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In an ongoing attempt to educate myself by reading classic novels I somehow missed in school, I chose to spend a good chunk of my summer reading Walden, Henry David Thoreau's manifesto on living simply. Given that the book's subtitle is "Life in the Woods," is it any wonder that I constantly found myself comparing Thoreau to all the log-home dreamers I've encountered in my two years working on Log Home Living? There was one passage, in which Thoreau describes his dream home, that I felt particularly paralleled the desire to build a log home. Here's a little snippet of it:

I sometimes dream of a larger and more populous house, standing in a golden age, of enduring materials...which shall consist of only one room, a vast, rude, substantial, primitive hall, without ceiling or plastering, with bare rafters and purlins supporting a sort of lower heaven over one's head...where the king and queen posts stand out to receive your homage...A house whose inside is as open and manifest as a bird's nest, and you cannot go in at the front door and out the back without seeing some of its inhabitants; where to be a guest is to be presented with the freedom of the house, and not to be carefully excluded from seven eighths of it, shut up in a particular cell, and told to make yourself at home...I might visit in my old clothes a king and queen who lived simply in such a house as I have described, if I were going their way; but backing out of a modern palace will be all that I shall desire to learn, if I am ever caught in one.

That sounds like the kind of house I'd like to live in. How about you?

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Comment by Shelley Martinez on September 17, 2008 at 9:30pm
Clare - this is such a timely post. I just picked up the book and have been reading a bit of it each weekend we are at our log home. In fact, I quote Thoreau quite often on my personal log cabin blog.
Have you read "Alone in the Wilderness" - the story of Dick Proenekke? His documentary pops up quite a bit on PBS. I love how he built his log cabin all by himself with his own hands.
Comment by CJ from Va. on September 14, 2008 at 7:07pm
Clare, its funny that you mention this book. In visiting a friend at your hide-away cabin, and that is truly the proper description, this very book was lying on her coffee table and I asked her about. Her replied, "this book has been a life saver". Enjoy CJ from Virginia

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