Sixty-five-year-old self-described “hillbilly” Richard Aiken is many things. He’s a husband, a father, the recipient of two PhDs and a medical degree, an opera singer, and an author of The New Ancestral Diet. He’s also, apparently, a pretty great builder.
A Risky Decision
Richard Aiken was obviously an intellectual person. He rarely took risks, but when he purchased an old wood cabin, people doubted his reasoning. The cabin was in shambles. The exterior was made out of rotting wood. And the inside? Well, there wasn’t much to it. But Richard saw it differently, and as he finished putting his love into it, his neighbors were green with envy. And you can definitely see why!
A Hidden Dream
It’s easy to be impressed by Richard Aiken. Not only did he have two doctorates and a degree in medicine, but he was also a published author! Needless to say, he’s achieved great things. But there was a hidden side to Richard. A part of him was dying to live outdoors. Richard was attuned to nature, and his one dream left everyone in shock. No one expected this brilliant man to have this goal in mind.
Called To The Wild
Richard was dreaming of living in the wild. He was a naturalist right down to his core. He loved the outdoors and he practiced a strict vegan lifestyle. He was being called to the wild. Richard’s love of nature had caused his family concern. They supported him, of course, but to a certain extent. They grew anxious when he announced his dream of living in the woods, but for a good reason.
Peace, Love And Nature
Richard’s family thought about how dangerous it could be living in the woods. Since Richard would be retiring there, he would be a bit older. What if there was an emergency? His family was anxious just thinking about it. But Richard was persistent and knew that he had to embrace his inner wild child. But there was another problem on the horizon. A serious problem, that would cause him to question it all.
Not Enough Green
Richard had always wanted to retire into the wilderness. He even called himself an “old hillbilly.” But one thing seemed to always be in his way: money. It could be quite pricey to build a cabin in the middle of nowhere, and buying some land wasn’t exactly cheap, either. Richard had relented to these facts for quite some time. Then one day, a random act of kindness changed Richard’s life.
A Steal Of A Deal
Richard had a friend that knew how much he wanted to live in the woods. This friend just so happened to have some land in the middle of the woods. He decided to offer it to Richard for free, but Richard couldn’t accept it. He insisted that he pay at least $100 for the property. But when he saw the cabin, Richard realized why his friend wanted to just give it to him.
Not What He Expected
The cabin was an absolute disaster. It certainly needed to be fixed up. When Richard inspected the cabin he couldn’t believe what he was looking at. The exterior pieces of wood were literally rotting away. There was no roof. And the inside was atrocious. Richard became discouraged. He understood that he would have to put a lot of work into renovating the old cabin. Richard had to make a difficult decision.
A Family Project
Richard was going to commit to the property. It was his life’s dream, after all. Despite his family’s frustration, he began to restore the old cabin. Over time, his family started to come around and help, as well. It became an “all hands on deck” type of situation. Richard’s kids were finding wonderful ways to help him out. Slowly but surely, the old cabin began to look better. Soon enough, though, there would be another setback.
It seemed that the cabin was built right on top of a bedrock cluster. Unfortunately, this meant putting the remodel on hold. Richard needed to reconsider the cabin’s design, but he was a genius, so it wouldn’t be difficult. It didn’t take long for Richard to change his plans to accommodate the rugged terrain. The tiny cabin would be raised off of the ground, but this created another problem. One that would create some tension in the Aiken home.
Because of the cabin’s location, and its difficult terrain, another setback showed its face. The remodel began to take much longer than anyone had expected, which started to cause strain on the family’s relationships. Richard’s kids didn’t want to go to the cabin every weekend to help with the remodel anymore. His wife became sick of watching money being thrown into the project. But finally, everything came together one day.
It took ten years, but the cabin was finally finished. And it was everything that Richard could have ever wanted. He had taken a desolate piece of vacant land, and turned it into something amazing. The neighbors were even impressed by how wonderful it looked. But the little piece of land still had one surprise for Richard. A secret that would make Richard’s cabin the talk of the town.
A New Lake
Richard and his kids accidentally stumbled across an incredible secret. In front of the cabin was a dense water table, and Richard saw something extraordinary. So he called in the bulldozers. As they began to dig, a breathtaking lake began to appear. Richard built a little wooden dock, and this lake became the cherry on top of his new cabin. But things only continued to get better for his family.
A Wonderful Gift
Richard had Amish neighbors that had watched the remodel from beginning to end. Because of that, they decided to give the family a unique house-warming gift. They had made them a stunning wooden table. The table could be easily moved, so the Aiken’s could place it wherever they liked. It was certainly a heartwarming gesture. They had a truly successful remodel, but what happened to Richard’s family’s doubt?
A Lovely Home
His family was grateful to find out that Richard was not going to retire to the cabin. After spending years building there, he realized their concern. He understood how difficult it was to navigate the land. Instead, he uses the cabin for holiday vacations with his family. They regularly visit the little cabin and it has brought an immense amount of joy to anyone who has visited. But Richard had another surprise for his family.
Great Job, Richard
Richard was vigilant in recording the renovations from the beginning to the end. As soon as the cabin was finished, he shared his story with others. The response he received was overwhelming. The Internet loved his little cabin in the forest. Richard is more than grateful to have lived through this experience. Now, he and his family will be able to live out Richard’s life long dream.
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