11 September, 2010
My heart ached when I realized in October of 2009 that my mom’s move into assisted living had completely driven the beloved annual tour of Cannon Beach cottages from my mind…so I determined to assuredly not miss it in 2010. Ironically, we got to the Tolovana neighbourhood on tour day to find the last tickets had been sold. It had never sold out before and I’d never fretted about the availability of tickets. I almost wept…and went into the restroom to compose myself, then went back out and asked the ticket seller if she could possibly make us an exception, that we had driven all the way from Ilwaco, and she so kindly gave us a sort of extra pass. She also told me it was because I was nice about it, that a woman who had yelled at her minutes earlier had been sent away with nothing. Thank goodness we got to go. I would have walked the neighbourhood till I saw a tour group and tried to hang on their coattails.
My mom had recently died.…And we were under the stress of waiting through a real estate deal ‘s slow progression on a double wide manufactured home on which we’d made an offer that very week. It had a huge double lot but I was having difficulty procressing the idea of no longer living in a cute cottage, after a lifetime of vintage houses. My identity was strongly wrapped up in our historic fishing shack and before that my Seattle Craftsman bungalow.
The cottages got to me emotionally more than usual (and I admit I generally tear up a bit at a really darling one).
I wrote nothing about the tour at the time and so cannot recreate much information about each individual cottage, so I hope the photos speak for themselves. (The tour guide says no pictures, but all the hosts said photo taking was fine, and the tour-goers were all taking pictures left and right!) I can but divide the cottages by number and hope I don’t get mixed up regarding the transition between each.
The first stop had two cottages, one a tiny guest house in the back yard. The feel of the main house was pleasant, but rather modern and did not especially thrill me.
main house bedrooms
The yard entranced me with its old fashioned circle of chairs…
a classic sit spot
And the shutters on the tiny cottage behind the main house filled me with joy. (And made me wonder if such shutters could transform a double-wide into less of a rectangular box. This was before I knew one must never, ever, “puncture the seal” of one’s double wide by drilling through the exterior…)
beachy sit spot reflected
rustic bathroom window, and bead board walls…true cottage even though the bath fixtures were too modernized
and ah, the view of the beachy sit spot…
On the walk between the first and second cottage stop, we saw…
a lovely garden
a birdhouse pole
a river rock wall
We then saw a perfect cottage complex for sale. Of course, being in Cannon Beach, it would cost a fortune. But what a compound: a cottage for me, a cottage for Allan, one for Stacey, one for Mary….What bliss that would be.
dreamy cottage compound
My eyes caught sight of a tower and I went down a side street and got as close a view as I could of its amazingness. Oh, the deep deep woe I felt when on the 2011 tour, I learned that this very tower had been on the 2009 tour, the one I missed.
We missed it….argh
Even the lot behind the tower of mystery, while shady and unphotographable, had an air of enchantment, and we could have walked through it…in 2009.
mysterious tower cottage landscape
Even more painfully, I learned that we had missed in 2009 the chance to see the inside of June Kroft’s cottage; she’s a famous Cannon Beach gardener whose garden I once visited and adored.
two: Windshell Cottage
tiny Windshell Cottage
Just the porch of the Windshell Cottage looked so promising.
by the porch window
Windshell Cottage became my favourite the moment I entered and saw the built in bookshelves.
A bunkroom provided plenty of room for guests.
The main bedroom had just about enough room for the bed, leading me to reflect on how much I love small, cozy spaces. I wanted to take a nap there.
The bathroom still had vintage features like the comfy clawfoot tub.
In the kitchen, a built in wall seat and painted glass front cupboards…
and a gorgeous room divider made from a long window….
room divider, kitchen side
living room side
living room and front door
Over the kitchen a skylight made the ceiling high and all sorts of fascinating objects were hung up there.
wabi-sabi skylight parasol
Lucky friends who got to use this cottage for the weekend!
Just outside the kitchen door we stepped out onto a deck.
We chatted with the owners on the deck and when I mentioned how the sleeping rooms seemed so conducive to naps, they told us about an old sign still on the side of the cottage…
In faded letters, it reads Nap Trap.
Fascinating in every detail, Windshell remains one of my cottages of dreams. Allan pointed out that on this particular tour, all the cottages were occupied only part time by the owners and the rest of the time rented out, so there was not the clutter of year round living that we experienced in our own tiny cottage. Still, the cuteness and quaintness of this cottage made me wonder if I were utterly mad to think I could cottage-ify our possibly future double wide home.
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