This post is for my good friend Linda, who writes some of the most honest, from-the-gut stories, including This House. She may be the last person I know who has not sold their soul to the Facebook devil, so she is missing out on the photos I've been posting to my author site there. On our Sunday check-in last week, she said she feels like she is having trouble picturing me where I am. This post is for her, and for Cherry, who always dreamed of a house on the beach.
(NOTE: Some photos have already run on Facebook.)
The house is accessible only by boat, through a network of canals or a dock on the beach. This is the marina where the boat lives, where pufferfish and upside down jellies hang out in the dock and the dogs greet you.
THE FRONT YARD
Our rental house is made of Honduran pine, with a long, screened front porch on the southern facing front of the house that opens into both the bedrooms and the main room. Our bedroom faces east, so we get great morning sunshine, the wind frequently blows from that direction, and ocean views.
Piper's room is on the other side of the house. It is also the only room with an air conditioner. Some nights when there is no breeze we all drag our mattresses in here and crash. Eleven years later, the family bed lives on!
The boys have been waiting their whole lives for their own bedrooms. They were so excited to hear that this would come true for them in Honduras, that there were two separate sleeping lofts on either side of the living room, each with its own full-size bed. Their clothes and the two foster kitties are really enjoying having their own rooms upstairs; the boys sleep with Pip.
The main room of the house is hard to photograph. For one, there is an abundance of rattan, etched glass, wicker furniture and rust-speckled brass ceiling fans that are nothing I would choose. Also,the sun that pours in through the front porch backlights everything. Just know there is a big room, that looks out to the porch and the ocean, some furniture nobody sits on, a dining room sideboard loaded up with our school stuff, and two sets of staircases leading up to the sleeping lofts, and above that, to the aerie at the top of the house.
THE FRONT PORCH
We spend a good part of every day out on the screen porch. Kids lounge on the bed or in the hammock, we exercise here, play chess, craft or paint at the outside table, and basically enjoy the breeze and the views.
We frequently have mango smoothies and cheese and crackers out here, drink our coffee on the porch, and store our multitude of watersports equipment and growing shell collections here.
It is definitely the most used, multipurpose space in the house.
The most recent art project was inspired by a funky piece of driftwood Piper found, and the dozens of little glass drug vials we find on the beach. Using wire, sea glass and shells, we created La Medusa, a funky jellyfish windchime.
We have also made four huge found-art glass bottle, shell and driftwood windchimes that hang in the trees out on our beach. The sound these make when the wind blows from the east is like a very festive dinner party with lots of toasting. I immediately associate this with good things, since windy days mean no bugs.
The windchime project also gives an ongoing purpose to any glass we find washing up and a way to display treasures.
When the weather is good, we spend more time outside than in. Pelicans and egrets fly by regularly. The dogs hang out and the kitties take dust baths.
We snorkel and visit the three octopi who live in the shallows right off the house. Max practices cursive in the sandy front yard with sticks. Piper collects treasure for our crafts. They all catch geckos and hermit crabs while I hang laundry. We make campfires, do sun salutations, climb trees and roast coconuts. I am loving our beach life on the quiet side of the island.