Friends started calling me “Cabin Mama” after I bought my dream home – a Colorado log cabin under the Ponderosa pines.
I’d always wanted to live in a log cabin in the woods. As kids, we spent our summers at a cabin grandpa built in Upstate New York, near Canandaigua Lake. We loved running through the trees on our stick ponies, going on snipe hunts, picking wild strawberries and roasting marshmallows in the fireplace at the end of the great room. Three generations of family had clam bakes, deer hunts, reunions, poker games, work parties and other gatherings there. We were really lucky to have it!
Here’s the cabin Grandpa built…
Decades later, I was stationed with the Air Force in Colorado and fell in love with the mountains. This New Yorker swore to return. It took a few years, but after a “life changing event,” the kids and I moved back to Colorado. Almost two decades went by before my dream came true and I found a cabin not far from the city. It was tiny, full of holes and very old, but it was all mine! And it was a constant vacation to live there. We had great fun at that cabin. That is, until the wildfire.
On June 11, 2013 and for nine days after, Colorado’s most destructive wildfire burned over 14,000 acres and 507 homes, including mine. Two of my neighbors died. It was surreal. It took a while to rebuild and recover. It also took some time before I felt like I could write anything funny again. You can read my wildfire posts on this blog and visit WildfireSurvivors.com where I publish video interviews with neighbors who lost their homes. There’s also a downloadable booklet chock full of tips for other wildfire survivors to help them recover AFTER the fire. (That’s when the real work begins!)
I grew up in a very happy home and am blessed with a wonderful family, all of whom now live in Colorado. Right after high school, I joined the Air Force. What a ride that was! There’s nothing like joining the military to grow you up fast. After seven years active duty, I rejoined civilian life, then had three great children: two boys and a daughter. Both sons are Veterans and one has given me two beautiful grandchildren.
JOBS: I was a paralegal in the Air Force. I’ve been a phone rep, a sales and customer service team manager, a professional speaker, facilitator, trainer, consultant and coach. I’ve tweeted for the Mayor of Colorado Springs and I’ve mucked out horse stalls on a 400-head trotter farm. With every job, I learned something important; no job was ever a waste of time. In 1997, I struck out on my own and launched a consulting, training and coaching company – visit CommunicateColorado.com.
Life has been a blessing, but it hasn’t always been easy. I’ve been divorced, broke, struggled to help my kids through trying times, lost a job due to illness and then lost our home to the wildfire. But I have what’s most precious – faith, family, friends, work I love and a sweet, smart, handsome husband.
(I waited 23 years for that wonderful guy! We married in 2017.) Through it all, God has been good to us.
I hope you too have survived struggles and are on the brighter side of life. Thank you for becoming a new friend. I hope you’ll share comments or click here to send me a note and say hello!
Warmest regards, Laura Lollar (aka Cabin Mama)