“Mom, you’re like a pioneer woman,” announced my son. I’d retired, sold my townhouse, and moved to a log cabin in the woods. Friends and relatives questioned my decision. On cold, snowy days I sometimes wonder, too.

I worked in the city, but was uncertain where I’d live during retirement. I dreamed of a log cabin, wood stove, and pine trees. I’d go camping on weekends. My favorite place was near Lake Superior. I woke up shivering in the tent one chilly morning. My dogs were in the sleeping bag and I was on the ground — I needed a cabin!

I was hooked when I laid eyes on the place, in northwestern Wisconsin. The small log cabin had a green metal roof, red-framed windows and a slightly slanted porch. The one-room size was OK because it had a well, electricity, wood-burning stove, and outhouse. The claw-foot bathtub was aligned with the door, the porch was sagging, and those red-framed windows were crooked, but I loved it. I bought it in 2003. A delightful guesthouse was nestled among white pines, too.

Buying the log cabin changed the direction of my life, but not immediately. Retirement was close, meaning it was time to remodel, beginning in 2007. Soon the yard was filled with lumber, piles of dirt, and construction equipment the carpenter ordered. I had a lot to learn.

I brought a friend one weekend to the unfinished remodel. The wind had knocked over the outhouse. Another time friends stopped by and water dripped on our heads. That is when I learned about insulation.

Cabin life can be challenging, but when I walk the trails among the pines, I know buying that one-room cabin was the right decision.

Sharon Durken, formerly of eagan