Penny’s folks own some property next to the lake just north of the big town.
It’s about an hour drive from their house.
The cabin has been in the family for many generations, and is meant as a vacation spot for the relatives. Even though it is close, Penny doesn’t go out there more than once or twice a year. During the COVID pandemic it wound up resting empty for almost 2 years. Penny thought it had been resting empty. When she finally went back out there she found that it had not been empty at all. Squatters had been living there. They were no longer there, but the impression they left on the air quality was so strong. They made use of the fireplace, and not cleaned out any of the ashes, either, which made the cabin smell so bad. On top of that they had obviously been smoking cigarettes, too, which further depleted the indoor air conditions. Penny opened the cabin up to get the maximum amount of natural ventilation but that wasn’t nearly enough. She had to drive back into town and buy several different media air cleaners to leave in different rooms. While those machines were working on cleaning the air, Penny got busy cleaning out the brick fireplace, which was in ruins. It turns out these people had also cooked food in the fireplace, leaving rotten food scraps buried under the ashes. Penny hopes she can rectify the situation and make the cabin livable once again.