A journal of sorts.

I am an avid photographer with a love for digital processing. The Bearded One and I have become "Townies" once again and are in the process of transforming our suburban nest into a peaceful refuge.
This blog is where I like to stash things. An assortment of random thoughts, a recipe or two, a few of my favorite photos, and the processing thereof.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How We Arrived

$800 Waterfront Studio Cottage, Fully Furnished
Date: 2010-03-01, 4:10PM PST

Live on a quiet saltwater bay with a magical outlook. This is a close-in, beautiful location 15 minutes from downtown  and 8-10 minutes from I-5. Rent includes electricity, propane, water, and garbage. No smoking.
 Private, small (600-sq. ft), shingled studio cottage is nestled in a forested setting and looks out on Oyster Bay. Architect designed and very cozy, this almost new cottage has a steel roof, skylights, and warm radiant floor heat. Separate entry hall opens into the main living space and to a wide staircase leading down to lower level. Big covered porch with barbecue and herb planters. 
UPPER LEVEL: Main living area is one 400 sq. ft., airy, high-ceiling room with beautiful bamboo floors. Very large, old, Frank Lloyd Wright style stained-glass interior window between main living area and stairwell. Cozy double-bed nook extends out from the living area. It has dimmable reading lights and windows on all three sides looking at the water and the forest. Sleek kitchenette is equipped with a superb gas cooktop, small convection oven, microwave, Cuisinart, espresso maker, etc. Stainless steel sink and countertop, small refrigerator, artistic track lighting.
LOWER LEVEL: Reached from the lovely, bookcase-lined stairway in the entry hall. Smooth, heated, Italian terracotta tile floor. Bathroom has a tiled shower, custom cabinets and stained glass windows. Washer and dryer, laundry folding area, closet space. Fully furnished and completely equipped with DVD player, dishes, glassware, silverware, cookware, cooking tools, small appliances, kitchen linens, sheets and towels, iron. Available immediately for $800/month; includes all utilities. Fully refundable security deposit of $800; non-refundable cleaning deposit of $300 to move in. Background/credit check required. No smoking. Sorry, no pets.

This is where it all began… A Craigslist ad.
I was home with an injury confined to sitting in front of the computer perusing the rental ads hoping to find a little house somewhere that we could hang our hat. Of course it was very premature. This is the first of March and our lease isn't up until June.
I stumbled upon this magical listing of a little piece of paradise. I read it aloud to The Bearded One who said "Yeah right, like that really exists." I was captured so I sent off this e-mail in response…

Would this be suitable for a quiet, semi retired couple that like to spend their time reading a good book and watching the world go by? Are you looking for longtime renters? Sounds like a little piece of paradise...Rhondi

Then knowing that it would be cast aside for want of "Seattle people" that just wanted to use it as a retreat I let it go.
And Then lo and behold I received this:

Dear Rhondi, this IS the perfect place to read and write and contemplate. The cottage was built to be a writer's studio. AND, this is definitely a little paradise, you are right. I am looking for long term renters who are simpatico with the place, and with whom I would also feel in sync. 
Two people have lived together here for a week or two at a time, because my past renters have mostly been people "on assignment" in Olympia, thus had a permanent life elsewhere. Two people would have to like each other! because it is a small space.
 Here us the usual deal-breaker: There is no Comcast here because I am right at the water. Likewise no TV signal. I have an air card associated with my cellphone which works great. Write me again if you are still interested. I look forward to hearing from you.
And this:

Dear Rhondi, I just replied from my phone (I am in Portland today) but now I'm on my laptop and I can do a better job.
First of all, I can send you pix of the exterior, if you want. Just let me know.
As you suggested and I corroborated, this really is a special place. The beach used to be a summer cabin enclave, so there were cabins every 200 feet or so hidden in the woods -- little, old, rustic cabins. Some are still here. A few people have built bigger houses, but the area still looks very much the way it did 50 years ago. It remains wooded because this is a protected shellfish production area, and preserving the upland forest cover protects the water quality. The beach is absolutely beautiful and one can walk for miles and miles and feel as though time as stopped. So few houses are visible from the beach, it is amazing. It's also a perfect place to row or kayak. No big boats come down the inlet this far because it is relatively shallow.The original cabin is still here, preserved and stabilized. I built a very small shingled "house" (cabin) next door to it in 1999. It is 870 sq ft and echos the look of the old cabin, as does the cottage that is for rent. The cottage is on higher ground than the old cabin and my cabin and has a much better view. It was built in 2005, and as I said in my previous message, it was built to be a writer's studio and then upgraded to be a living space. People have loved living there.
There are five acres, almost all wooded. The county road is 1700 feet up from the water, so it is quiet and private. My vegetable garden (which is huge) is up by the road, as is my garden/weaving shed. There is a boat shop mid-way down the driveway.
Let me know if you want me to send you more pictures. PS My renters (and I) have all had good internet connections with their air cards, and they all seemed to have subscriptions to NetFlix and watch movies! Verizon and AT&T both have good coverage here.

And So it began… Our Journey. A Cottage in the woods, with the smell of salt air and tide flats tickling our senses. (Of course at this point in the tale this is all just imagined and longed for.)
She said yes, we said yes and now we are waiting for the credit and reference checks to go through. As it stands we will be paying 500 per month for the next two months and then moving there full time in May. That will be perfect because Bearded One leaves the end of May, first of June for his trip to Oregon.
This will mean financial juggling and niggling with the numbers but we think a perfect investment of our efforts to bring a longtime dream into fruition.
Oh did I mention it is very small? We, actually I will be paring things down to an nats eyebrow. It will be the long awaited, long slumbering new me that's been waiting to emerge, to be set free from this fluffy emotional cocoon.

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