Friday, March 20, 2015

In The Birdhouse

Welcome to the Birdhouse!

Our little cottage is nicknamed "The Birdhouse." It's a play on the landlord's last name ("Vogel" means "bird" in Dutch), but coincidentally also specially meaningful to us.  There was an incident after Dan's cancer surgery, when he couldn't use his hands.  The drugs were making him starving hungry All.The.Time, but he couldn't feed himself without his hands, so he had to be fed.  He jokingly tipped his head back and opened his mouth wide and said, "I'm like a baby bird, FEED ME! Squawk!" So "Baby Bird" or simply "Bird" has also been his nickname, ever since, and the great blue heron has been his totem.  It seemed like an omen that our rental was going to be the perfect fit.

And perfect it was! Quiet when we needed quiet, social when we wanted a barbecue party with the renters in adjacent units, high-energy when we overheared the giggles of the owners' two young sons playing in the garden.  Most of all, a place for us to sit and think and restructure our priorities.  (Oh yeah, and sit in the breezy shade drinking wine and reading trashy novels. We did a fair amount of that, too.) We gained a lot of introspective time about streamlining, and having just the right amount of possessions.

So you can see what we mean, here are a few photos of the space.  Worthy of a "Tiny House" blog, it reminded us about how little we really need.  The bar has really been reset. My friend Cathy calls it "rebaselining:" after 13 years on the boat, owning a car, having infinite hot water for showers and drinking wine out of glass glasses instead of plastic feels like time in a luxury resort, instead of things we take for granted like we did when we lived in a house. Ironically, the apartment is only a foot or two longer, and a foot or two wider, than our boat.  Just as it is on the boat, our favorite place to be is outside, in the cockpit or on the porch.

The path to the front door.  And before you say that the roofline seems long for a "small, simple apartment," I'll explain that it shelters two apartments, plus a storage shed, under that roof.

The full kitchen fills one end of the main room.

And the "living room" sitting area spans the other end.

Queen-size bed, fun dresser.  There's a chair in the other corner.  Bathroom with a very nice walk-in shower is through the door.  And, a feature we've seen before here, one end of the bathroom is a spacious closet with both hanging space and shelves.

But here on the shady porch is really where we spend our time!

Hang out spot in the garden

And because the place is named the "Birdhouse," there are a few notes that reflect the "bird" theme, the design printed on a lampshade, or a painting in the bedroom, or small accessory. (The word "whimsical" was invented for this place, I'm sure.) My favorite is this key chain holder; loved it so much we searched it on Amazon and bought one for ourselves:

Then we had fun shopping for a few things to add.  Things that we'd need anyway, but extra points if we could correlate them with the bird theme.  The coffee mugs in the previous post, that inadvertently contained the important message "Simple Life, Happy Life" were one such find.  We also found beach towels; one with parrots, one with bird-of-paradise flowers.

And then the ultimate connection!  One day in the garden we met this baby bird!  When s/he grows up, s/he'll be a "chuchubi" (tropical mockingbird), much loved on the island.  But for now, s/he's just beginning to learn to fly, and chirping "peep, peep, peep" demanding a steady diet of bugs and worms from the parent birds.

Baby Bird! 

(P.S., the apartment is available for rent.  There is also a smaller studio apartment available, that shares the same garden.  There are more pictures of the apartments at the links.)

1 comment: