Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Our Surroundings

Because I promised that Dad's cottage isn't fancy, I thought I should put my camera where my mouth is and show you. Now that you are picturing me as some kind of cyborg, let me show you around.

The cabin
Mom and Dad built the cottage in 1968. Prior to this year, the last big improvements that they made were to add running water (!) and electricity (!!) in 1971. There are three bedrooms - each of the three big windows across the back is a bedroom. Right now, the windows are all covered with sheets to keep out the early-morning sun. The sheets do an adequate at preventing the sun from waking the children, and an excellent job at making the house look like a meth lab.

This spring, Dad decided to close off the side door to enlarge the one, tiny bathroom. He also connected the already-existing gazebo to the house through a breezeway. Here you can see the unpainted wood where the side door was located:

I think the plant hook needs a new home.

Prior to this, all of the "improvements" have been erecting additional structures around the property. The gazebo was the first of the outbuildings, and was added in 1990. There's also a storage shed, a sauna:

Because what an 800 square foot house needs is its own sauna.
And a bunk house:

Who is Dorothy Farr? No idea, but she is teaching art classes in the woods,
as far as any code enforcement officers are concerned.
Pinterest shot: Cool old lantern. 

The original bunk beds that Sister and I slept in when
we were kids. Dad swears that the mattresses are new.
The Boy and the Girl have been taking turns spending the night out here with me. This has resulted in everyone getting a lot more sleep than we did the first night when all three kids slept in one room on air mattresses. It's pretty tiny and it smells a little bit of wet dog, but at least there are window shades.

Back to the main house, there is a "great" room that runs the length of the three bedrooms and has undefined living, dining, and a small kitchen area:

By mistake I took a panoramic picture which included the Boy eating a slice of pizza. 

The focal point of the room has to be Dad's huge fid collection:

 What are fids? Sailors used them to split rope. The collection would be valuable, I am sure, if only anyone else wanted fids and if Dad hadn't destroyed the value by putting hooks in the top to hang them on the wall. Oh, woe is my inheritance.

Here is the view from the deck in the front of the house. You can see it's a working harbor. That's a lobster boat and the fishermen launch their skiffs from a wharf down the road and take them out into the deep water where their lobster boats are moored. I took the picture at about 9:30 am and the lobster men were already out to work, leaving the skiffs moored in the place of their boats. In the evening, when they come back, they'll moor the lobster boats and take the skiffs back to the wharf.

The island with the pine trees in the middle of the picture is called Slen's Island. The story is that a surveyor came around and asked a local the name of the island. It belonged to a man named "Len" so the local guy said, "It's Len's island." The surveyor heard it wrong and it got designated on maps as "Slen's Island." Poor Len and his near-miss at having a landmark in his name.

I hope you got a better feeling for where we're staying. I know that it has a definite Ewok Village feeling with all the little outbuildings. Somehow, though, all the little idiosyncratic touches make it homey. I think we're off for another minigolf game at the less-challenging course. That first course is considered the Augusta National of golf courses. They were even reluctant to let me and the girls play (wink, wink).


  1. I love it, especially the bunk house. That is a cool lantern. Beautiful view too! I don't see a TV. Are the kids unplugged? JMB spent 5 hours watching television -- yet another rainy day in the old ATL.

    Keep us posted.

    1. We are semi-unplugged. There is a television, but this is the first year Dad has had cable, so I conveniently neglected to tell the children in hope that they'd engage in imaginative play. The imaginative play mainly consisted of throwing a weighted yoga ball at each other, so I let them use the iPad.

  2. I'm impressed! Lots of charm but also, it seems, a lot of family togetherness! I'm not so sure this would be a doable scenario for moi & moi's side of the family tree. Have fun!

    1. You are very perceptive! Our family moved to a rental cottage yesterday. It's a short distance away, but gives us considerably more room.