A faded, old log cabin, it appeared to be. I think it came from Montana. It was assembled near Westby, Wis.

We were able to buy the place from two local brothers who had inherited it from a relative who was an “old-timer.” They painted it a glaring red, apparently with paint left over from a barn painting. Our family enjoyed the cozy place, and its trout pond and flowing stream. It was an ideal gathering place for family, friends, veterans and deer hunters. It was a perfect place for me. The peaceful sounds of the pond and stream were far from the traffic of the big city. A special memory is celebrating our daughter’s 16th birthday. We planted 16 pine trees alongside the cabin’s roadway

Time went by, and we sold the property to a friend who soon passed away. The cabin was then owned by his daughter and her husband. They built a new home on the property’s adjoining land, and the cabin passed into a period of neglect. Beavers and spring flooding damaged the basement walls and the cabin was no longer livable.

Now, when I travel by and see it, it is sad, alone, abandoned and empty. Despite this, I smile as I count all 16 trees — each one standing tall, past their prime, yet still honoring a unique day 45 years ago.

I am full of memories from those long-ago days. They warm my heart like the old fireplace warmed us at the cabin. We are hopeful that the friends who enjoyed the cabin’s warmth and hospitality were touched in a positive way. We know that our lives were blessed by cabin fever.

Pierce Brown, La Crescent, Minn.