Here I go again, commenting on a book I’ve neither held nor read. I have, however, read its inspiration. Like New England Icons by Bruce Irving, which is based on articles written by the book’s author, Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream, and Five Acres in Maine by Lou Ureneck took inspiration from the author’s blog "From the Ground Up" on The New York Times website.
There, Ureneck wrote, for example, about the intrinsic charm of his cabin’s structure: “For me, a timber frame is poetry made manifest in wood. I love the way the timbers fit together, tenon inside mortise, to make a snug joint; and I love the way the structure stands against the sky, shoulders squared and strong enough to shelter those who dwell inside it for centuries.” So, if you followed the blog, even intermittently, you, too, have some sense of Cabin.
“From the Ground Up” caught my attention in late 2008 initially because my book concept Small Retreats, Backyard and Beyond had been “killed” by its intended publisher a few months earlier. I, like Ureneck, imagined many folks could appreciate the simple pleasure of a small place of one’s own, especially when times are tough. I may have even sent a link to Ureneck’s blog to my former publisher in hopes of bolstering my case that there was in fact an audience for writing about small retreats.
Now, Ureneck’s memoir -- about the restorative powers of building a cabin and, in the process, building relationships and peace of mind -- has found its way to the shelves. For further insight into the book, check out the WBUR Radio Boston podcast of their recent Ureneck interview about his 640 square-foot, timber-frame cabin built with his brother in Stoneham, Maine. I’ve added Cabin to my wish list. Have you?
by Katie Hutchison for the House Enthusiast