Going to the Beach House

If there was ever a house that fulfilled all the requirements of a beach house it is this one. It is not my beach house. I only borrow it when I walk along this particular beach. I fear that, during a winter storm, a high tide will take it out to sea. But each time I return, the beach house is still there, as if taunting its precarious position along the eroding shoreline.

I sometimes imagine the vacation drama of the residents. Maybe they have had a squabble and he comes and sits in a chair on the porch, brooding over his hurts, with his smoldering heavy-lidded eyes gazing out to sea. Or maybe a fine meal of crab from their crab nets has been savoured and they bring their guests out on the porch as the sun sets, swirling and sipping deep red wine, in over large glasses. Then she offers to make fresh ground dark roast coffee to go with a blackberry crumb and homemade ice-cream. The spell breaks. The guests realized they have become chilled in the evening air. One by one they retreat again, into the warmth of the spacious beach house.

I like to admire this dwelling from the public sands, making up these stories fitting for such a splendid beach house. My musings, as I map these scenarios, feel just a little like trespassing through a church yard. It is public space but I know I am walking on sacred ground.

Sprout Question: What stories are amusing you?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

36 thoughts on “Going to the Beach House

    • Good day Scott! As you may have guessed, I deliberately didn’t say where it might be. I figured that was part of protecting its sacred space. But is you live on Mayne Island or visit Mayne Island it won’t be too hard to find. I also didn’t need to work too hard to have it be inviting. It is. No help from me required.

  1. Oh I used to do that a lot with houses when I was travelling… When I lived in NC teaching, the route I took home from work went past a part of town full of what I thought of as ‘Steven King houses’ 😉 FULL of atmosphere…& as for beach houses, I got to the Outer Banks & the feeling of being at the mercy of nature was overwhelming on some stretches of road…my imagination went into overdrive looking at some of the amazing properties there, perched so vulnerably on their stilts. Thanks for the memories you just triggered 🙂

  2. Thank you 🙂
    Art is proving something of a lifeline, especially recently, I was pretty low last night, so I’m glad something positive came out of it. Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Terrill – I can just SEE the word picture you’ve painted, “…brooding over his hurts, with his smoldering heavy-lidded eyes gazing out to sea.” Fantastic!

    Sprout Question: What stories are amusing you?

    Every time I go to the airport I build in time to “people watch” and make up stories about the people on the flights that are coming and going. From love affairs, to estrangements, to family illness, to espionage …

    • Laurie I love to do that too! I even do it when taking the city bus or the big ferry between Victoria and Vancouver. On the little ferries I can usually perk my ears enough to get the real scoop. Yes, my undergraduate degree was in Sociology:)

      One time I would have done anything to have a camera in my hand as a young well-dressed couple were dining by a floor length window next to the street in a softly lit restaurant. She crossed her long bare legs, with toes tucked into high-heeled pumps, to one side the table legs. He turned his sharply pressed suit panted legs to the other. Each sipping a glass of wine, talking and looking past each other off into the distance…. each with a cell phone clad to their ear.

      Oh the fun I have had making up stories about this scene!

  4. What Fun! It’s a most enchanting and Lovely beach house, and your story engaging, Terrill!

    Sprout Question: What stories are amusing you?

    The cultural ones, viewing things through a different lense, or attempting to anyway.. 🙂 Thanks for the continued great questions

  5. It’s family legends and tales from the past that have captured my imagination as of late. In the 50s, in the small community of my birth, an escaped con lived in a nearby bush. He was resourceful –building a lean-to out of found items, shopping at night using stolen keys. Still today, he remains a cult anti-hero. It’s his story that I would like to capture –possibly as a Young Adult novel.
    Thank you for the beautiful photo. And you know it’s going to drive me crazy trying to solve your mystery –whose house is it? Please don’t tell me I’m enjoying being a slueth. : )

  6. Oh Terrill – I love the scene about the couple you came back and shared. Ohhhhhh, there’s lots of potential there and it could go many, many ways! Calls to divorce attorneys (divorce from each other), calls to spouses informing them of an affair, calls to money launderers regarding expected funds from an as-of-yet undiscovered art heist they just pulled at a very upscale party they attended … this could get very juicy, indeed!

    • Yes indeed Laurie…. I am leaning towards the art heist at the moment and it was of my work. So now I have to provide high resolution images for the international media of all the pieces stolen because it is going to take a global effort to catch them! Images of my work are being shown on networks everywhere. And twitter is trending #art stolen with links to my website. Oh drats! This happened too long ago….. well, on to another scenario.

      There is something deeply satisfying about these “let’s pretend” games. Thanks for playing Laurie… and you are darn good at it!

  7. Dear Terrill,

    This is a great photo. But I love all your photos, really. I will one day soon, find the right words to depict all the emotions they evoke, perhaps even without trying.

    Okay, first let me get mindclutter stories out of my head. I love this website. I explored here when I first began following you awhile back, even before I knew you painted, thought you mainly did photography. I liked the engagement of the comments—they only inspired the reader more—and brought more to the question you posted. I didn’t realize it was a space to ‘share’, a community of sorts. So, this is just lovely. And thank you for welcoming me.

    Now, the sentence I enjoyed most is: “My musings, as I map these scenarios, feel just a little like trespassing through a church yard. It is public space but I know I am walking on sacred ground.” Boom! Wow. Standing ovation. So, well articulated.

    Sometimes the stories I write are a way for me to honor the wind and the ocean. Sometimes they are borne out of my imagination and musings like you mention above: “I sometimes imagine the vacation drama of the residents.”

    But the stories are all really ours in the end. Who doesn’t know of the vacation drama? Or know of someone close who has endured it?

    I wrote a story recently called Maat: it is of trees, mothers, and stories we think we have forgotten and are yet looking for.

    gratitude for this space.


    • Yes Annie Creative Potager is a place to share… and “a community of sorts.” I crave creative conversations and conversations about life in general. I started this blog as a way to partially fill that need. People who visit and comment are encouraged to share aspects of their work which relate to the theme or intention of the post and the sprout question. Sometimes, if I have time or if someone is new, I will go to a commenter’s site to see if I can help make that connection.

      And as I already commented on your post Annie, Maat is an incredible story. Dear readers, you are going want to slip by and have a read.

  8. Terrill, I can’t begin to tell you how much I look forward to your new posts showing up in my mailbox….they NEVER disappoint! Finding your blog has been an “end of the rainbow” experience, and I’ve been pointing other creative souls in your direction for weeks now. Thanks for all you do, and are!

    • Sydnee it is you then that is responsible for an increase in new visitors! I was wondering what was going on. I thought maybe everyone was just back from summer vacation:) Thank you for the shout outs and I am so glad you are enjoying the posts. I have been back to browse your latest “Confession” post a couple of time. Make sure you drop in and let us know when you get the next one up.

  9. Wonderful beach house and story. Such creative thoughts expressed and wonderful way of weaving words together. This really made me smile after a long day 🙂 Now I need to dream up some stories of my own…

    • Thanks Mary. Hey I notice that you are doing art trading cards for an art retreat. Have you been trading cards for very long. I got a set of small canvas that are good for oil paints from my step-daughter as part of my birthday gift. I have done one trade with an artist who lives near me but nothing more than that. Can you tell us about your experience?

  10. Well with this post, where landmarks or locations are pondered, I think of stories sets on islands. The film SHUTTER ISLAND immediately comes to mind, but “Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell, “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding and “The Cay” by Theodore Taylor are books I have always revered, and think of in island, seashore settings.

    But a beautifully-penned description of what you envision here!

  11. oh this is all so interesting…I shall surf over to read the story in a little while 🙂 I love people watching, so does my Mum. Often when we eat out together we spend more time tuning in to the conversations of others rather than focusing on our own 😉
    BC is without a doubt my favourite province btw. Our relatives in Ontario still subscribe to the Beautiful BC magazine for us every year. Your scenery is stunning…

    • Sand, I have lived in BC my whole life and I still appreciate discovering its beauty. When I drove my daughter across Canada to take her and belongings to McGill University in Montreal, I was surprised at how flat Canada is except for B.C. I knew it was flat and large but I had no real concept of what that meant until travelling for days across the country.

  12. “smoldering heavy-lidded eyes gazing out to sea”. That line is the best!
    I love this story, this peek into your imaginative creativity.

    I am humored by almost everything I write on Lake Superior Spirit. For some reason it doesn’t sound like me half the time…it’s like someone else dropped the phrases and the humor into the typing fingers…and all I can do is laugh and laugh.

    When I write on Simply Here I usually just feel calmed and connected to the body/senses.

    • Thanks Kathy and I am glad you find humor in your Lake Superior Spirit blog because I often do and it would be a shame if you were missing out on all the fun. Though I am not sure how many laughed when they saw one of your latest image of the dead beaver skull:) Coming from a rural family, with a grandfather who was a trapper, I recognized those teeth even before reading the photo caption. Did you use the tail for beaver tail and beans? Or did this beaver succumb to natural causes?

      • This beaver succumbed to natural causes. Last year I was traipsing through the brush back behind the native Pow Wow grounds and stumbled upon this beaver skull. Beaver tail and beans! You are crackin’ me up, girl.

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