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Whidbey Island Landscapes


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A Place of My Own

This weekend we gave our two-year-old grandson his birthday present – an indoor playhouse.  It has a pvc-like pole frame with a canvas cover.  The minute the frame went up he ran inside and shouted, “My house, my house, yay, yay, yay!” Then the canvas cover went on and he was delighted to also have a door and some windows with curtains, both of which he could open or keep shut.  When you are two, and everyone else is making most of your decisions for you, how powerful to have a space where you decide who goes in and out.   It was totally heart-warming to have him so enjoy something we’d picked out for him.  Seriously though, I’m going to need to lose a few pounds and get busy with some stretching if I’m to share many snacks in that house!

This got me thinking about my own very early fascination and love of playhouses.  Somehow my grandparents had one in the yard, which to my horror got recommisioned as a pump-house.  My neighborhood friends and I built many tree houses.  My interest in buildings continues to this day, in all sizes from Versailles to cozy little guest houses and chicken coups.

To some degree, my guess is that this desire for your own space, where you alone orchestrate at least a little corner of life is universal.  Many of those needs and desires are met in outdoor spaces as well – boundaries, efficient use of space, movement from one area to another, safety, warmth or cooling, privacy, views, a place to cook or sit,  to name a few.  For some reason I’ve never liked the phrase “garden rooms.”  Too catchy, I guess.  But I understand the idea.

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Sometimes less is more

Last weekend we saw Book-it Theater’s production of Sense and Sensibility.  All of the productions we have seen there have been excellent – Jane Eyre, Cider House Rules.  The hallmark of their style of theater is that the play comes from a book and the narrative is spoken as dialogue by the characters in the production.  It’s an unusual technique, but one that makes the experience all the richer.  Another hallmark of their plays, at least the ones I have attended is the spare set – a window here, a curtain there, a few essential props.  This focuses your attention on the characters and the story.

We had some time before the play to wander the Seattle Center grounds.  Here’s a beautiful old locust.  (Notice the crutches.) With just the lawn under it, you appreciate the trunk and interesting branch silhouette. 

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