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Bart's Log Cabin

"Why would you spend so much time and effort building a cabin for your kid?" some people have asked. Well, let me tell you...

Bart is my oldest son, and I am so very proud of him and his accomplishments. After his birth, Bart's start was a bit bumpy and quite terrifying for me and his dad. Bart stopped breathing no less than a dozen times during the first few hours after he was born. He was a determined little guy and reached all of his milestones, though it took him a bit longer.

Bart's speech and fine-motor skills were delayed, and school was difficult for him, but he persevered. He's the reason I became a teacher.

The challenges of Bart's differing abilities didn't interfere with his love for his classmates and teachers. He remains one of the most compassionate humans on this planet, and he has a multitude of family and friends who adore him. Bart has a full-time job, helps with bible school and other church-related commitments, and he's always eager to help others.

My biggest worry has always been Bart's safety net after I'm gone. His amazing younger brother has assured me that he will always be there for Bart, but I want to help him for as long as I possibly can. Thus, I decided to build Bart his own home that is of a manageable size where he can live independently and happily.

I gave Bart the choice of a metal home that a company would erect for us, and I would then finish on the inside. This option would have been completed fairly quickly. Or, we could build the log cabin.

After much thought, Bart chose the log cabin. We knew it would take much longer than what the log cabin company told me. "Four men can build it in four days!" (Maybe, if all their logs were pre-cut to size, pre-drilled, and pre-planed with a foundation already in place, but I doubt it.) Anyway, I didn't think it would take me two years and five months to finish it.

It took two months of weekends just to build the foundation.

The log cabin kit wasn't really a kit. It was stacks and stacks of logs with a building manual that, in my opinion, could have been much more detailed.

I had help with different parts of the build along the way - mostly my loved ones, and I was quite surprised at how difficult it was to find hired help.

Obstacles along the way included Hurricane Harvey, illnesses, badly bruised chin and feet (I repeatedly thought I could lift and carry logs that were too heavy for me and ended up dropping several on my feet. Yes, I was wearing steel-toed shoes - most of the time...), blisters, smashed fingers, falls, 100+ degree heat, working only after school and on weekends (unless it was summer vacation), miscalculations, taking apart and rebuilding, etc., etc.

Although lots of finish work was still needed, Bart was able to start living in his cabin on November 19, 2018 (one year and six months after laying the first log).

On October 12, 2019 at 3:45 P.M., I finished building Bart's cabin. Filled with joy, pride, contentment, and the feeling of accomplishment, I couldn't stop smiling for days. The number one thing on my bucket list was finally complete, and Bart has a safe place to land.

Bart loves his log cabin, and he made it even more beautiful during the holidays with his Christmas lights!

Bart's cabin will be a forever hug from me.

Please find the courage to tackle your own dreams, whatever they may be, and remember that kindness has the power to change the world!

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