Monday, March 10, 2014

Our (Rented) House on Hawaii Big Island

The family that built this house in 1947 still owns the house. We get to rent it for a week, something we've been doing every other year since 2010.

The house makes for great punctuation in our family's lives. We get to be with our nephews when they were 1 and 2, then 3 and 4, and now 5 and 6.

Starting with our first visit in 2010, we've defined the space as our's by displaying family pictures around the house. With each successive visit, we've included pictures from previous visits.

It's a good family vacation home on a big lot where the boys can play. The lot is right on the ocean, with tidal pools and turtles.

I love the big old-fashioned kitchen, the comfortable sitting room, bookcases full of books collected over 70 years, creaky stairs, and a huge lanai looking out on the Pacific.

So many vacation homes seem designed to make you feel you haven't left your home. This one has been done in the old Hawaii plantation style, with a big lanai, and effective cross ventilation. This location-sensitive design means there is neither air conditioning nor heating. There is a strong sense of place.

I like to keep each day simple. Just being together in a lovely place is enough for me for this week.

We're developing a sock puppet show. The sewing helps keep grandma busy, while we develop props, including a "live" volcano.

I enjoy preparing dinner, watching the sunset, then dining round the big table in the porch with windows on three sides.

I love to lie awake in the night to the sounds of the ocean crashing, and animals making their calls.

I'm a little sad we won't be back in 2016. The school year gets in the way; besides I'd like to broaden the experiences of our nephews. For 2016 I've picked out a castle close to where I grew up in the North East of England. We'll rent it for a reasonable price.

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