This story might end with you falling asleep, but it will be completely intentional. How? Allow me to show you the little things that make me happy on a rainy Sunday afternoon, when the wind buffets the trees outside and the rain spatters at the windows. You'll be warm and cozy inside your house, a cup of coffee in hand and a book in your lap, because that is what we do in the northwest in the fall and winter, and it's bliss.
RealIy, I pinch myself to live where I do. The northwest region of the US is my biggest love in life. The evergreen trees, rocky beaches, gray skies and moss-lined forest trails are what I dream about, even as I live here! Add to that the book-loving, coffee and beer-drinking, bread-baking intelligentsia (a stereotype that is true about this place), and you've named my people, not just my community. I am a North-westerner through and through.
On the home front, I'm so in love with this place that I don't decorate to make my own house someplace else. I mean it isn't decorated as if I'd rather be on some far-flung trip; nope, it's as Northwest as you can get, right here. My ideal living environment is something I've rummaged from fond memories of University of Washington faculty houses I visited frequently as a kid. U of W professors seemed all to live in these mid-century modern homes (then called northwest contemporary) filled with books and leather furniture and draped in northwest coast art, animal skins (one of the professors was a well-known sea otter authority), and textiles. This specific 1970s-Seattle-university-professors' home is the look I am going for.
So where am I going with this? Today I'm sharing a few shots close to home, specifically--IN my home--and the little things that bring both pride of place and ideas for articles and blog posts. Because while I love exploring the region and meeting people as part of my job, I'm just as jazzed by the quiet of the space and the stories behind the things in my own house.
Take, for instance, the above photo of our covered deck, which sits mid-canopy in the surrounding trees, built off the main level of our house. Perched as we are above our sloped back yard with trees and shrubs all around, the deck was the place I thought of my very first published story on backyard birding with kids. In fact, the photo for this story shows the deck rails behind my son, who is chewing on his binocs when he should be looking through them! He can be forgiven; he was two at the time of that photo.
And then, of course, the birds. You may have noticed I have a thing for wild birds. We host chickadees, juncos, crows, towhees, song sparrows, northern flickers, crows, robins, varied thrush and the occasional warbler or grosbeak, along with the Coopers Hawks and merlins that predate these yard birds. They are all welcome in our yard. Below are a few photos of the most commonly seen.