[Written at 9:45 PM, Sunday, September 23, 2007.]
Here I am ensconced in the little cabin at Center for Great Apes. It’s about 15 feet by 10 feet (guesstimate) inside with a screened porch of about the same size off the back. At one end is a little bathroom with a shower and a little kitchen that opens to the rest of the cabin. It’s furnished with two day beds, a round table, a desk and a dresser upon which sits a small TV. (The TV gets good reception on a couple of channels and poor reception on a few more.)
There are plenty of small windows and the interior is decorated with more care than my house. Well, that’s not saying much. Let’s try that again. The cabin is attractively decorated with a nature motif.
I remember when I first visited 7 years ago and Patti took me on a tour of the sanctuary, which included this little writer’s cabin. I thought how wonderful it would be to stay in it. I never dreamed I would really get to.
A few years ago – after I had been coming to visit and volunteer for just a day at a time– I discovered that I had an open invitation to stay for a night or more. The first chance I got, I did, and that time I spent a single night in the cottage that had been built just across from the cabin. The cottage is bigger: a little bedroom at each end and a kitchen and living/dining area in the middle. Bathroom off of one bedroom. And all very creatively decorated, right down to animal-print towels. The cottage has a screened porch in the front.
Over the years I’ve stayed in the cabin several times. The last time was in February, and it was so cold I almost went to bed fully dressed. A space heater kept the icicles from forming on my nose. Today it’s hot and steamy, but the wall air-conditioner is keeping me from wilting.
For some reason I’ve never spent much time on the porch. Tonight I went out there and sat for a bit in the wicker rocking chair. It’s probably not a night to hear critters rustling through the underbrush. Since a sudden downpour just before dark the trees have been dripping and things have been falling off the trees and hitting the tin roof of the porch. Sometimes the bang is so loud I imagine coconuts hitting the roof. But even if you could hear rustling, you couldn’t see what was making the noise. It’s really, really dark out there.