Gunkholing: Home Is Where the Hearth Is

Cape Cod Life  /  May 2023 /

Writer: Brian Shortsleeve

When I was in grammar school in Elmira, New York, my father used to build a fire in our living room fireplace many an evening, seasonally. When we moved to Boston in 1962 we bought a beautiful older home, which had five fireplaces. Soon after I got out of college in 1969, I got a job in Boston and rented an apartment with a fireplace. There was a man in the Back Bay who would deliver bags of firewood to my third-floor apartment.  I had my first home on Cape Cod in Osterville, built in 1976. My home had a central chimney with a fireplace glassed- in on three sides, surrounded by the living room, dining area and kitchen. I had my second home built in Cataumet on Cape Cod in 1998. This home included five fireplaces. Shown above is one of them, in our enclosed porch. Our current home’s fireplace. Photo by Joshua Shortsleeve. Our enclosed porch fireplace in Cataumet. Photo by Brian Shortsleeve. Next we lived on Scraggy Neck in Cataumet for a number of years. The fireplace in the living room was next to a large window providing a view down Buzzards Bay to the Elizabeth Islands, all the way to Cuttyhunk. Our boys, Joshua and Max, had rooms on a lower level including a game room and fireplace.  Finally, now our home is on Little Buttermilk Bay in Bourne’s village of Buzzards Bay. Pictured below is our central chimney fireplace surrounded by the living room, dining area, and kitchen. My son, Joshua, builds a fire many an evening, seasonally. Josh builds the best fires I have ever had the privilege to enjoy.    Enjoy! My Best, Brian Shortsleeve Publisher, Cape Cod Life Publications

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Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the owner, publisher, and founder of Cape Cod Life Publications. His personal column, “Gunkholing,” has appeared in all issues of Cape Cod LIFE since the very first issue in 1979.