My House as a Life Chapter One


My house has been added on to so many times we have truly lost track of the square footage….probably close to 4000.

But she was just a one bedroom cabin in her youth. Born in 1908, she was picked up off her foundation and moved up the hill in the 1930’s because she was sinking due to the underground springs beneath her.

She is by far, the oldest house around for many miles. I bought her in 1975 for $40,000.

Now, she has 6 rooms upstairs (2 bedrooms, a bathroom, office, living room and kitchen) and 9 rooms downstairs (3 more bedrooms, 2 more bathrooms, another living room, a laundry room, a kitchenette, and a large Therapy Group room/office). There is also a music/workout room in process making it 10 rooms downstairs.

She has 32 windows. From 20 of those, you can see other windows in the house.

Just think about that for a minute.

She is seriously, quite a character.


From this window I can see…


this window


And many other windows provide visual connections throughout the house.

It is often how I find my cats. I just check their favorite windows….

My House as a Life-preface (for Badfish and his Buddy Duncan)

Dear Badfish, my favorite Blogger,

You , me, David Attenborough and Barbara Kingsolver…the Hermit Crab Connection. I love how you seem to be able to make a home for yourself wherever you travel. I, on the other hand, am only completely at ease in my own house.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my house lately. I think I may be ready (finally) to write about it. I will title it “My House as a Life”. (Have you seen the movie “Life as a House”? )

But I will have to tell it in chapters. Here’s the preview.

Young woman with small child, left by husband so he could move in with secretary….

Oh wait, that could not sound more boring. It happens every day.

How about this?

Young woman, abandoned with small child, fights to keep the family homestead…

Better, but not particularly enticing. Sally Field and Cissy Spacek already showed us this story in their great triumph movies! (Places in the Heart and The River)

Wait, I know.

Reformed Hippie returns to her Sixties roots and shares home with 52 people and 16 animals over 40 year period. Stories abound.

Yeah, that’s where I’ll start.

The Hermit Crab connection? Well, they have this amazing system for replacing their homes when they have outgrown them. (see Attenborough and Kingsolver connection below)

But you know what, there is no antonym for the word “outgrow”. If there were, it would describe where I am in my life, and where many of my baby-boomer generation are also. This is a problem in our culture. We are living so much longer than our ancestors that we don’t even have words to capture many of the  dilemmas we now face.

Like the fact that I have “ingrown” my home.

I wonder what the Hermit Crabs do as they age………….

I only know I have to write about it….


I had no idea what a process I was interrupting when I collected these empty shells on the beaches in Fiji.

Watch David Attenborough explain. One Of my favorite all time videos!!!


And as for Kingsolver….

(It says I can not reproduce this but can I legally include this link??)

Trailer for “Life as a House”