The First Story


Once upon a time, there lived a wide-eyed kindergartener whose favorite picture book was May I Bring a Friend? (Tea at the castle, anyone?). When she was eight years old or so, this imaginative child wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder after soaking up the pioneer spirit from all the Little House books. (Oh, the romance of the ‘olden days’ and the notion of homesteading!). Then, when she was ten she wanted to be Jewish after reading The All-of-a-Kind Family. (Such a warm rendition of a family bound together by traditions and sturdy principles!). All through her childhood this quirky girl who grew up in Northern California, marvelous as that was in so many ways, wondered about what it might have been like to live in another era, in another place entirely.

That curious (yes, you can ascribe both meanings) girl was, of course, me. I find that even in my advancing middle-age, not much has changed in terms of the themes of my life: I still put a premium on the love and support of family and friends, hold dear the charm of relics past, and relish the opportunity to provide hospitality. I didn’t need to convert to Judaism, survive in a completely self-sufficient manner, or own a castle in order to arrive at the place I find myself today, but taken together these early longings certainly seem to have informed my experience, shaping my growth and becoming the substance of whom I see myself to be. What has changed is the fact that I don’t so much want to live in any other time or place any more — I’m quite content with the ‘here and now’ of my life.

These themes carry through as well to inform the principles that I’m using to guide the planning and design of Acorn Lodge. Our aim is to create a place of haven for family and friends so that we may enjoy their company regularly. I want to create a setting that is nourishing and sustaining in the day-to-day, and for us that means designing a cosy and inviting space for all of our books (no small feat!), and furnishing said space with our collection of beloved antiques. And while we don’t need to be self-sufficient, we enjoy putting our time into gardening, cooking, and lately, brewing, so we want to incorporate the requisite space and equipment for these activities into the design as well. And we’re staying in Northern California — this erstwhile would-be time-travelling globetrotter is firmly convinced that there’s no place like home, and no time like the present!

Today is a gift — that’s why it’s called the present.

1450 White Oak Drive
An early view of the property — March 2014


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