the open door. It was a joyous reunion.
When I finally got home, I joined my hands in a prayer of thanks. The Heavenly Father had helped and had had mercy on us: everybody was safe and sound, and even the cabin was standing where it was meant to stand.
My dream came true. God blessed me with a great gift. The cabin has been very useful in wintertime. Even my niece’s family like to spend time there. It is handy and compact, a small nest easily kept warm by its basic heating system. It is nice and cozy even at the coldest temperatures. Christmas time in the middle of snow-covered spruce trees surrounded by thick banks of snow under the huge star-studded sky is the best that the small cabin can offer.
Text: Tuula Stång
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original blog post here.
Kansainvälistä ja valtakunnallista muistiviikkoa vietetään ensi viikolla. Ihmisten eläessä yhä pidempään muistisairauksia sairastavien lukumäärä kasvaa joka puolella maailmaa. Muistisairaus liittyy myös yhä useamman suomalaisen elämään joko läheisen tai oman sairastumisen muodossa.