So one of my Mother's Day gifts to my wife was to leave town with one of our kids (the loud one) so she could have a slightly more relaxing evening day than normal. And so Sammy and I headed out to Bastrop State Park east of Austin and stayed at one of the great cabins located there.

Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, these elemental cabins are near-perfect hand-crafted architectural haikus. Using rough-hewn stone gathered locally, the cabins literally appear to grow out of the ground rather than be placed upon it. Built at a time when labor was cheap but materials were expensive, the buildings represent a very different sensibility than most buildings do today.

The cabin we stayed in (cabin #2) had a little inscription carved over the fireplace. It read:

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful."

Indeed it is.