Have you ever met someone and wondered how one human being could possibly accomplish so much?
Whether that person’s your boss, your relative, or your friend who has a penchant for inadvertently making you feel inadequate, being around jacks of all trades is as inspiring as it is complicated.
One person who would undoubtedly make you feel all of the feelings is a man by the name of Richard Aiken, who has earned two Ph.D.s and a medical degree, has a knack for singing opera, and has quite literally written the book on nutrition. In his mind, however, his greatest accomplishment is being a husband and father. Basically, there’s nothing he can’t do — including a bit of cabin restoration.
Aiken has a deep love of the outdoors. When he came across this dilapidated cabin, he saw treasure where others saw trash.
Anyone else would look at this pile of rubble, chalk the mess up to natural reclamation, and quickly move along.
When Aiken expressed interest, the property owner offered to let him have the cabin for free. Being a good guy, however, Aiken gave him $100 and began the restoration process.
In order to properly carry out the project, he knew he’d have to transport the structure away from the original site, so he catalogued every piece.
All Aiken had to do after that was determine where exactly those pieces would go.
He and his wife decided on a lush, green site in the Ozarks. “My wife Mary and I had been exploring the land with a real estate agent when she began to cry out of joy for the beauty of the location,” Aiken explained to The San Francisco Globe. At that point, they started rebuilding the cabin.
Although the structure had to be built up a bit for them to be able to have a basement, Aiken’s biggest goal was to remain true to the original design.
That being said, there were two additions on which he and the family were set: a front porch and a Rumford hearth.
Those interested in Early American architecture have brought about a resurgence of the Rumford fireplace, which was popular between the late 18th and mid 19th centuries.
Because there were gaps on the outside between each board, they used chicken wire as a base and daubed the old-fashioned way. They used a mixture of sand, cement, and lime to fill those gaps and insulate the structure.
In 2013, after 10 years of work and with some help from family, professionals, and a few Amish folks living nearby, the Aiken family cabin was finally complete.
Richard Aiken and his loved ones now spend peaceful hours tucked inside the rich history of a building brought back to life.
(via The San Francisco Globe)
To learn more about the transformation, check this out. If you’d like to keep up with this Renaissance man’s work, be sure to check out his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. For nutrition and lifestyle information, browse his books on Amazon.