Much of 2015 was busy for Steve in ways that did not involve the cabin, so there were no major work sessions - he fit in a few days here and there as he could. By August he had the tar paper up on the bathroom addition and was working on the siding.
Back in the winter I had used some of Steve's left over boards to build a bookcase. We went out to the cabin to install it in August. It sits at the top of the stairs and, when combined with a remaining segment of old railing, will become part of the railing/barrier between the loft and stairs.
While Steve may have not have been at the cabin as often, it was nevertheless occupied. We didn't see the resident mousetrap(s), but the number of shed skins indicated that it had not been going hungry.
By the end of August Steve had the siding on the bathroom completed. The old style bathtub can be seen on the deck, waiting to be installed.
Several of us went to the cabin on a clear November weekend. Steve had been making steady progress on the inside of the bathroom.
But it was also clear that the purpose of visits to the cabin was changing. Trips to the cabin were becoming more about using it than building it. Interior Decorating was in evidence, with an old family portrait and a well stocked hospitality shelf.
We had a wonderful quiet evening cooking over the fire and sharing stories and goodies from the shelf.
The next morning was cold and frosty, but cozy in the cabin with smoke rising from the chimney.
A man and his cabin.
Visits to the cabin in February and March showed a number of improvements, one of which was solar lighting:
The bathroom had a door added, as well as a composting toilet ("a crapper with a gearshift")
One of the visits included a hike and a sociable toast afterwards.
A March visit included cutting an opening for the bathroom window and installing it.
We visited Steve at the cabin on a chilly January evening. He had added a porch railing (to make his insurance company happy)
And he had added a section of railing to the end of the loft bookshelf to finish off that part of the loft.
After an evening of standard cabin activities involving a warm fire and adult beverages, we awoke to a light snow falling.
Steve cooked a nice hot breakfast with some help from his solar powered lighting
Afterwards we wandered about the property to inspect the extensive damage from the Emerald Ash Borer which has arrived in the area. Infected trees are easy to spot even at a distance because the bark has been stripped by birds hunting for the larvae. It looks like this will become an increasingly common sight in our area. At least Steve will have a steady source of firewood near the cabin.
After a busy summer Jean and I met Steve for a crisp fall evening at the cabin.
On a hike in late Fall of 2014 Jean and I had found a grove of Persimmon trees with ripe persimmons. We saved a bunch of seeeds which Jean managed to sprout and grow into small trees. We couldn't think of a better place for a new grove of Persimmon trees than on Steve's cabin land.
The Persimmon trees (and one Paw Paw) were planted and marked with flagging tape, just before a big rain that came a couple of days later to help settle them in.
We returned again at the end of October with Ed, and the colors had gotten a lot brighter, both outside and from inside the cabin.
Steve admitted that once the cabin became usable that progress had slowed. But it was also getting more decorative touches of a "homey" cabin - both natural ones like mud dauber nests and intended ones like an antique thermometer.
On the day after a customary cabin evening of steaks grilled over an outside fire, Steve and Ed cut and fit the last door on a utility closet.
Checking that measurement one more time.
The door fits, now to put on the hinges.
The hinges work and the door opens without interference. Then the last step - the Z brace on the inside of the door.
All the doors are done, although the latch on this latest door still needs a bit of work. In the meantime a lock rock gets the job done.
Except for some interior trim, the cabin is pretty much done.
Looks like it has always been there.