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Antler Lake Cabin Salvage
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A project fund forDerrickson Family

$5,390 given of $6,000 goal

Antler Lake Cabin Salvage

Started by: Brooke Derrickson

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For the past several years, Jason and I have been dreaming, planning, and saving for a little cabin for our family. After tracking down and contacting the owners on Facebook (yep, story there), we finally found one that fit! It is 90 minutes from home, has three acres for our dogs and kids to run around without worry, and is on a quiet no-wake lake. From our cabin, you can reach a bike path that goes all the way up to Duluth. There are several small, cute Wisconsin towns within 10-15 minutes in either direction, and an amazing state park 25 minutes away. It is only a one-room cabin, 20x20. And it is just enough. We closed in January!

 

And then.

 

One week after we closed on the cabin, Jason was notified by his employer that he would either need to relocate back to the DC area or be laid off on December 31 due to a shift in the current CEO’s preferences for onsite collaboration.

 

I have a red spiral notebook full of research notes, plans and budget options for making our cabin livable. We had a 1-year, 2-year, 3-year and 5-year plan. But we didn’t have a plan for this. One week after closing, the red-notebook went right out the window (not literally--there’s a lot of good stuff in there!). We have been busy trying to find the silver lining (there is some!) and thinking about the bare minimum that we need to keep baby-stepping in the right direction, while large parts of our lives seem to be temporarily in limbo.

 

Our tiny cabin is “rustic” at best, and we have fondly dubbed it the “shit-shed” because it is currently full of nesting squirrels and raccoons. It has no plumbing, no electric, no septic (but it does have a screened in porch!). As we have visited the cabin this spring, the animals seem to be making it exponentially worse, and if we let it go much longer, we are worried that we will have to tear it down.

 

Instead, we are asking for help!

 

We are working with a contractor who has put together a basic plan to help us make the best use of what is already there. We need to redo the siding, the windows and screen porch to be sure that we can keep the critters out! This would give us a cabin space, cleared to the studs. No kitchen or bathroom, but it would at least allow us a sheltered place to sleep this summer. It won’t be much, but it will provide a greatly needed space to connect differently as a family and with friends.

 

To cover the costs from the contractor, we need $6,000 in addition to what we have saved. We are hoping that with a little help from our family and friends, we can do this!

 

This cabin, the space for us to step away, and the land full of trees and adventures gives me hope. We need it. When we are there, I am able to breathe deeply and believe that we can fill up with enough strength to sustain us through the years ahead. If you can help us keep this cabin standing and keep moving towards our dream, we would feel deeply grateful. Whatever contribution you make will help!

Latest Update

Finally we got some work days at the cabin! My mom drove up from KS; turns out there might not be anyone else I’d rather do this work with! My momma and I know how to tackle a project. We spent several days cleaning. It was nasty. Really nasty. Not included: images of pee-soaked 2x4’s. The porch was our first priority. We started at the top, dusting 15 years of cobwebs and dirt off the ceiling and siding, followed by four rounds of mopping and three coats of porch paint, which Elissa helped me with. It felt significant to have mom, Elissa and me working to create this special place together. We moved some furniture and a carpet remnant out on Wednesday. The kids were so excited about the Uhaul. Caleb called me over to show me the most AMAZING thing-the manual roller for the window! The porch looks better than I’d imagined possible at this point! We still have days worth of painting and projects ahead. But I’m hoping we’ll be able to spend the night together as a family there soon!

Posted by Brooke

June 28 at 1:46am

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As I was pondering my real answers to “how are you?” I noted how much we have going on! Maybe in part, that is a reflection of a full life--the lovely parts, the hard parts, the parts that keep piling up. I start a new job in the fall. My favorite dog, Brandi, is dying. Elissa has gone three times to her DBT group! The weather is magnificent and I have a strong group of women that I will swim, bike and run with all summer to train for the Women’s Tri. Our family has people supporting us in so many ways as we move through these transitions. The siding on our cabin is done! The kids ask every day when we get to spend the night. Soon, I think! We need to paint some parts, and get a carpet remnant to put down. I’m calling about a porta potty and ordering water jugs today! Everytime we drive out to the cabin, I can’t quite believe it is really a part of our adventure! Definitely not going as planned, but still, here we are! Thank you so much for all of the donations and encouragement.

Posted by Brooke

June 20 at 2:21pm

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Jenny Thompson — 12 weeks ago

I’m excited to see your cabin, Brooke! This place will become an anchor amidst all the transitions.

I woke up this morning and decided if I was going to get a glimpse of the progress on the cabin, I'd have to make a quick trip out--and this morning is the only time I've got in the next two weeks! (On Friday, I leave on a 4-day, 100 mile bike trip with 120 middle school students!) Zach had Ultimate games all day, so Caleb, Elissa, Brandi and Emme and I jumped in the car and were off before 8:30. It was a quick drive on a beautiful day. When we pulled in the driveway, I had to stop the car to admire how the leaves were filling in. The drive is a lovely mix of spring green dancing in the sunlight and shade. As we turned the corner and the cabin came into view, I think we were both excited and a bit stunned! Wow! This is really happening. Really. Really! Thanks to everyone for all those “coffee” donations to help us up get closer towards our goal. (Especially to my brothers, who know just how much coffee I tend to drink.) We’re grateful for the support. It’s going to work out somehow!

Posted by Brooke

June 2 at 11:56pm

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Short term goal: Wild animals out, kids and dogs in! We are almost halfway there! I've been so moved by the support, each donation, each bit of encouragement that friends have provided so that I can keep reassuring myself that we will be ok. We took a deep breath and signed the contract this week. Demo will start tomorrow. We taped up little bits of sample siding onto the cabin, and agreed to go with Cobalt. It's a good compromise--quiet and darker, but with just enough color that it should look pretty in the snow. Plus, it means that I can keep the color of the front door orange! Two weeks from tomorrow we might step into a poop-free, animal-proofed cabin! Two weeks from tomorrow we will also need to pay the contractor. We still have over half-way to go to get to the $6,000 we need. So I'm going to keep reaching out. Please help us create a space where the squirrels and raccoons stay OUTSIDE! Every little bit helps.

Posted by Brooke

May 19 at 5:01pm

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In my ideal world, I’d be at the cabin with family and friends, hauling junk to the dumpster, and rebuilding a porch. We’d work hard, get filthy, and pee under trees. It’d remind me of the help we had fixing our current house, when my grandmother “showered” in our utility sink and our good friends spent summer vacation helping tile our bath! This doesn’t work now that Jas and I have two jobs, three kids and four dogs! Somehow the days evaporate; the to-do lists get longer. So, I’ll keep shifting my plans, my ideas about how it should be, and my fantasy of creating community through cabin construction. We will pay someone so that our “shit-shed” becomes a family space in a matter of weeks. It’s ok. I’m giving us permission. We don’t always have to do the cheapest thing or make a decision that we can rationalize to everyone else. We have to do what makes sense for our family. Thanks for helping us, for the encouraging words and for the donations that will make this possible!

Posted by Brooke

May 13 at 5:03pm

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When I imagined crowdfunding, I had a bunch of different ideas. (I know, who’d have guessed?) I also have a husband who’s in this adventure with me. Turns out, his ideas were different than mine. (I know, who’d have guessed?) We figured it out. We decided that what felt best to us would be being able to say thank you for the support we might receive. We jumped in and I asked for help from the people I felt comfortable enough with. I hadn’t considered anonymous donations and I wasn’t prepared for the spill over of gratitude that would come with them! I will love being able to thank every person I know that has made a contribution or sent words of encouragement. I also love that an anonymous donation allows me to imagine all the people that I might not even know are supporting us! Parents of a childhood friend? A former student? Another mama down the street or across the city? All day long I can think of who it might have been. And feel connected and grateful and hopeful. Thank you.

Posted by Brooke

May 10 at 3:01pm

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36 Supporters

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  • Anonymous12 weeks ago
  • Shelly Hendricks12 weeks ago Love seeing the progress!
  • Juan Pablo12 weeks ago Almost there! I can’t wait to see it
  • Laura L Fritz12 weeks ago
  • Anonymous12 weeks ago
  • Dave & Andrea12 weeks ago Best wishes.
  • Laura J Johnson12 weeks ago Go Brooke!
  • The Younans15 weeks ago Cheers to your vision and dream. And to your courage to ask for help. With much love.
  • Anonymous15 weeks ago
  • Minke Sundseth15 weeks ago
  • Show 26 more supporters