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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Waves




My gentle Puck, come hither.  Thou rememberest
since once I sat upon a promotory
and heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
that the rude sea grew civil at her song
and certain stars shot madly from their spheres
to hear the seamaid's music?

~Excerpt from A Midsummer Nights Dream~



     There are times when we walk upon the beach that I am entranced by the waves as they break.  To watch them begin far from shore, the rise of the swell, the wondering how big the wave will grow.  I have seen what might become a huge wave only to flow forward in a soft break where the sea foam sizzles into the sand.  Perhaps the next shall rise up as though a sea serpent lurks beneath the deep blue depth.  And then you see it.  The powerful build up of the swell that grows and grows and the crest of the wave rises higher until it can no longer contain it's purpose of grappling the smooth sand that awaits.  

    




     I have embraced the calm sea that quiets my soul.  Felt the chill of the fog that circles toward land, encompassing my human frame as it finds the slimmest of passages through my clothes.  I shiver not just for this cool unseen hand that makes goose bumps rise, but for how alive I feel by the unknown presence this vast sea embodies my weaknesses and my strengths.  All without words. 

     I am here.  
        Empty me. 
            Fill me hypnotic sea dream.



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Naming a cottage






Come my love and live with me
In a sweet little cottage by the sea
Where roses grow around the door
And flowers bloom for evermore
Inside my cottage clean and neat 
A big brick fireplace will give out heat
Outside the birds will sing all day
And on the beach the children play
So come my love to the cottage by the sea
And see how happy we will be.
~ Esme Shaw ~

        When we became the owners of this home, by happenstance it had no name.  My first thought was we would be able to give it a name of our own choosing!   What luck we did not have the possibility of the home having a name we disliked for it is rumored to be bad luck to change a name of a home, which sounds much like changing the name of a boat.

      So began a list of names that we kept on a pad of paper on our desk.  Our first name that we both liked had much to do with our most recent trip to France which was "Maison de la Mer".  It stayed at the top but we both were not committed to saying "Yes!".  Some we found were already used on other homes.  Tim thought of  "Tucked Away" in thoughts of Tucker our Sheltie and because the home seemed tucked in the woods and below the street level, however, there was a cottage barely a block away with that name.  Then there was the name "Tir Na Nog" that our daughter Erin thought of which in old Irish is a name for place in the "otherworld" that is the home of everlasting youth, health and joy.  I did like this for its meaning but I also felt it might be hard to say or spell for our visitors.  

    Then almost six months later the name "Sea Song" clicked.  It wasn't on our list but music is a bit of spiritual love with my daughters and I.   From our tucked in spot we can hear the waves faintly in the distance as they crash upon the shore. We hear the song of birds and of children playing in the nearby park.  All these create a peaceful, happy place for Tim and I when we are there.  





     The sign has a short clandestine story.  We were down one weekend with some friends and the two men had taken a walk with the dogs down to the beach.  They both came back saying they had found the perfect piece of driftwood to make the sign.  My first thought was if they could take a piece of driftwood from the beach.  Many questions and answers flew amongst us but in the end the men both confessed to having ditched the piece of wood under some bushes and they were set to pick it up.  The payback of this wood is when Tim placed it in the back of the car it reeked to high heaven like cat pee.  Or at least that is what my nose sensed.  He scrubbed it down thoroughly before we came home and that must have worked because there were no unpleasant scents on the drive home.

   Tim sanded a flat surface that we might place our letters of which we found pre-made ones online where you could choose your own font.  Then it was a matter of finding the right shade of sea-blue-green which gratefully was easy to blend and create.

   Where to hang our newly repurposed sign for the first timers trying to find our obscure cottage in the woods, we did have a differing of opinion between us.  Tim thought it would look best nearest the corner to our property, on a tree above the small path above the cottage.  I found it to be hard to see if you were driving by as you would need to crane your neck up to see it.   He was convinced it was the perfect place and I graciously decided to give it try.  Compromise.

    The day we were to come home we discussed moving the sign and Tim gallantly agreed that perhaps my idea of placing the sign on the tree nearest our driveway might be a better spot.  Once more he pulled out the ladder removed it from the previous tree and placed it on the large pine tree that secretly I just knew was "the sweet spot".

 

This is indeed our Happy Place

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sea Song Movie Night ~ Jaws!


   Oh come on!   It's summer and what would summer mean without thinking of sun, sand, heat, sunbather's, and sharks!

    It was released June of 1975, the year I would become a senior in High School and up until then I had no problem with being in the ocean.  My dear friend Amy was visiting me from Pennsylvania and we went to see it with my then boyfriend and future husband Tim, his dad and his brother at a matinee.  I had no idea what to expect other than a movie about a Great White Shark that wreaks mayhem and fear in a small coastal town.  It was the blockbuster film for summer and  it lived up to every gory, nightmare inducing, fear of what lies below the surface of water moment that would alter how we look at sharks forever.

    This was one of my favorite scenes.....




The music.....just hearing those deep notes sent me gripping the theater seats.


 


   I must have jumped out of the seat a dozen times during that movie and the boys thought it was a hoot.  Scream?!  Yes!  Heart racing?  Yes!  A part of me kept hoping it would end soon and yet it kept going and more bodies and more blood.  A bit like being on a roller coaster and realizing that maybe you should't be on that ride.  Somehow Amy and I survived the ordeal.

   We went back to Tim's parents home where his mom had made an Angel Food Cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.  It sort of soothed my stressful afternoon.  The boys of course had to share the highlights of the movie with Betty and relay how Amy and I were scared of everything that happened whenever music or the shark came into a scene.

    Did I ever watch the movie again?  Years and years later I did, at home, on our by today's standards little TV.  The movie still gets to me.

Happy 4th of July!

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Continuing Bed Saga



     When at  first you don't succeed try, try again. With that in mind the search for our bed was hot on my mind as I scanned images of  "high beds, headboard and footboard, wood beds, country, cottage" for ideas.  I would find one only to find it cost a pretty penny. The next one on closer inspection would look cheap.   Then one popped up that sounded and looked wonderful. It was a bit more than I had hoped it would be but not so much that I wouldn't consider it.

     It had been hard to find a bed that would blend well with the steal of a deal cabinet I had found for $50 on Craigslist that looked good with the previous bed.   I dreaded telling Tim that my intent was to resale it and go a different direction if only because when we picked it up it weighed so much even if was big enough to hold a 40 inch TV easily.  The thought of loading it on our truck and moving it to Carmel then unloading it to our bedroom filled me with apprehension. I can help move furniture but when they reach a certain weight or their size is beyond me I'm ready to call anyone we know to help.

     When my brain goes into hyper drive I gather ideas and images that fuel the inner decorator in me. Tim was all onboard with the new bed I showed him and he thought he would ask a friend of ours whom happens to own a furniture store if he might be able to order it.   Good luck was going our way!

     I had found my duvet and shams via eBay of which had been stored in a closet right after we closed escrow.  I was chomping at the bit with impatiences and clearly would be waiting at least a month till the new bed arrived.  

     At the four week mark the bed had not arrived. Darn.  At five weeks we got the call the bed was in and our friend had unpackaged it to make sure it was in tip top shape. Yes!  We scheduled it to be delivered the following weekend along with some recent furniture finds from our home in Danville. My latest inspiration was to bring our tall natural pine armoire that we have had for the better part of 30 years to use in our bedroom in place of the previous Craigslist cabinet. Also two reproduction farmhouse bedside tables I had inherited from my parents home. Tim loved that I was taking some extra items we already had.

     He drove down ahead of me to meet the furniture store truck and I followed down a bit later, just as before. Like a repeating nightmare Tim called with the bad news. Say it isn't so, but it was an Eastern King!!!!!  I was once again disappointed and even mad since we both had reiterated that it needs to be a Cal King.  By the time I arrived in Carmel the bed was gone to be returned and reordered. Tim kindly took a photo for me to see how it would have looked.  I sighed with the dream of when we would have a bed to sleep upon.

    Let's fast forward another five weeks and at long, long last our bed is in place.



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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sea Song Sunday Movie Night ~ The Lightkeepers

    I'm on vacation visiting Cape Cod and I thought of a movie that was filmed in the area called "The Lightkeepers".  I do adore films of vintage times and this one has that with actors I have enjoyed over the years.   Watch the trailer and see if you too might want to see the entire film. Richard Dreyfuss, Blythe Danner, Bruce Dern and Mamie Gummer are delightful and the scenery on the Cape might give you thoughts of taking a trip here in the near future.



Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sea Song Sunday Movie Night ~ The Secret of Roan Inish



    We have a trip planned for late Summer to Scotland and this movie came to mind even though it is filmed in Ireland.  If you haven't watched "The Secret of Roan Inish" I highly recommend you do.  I adore good story telling and this clip I'm sharing is one fine one from the film.  This gift of a film is about selkie folklore and if you love mythical creatures along with moody Irish scenery you shall not be disappointed.

     I leave one more clip of a lovely song sung in the movie....enjoy......




Friday, June 3, 2016

Sea Spirit




I smile o'er the wrinkled blue
Lo! the sea is fair,
Smooth as the flow of a maiden's hair;
And the welkin's light shines through
Into mid-sea caverns of beryl hue,
And the little waves laugh and the mermaids sing,
And the sea is a beautiful, sinuous thing!

     ~ excerpt from The Sea Spirit by Lucy Maud Montgomery~

     
    One weekend with our first houseguests, we took a picnic to the Carmel River State Beach.  It was quiet being late Winter, but even so there were a few brave souls in swimsuits at the waters edge.  It's not a beach to be taken lightly as the waves can be huge and pounding on the shore.  The mommy in me did have concern for the children when the sea foam flowed in swiftly where they were prancing on their toes.  They had no care in the world as they splashed back with their slim arms, teasing the sea.


     What a lovely place!  From left to right your eye wanders and seeks the relentless swells that surge towards the beach.  How big will the next wave be?  There is a fair clip to the wind and as the waves crest a steady spray sweeps back to the sea.  I have great respect for waves.  I've been tumbled over and under as a teen near Santa Cruz attempting to body surf.  You sense and wait for the water to recede then you struggle to rise as the surge going out pulls on your body.  Spewing sea water, as I somehow always got plenty in my mouth, and wondering how much sand is in my bathing suit.  I was never very good at body surfing, still I'm amazed that I tried as the water is quite cold.  But this beach is not for body surfing.  No sir.  As if on cue, a lifeguard walks about telling people not go in the surf.  


     To the left in the distance you can see the Santa Lucia Mountains that rise sharply as they go along the coast towards Big Sur and beyond.  Extending your vision slightly towards the right you can see the incredibly beautiful Point Lobos State Park.   Moving ones eyes back to the left is the Carmel River inlet and lagoon.  It is here that as a child I came with friends and played upon it's shores.  I don't know if one is allowed to play as we did in the lagoon but back in the 60's it was safe and perfect to make sand castles, or float in the water on a big black inner tube.  We didn't have colorful pool floats that we all seem to have these days.  Several of us could cling to the edge of one, kicking joyfully all the while.  We never went far being so young.  I suppose our parents must have made it clear where our limits of paddling around were. 


     The weather changes rapidly from warm, to cool, to quite windy and back to warm.  I never know what to wear when we come to our Carmel home.  I'm learning, slowly, to bring a bit of everything but also to remember it will never get as hot as back in Danville on a summer day.  My friend and I brought our cameras and take photo after photo of what draws our eyes as well as our creative spirits.  

    
     

     We walk to the right of the shore towards the rocks that seem to rise to enormous proportions on the point.  I have climbed these rocks many, many times in my youth.  I had forgotten how the ocean swell is right on the other side and how miraculously I never fell in!  Apparently I'm becoming a wimp with age.  I climb here and there, cognizant of my hesitate state of clambering, excusing myself since I'm carrying my camera around my neck and don't wish to bang it on the rocks.  Ha!  I see how rusty I am at climbing!  

    I treasure each time we are here by the sea.  For here my heart opens in ways that I'm just beginning to understand.  Maybe a healing of my spirit.  Maybe a door that has opened for my recent writer's block.  Maybe a place where my Love and I find a deeper level for our relationship.   

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sea Song Sunday Movie Night ~ A Summer Place


     It might have been a foggy sunset when we drove down to the Carmel Beach but that provided a tranquil view of an almost empty sandy shore.  A half dozen surfers sat on the gently rolling swells waiting for waves to catch off in the distance.  Couples doted the scattering benches above the beach on Scenic Avenue watching the sun melt to the sea.  Sometimes evenings like this you feel like it is your private beach.



    The movie A Summer Place came to mind.  Not because of the fog but because of the filming in Carmel and Pacific Grove.  Here's a clip of some scenes and of the theme song.   Hope you find someone to cuddle up with and watch the whole movie.....

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Sea Song Movie Night ~ Silly Symphony Merbabies


     It's Sunday!  When I was growing up that meant Wonderful World of Disney which I faithfully watched.  Why not have this day feature a Sea / Ocean / Beach clip from a movie?!  First Sunday of Sea Song Cottage blog shall be a Silly Symphony (how I adored Silly Symphony cartoons) of Merbabies.   Sit back, and for tonight let your inner child out.........


Thursday, May 19, 2016

First weekend


“Because there's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, 
no matter how many times it's sent away.” 
~ Sarah Kay ~


     Coming back to our cottage after we had signed papers and received the keys, had to wait till after the holidays.  First of all there was not a bit of furniture in the cottage unless you count the bench in the front garden and some worn chairs on the upper patio.  No we couldn't really entertain and honestly I wanted to be at home with all my family.

    There were many nights of waking up with my thoughts running over how I would decorate our new place.  It was rather daunting for several weeks and then one night I decided to fall to sleep thinking of one room at a time.  Somehow I was able to get my rest and not feel overwhelmed by the project at hand.  My creative juices flowed!  I was determined I could do this using Craigslist and every sale I could patiently wait for.

   We hired a painter to come do all the interior except for bathrooms, closets and doors.  We both agreed the color that was on the walls already was the perfect shade of white.  Lucky for us we were able to match the existing paint and how easy that decision was.  At first I started with our bedroom.  I thought that should be the first one done. First splurge would be our bed.  I knew the exact one and though it was an online purchase I felt certain all would go well.  Several weeks later the bed arrived to our house in Danville where we stowed it in the barn till we could take it down to Carmel.  Out of the box it looked perfectly wonderful!

   Jump forward 6 weeks later when we had the mattresses delivered and Tim could bring a load of furniture too.   I drove down a bit later excited to see the bed in place.  About an hour down the road and my cell phone rings.  Tim says that the mattresses arrived and he was able to have the guys help him set up the bed.  I asked how it went in and he said great.  A pause.  He asks me what size bed frame did we order and with that I knew there was a problem.  I knew I ordered a King but here is the issue with King beds.  There is the Eastern King (wider and shorter) or the Cal King (longer and a bit narrower).  I had just assumed that my order was the right size since it did not say Eastern King.  I failed to note the measurements and it was quickly diagnosed that the King I ordered was indeed an Eastern King which is not common in California.

    The rest of my drive was disappointing since I started trying to figure out how on earth did I not pay attention to the measurements.  Then I hoped there would not be a problem in returning it since we had it for 6 weeks.   My smiles reappeared as I drove over the crest of the highway when I saw the glorious Monterey Bay.  All was going to be well.  Just relax.

    Tim showed me the bed put together and it looked just as I had hoped it would.  Then of course we tried the box springs, just because he wanted me to see the problem (which I already understood but I went along with the demonstration).  I made my phone calls and thankfully there was no hitch for it to be returned but I would have to pay the shipping fee.  My loss was the shipping both ways.  Darn.   Of course the online store does not carry a Cal King so I was put back to the task of finding a new bed frame.

    It was our first time sleeping in the cottage.  Our mattress was set up on the floor a la 60's hippie style.  The dogs loved that they could jump up and down off the bed whenever they wanted.  This bed was perfect for them!  And in the end it was a perfect weekend for us to celebrate our new home ownership of our second home.  How fortunate and grateful we were.

     Loading the bed back on the truck was a tad scary for me as I reminded Tim I was not a mover and I didn't want to hurt myself.  I also wanted to make sure we didn't damage it before it could be returned.   He then brought out mover's straps (what a great invention!) which helped immensely.



  Our first weekend was full of sunshine and it was even mildly warm which for January was unexpected.  We found our way down to the beach via the quaint neighborhoods and small pathways that looked like dead end streets but some had little gardens, wood stairs, and even a foot bridge.  For me, there is nothing quite like the fresh ocean breeze as it sweeps up from the rolling waves.  Carmel is less busy with the tourist trade in the winter months but being that it was a lovely weekend there were many strolling along with kids, dogs or just couples perhaps on a romantic weekend.  The water in deep shades of blue to the sea glass blue-green as a wave crests before it falls to the beach in crisp white spray to the sandy shore.  Tucker and Stewie could not have been more happy.  They had never been to the beach and what with all the other dogs and people they wagged their tails constantly.  Tucker barked and barked as though he wanted to make sure everyone saw him!  It was pretty silly and at first Tim was telling him to be quiet until I said to let him bark.  Why ever not?  He just loved this place with all his doggy heart.



 
   

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Beginnings



Beginnings.....

   There is a hushful silence when my eyes slowly open.  The curtains are drawn but the soft light of day gently lightens our bedroom from the lofty uncovered window above our bed.  Peace is in every essence of my being.

   A whimper from Stewie lets me know it is time to rise and let he and Tucker outside.  I wrap my robe around me as I walk out of our bedroom, silently closing the door behind me so my sleeping Love may slumber and to the tall glass and wood doors that open to the front of our home.  Morning sounds of subtle immersion awaken my senses.

  Which sense brings the smile to my face? It is my eyes or ears?  My eyes see tall pine trees, redwoods and then closest to our home the pink jasmine running along our fence that encloses our front garden.  Happy.  This is my happy place.

     My ears hear birdsong for the birds too are waking up to a new day.  Just barely I can hear the sea as the waves break upon the beach.  I wonder how high they are this time of morning.  I look forward to when we have a table and chairs out here to sip my coffee but for now I have two hungry dogs looking at me hopefully and a "hurry up!" yip from Tucker who wants his breakfast asap.


Sea shell, sea shell
Sing a song for me
Sing about the ocean
Tell me about the sea.
~unknown~


     This home my Love and I are smitten with.  From the first time we walked through it we knew it called us, asked for us, to be ours.  Afterward we sat upon the beach with our picnic lunch and talked of what we should do.  We hadn't expected to find a place so quickly!  Yet we both felt that we needn't look further.  Sitting there looking out at the white sandy beach, watching kids, adults, dogs happily enjoying the warm sunny day brought us both full circle of these past several years that had been of ups and downs over grief with the loss of our parents.  It isn't easy accepting they have passed away and that we must continue as the elders now.  Stepping forward is awkward at times yet we have each other to fall upon and pick the other up, give the long embrace, hold onto and count our lucky stars that we have each other.  

     With that one day we took our first steps to a new home.  For me it was a coming home.  I played upon the beaches of Carmel in my childhood, clambering on the rocks near the Carmel River State Beach or paddling around in the river with my friends.  Shopping with my mom in the shops off Ocean Avenue or taking family friends sightseeing in the area.  It felt like home already.    

     When our children were growing up, my parents often rented the lovely old home "Steelaway" and we would come to visit with them, where they too built a memory of happy times in this beautiful area.   

     I'll come back....  The wish I had when we moved away from Salinas all those years ago and now it is real.



 
  This too is a new beginning.  A new blog that shall be inspired by our new getaway Sea Song Cottage with whimsy and words, photos and poems, decorating and recipes, a getaway of the mind.  Welcome...