Wood works wonders.

My writing desk is a work in progress.

My writing desk is a work in progress.

While you are looking at this photo of a work in progress, I am marveling over the real deal—the varnished, cherry writing desk, now with knobs on the two drawers and a panel that goes over the drawer on the left to provide additional surface.

From the unfinished writing desk that my brother Larry and my cousin Marty are modeling in the photo, you can likely tell that this is homemade. Larry, our family’s very own woodworker and furniture maker, asked me what I’d like at the start of this very tough upstate New York winter. Answering Larry’s question was easy. I wanted a writer’s desk.

I found a few images, requested some modifications (such as book ends), provided the desired dimensions, and left everything else in Larry’s adept hands. And those hands, along with those of our brother Richard, delivered the finished desk this week to a corner of an upstairs room in what will be my writer’s nook.

Unlike my first-floor home office, furnished with all the electronic gizmos needed to run a technical writing business and open to visitors, my nook will be my space, with journals and notebooks (paper, not electronic), stationery, pencils, and books. I will add some meaningful items—the two lovely watercolors that Paula, an artist and my late mother’s home aide, sent me and her treasured note, “I miss her very much!…She was a great conversationalist and tremendously gifted piano player. I respected her very much.” In my sacred space, I will read and find comfort.

For now, I have moved a chair from downstairs to upstairs and am getting ready to sit and read and think and wonder and write. I’m not sure if it is the varnish or the cherry or both, but the smell alone refreshes. I am getting ready to work wonders!

Where is that special nook, retreat, or sanctuary that inspires you?

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