Sarrah delighted in all aspects of going to the Peninsula. She usually sat up and looked out the windows the entire way there, to watch the world as it went on by. The journey from where we live starts with on average an hour of ‘freeway hell’, racing with the self absorbed rats on the paved necessary ugliness, known as Interstate 5. Then off onto Highway 101 where it gradually devolves from too much civilization and overpopulation into a sort of peaceful time travel back through the woods and near a few old small towns, too tough to die. This leg of the journey is packed with many little things that busy people miss or find “boring”. These things like mountains, forested land, rivers, cattle, wildlife; deer, coyotes, porcupines, elk, eagles, hawks and even bears were all noticed and points of interest mentally noted by my road wise companion.
Another perk around this area is the constant salted air and its medicinal affects. We knew it when we first explored Ocean Park and what remains of the historic town of Oysterville at the north end of the Long Beach Peninsula, this was the place. We came back a couple of times and narrowed the search to a community named Surfside Estates with a few rules (Covenants, Codes & Restrictions) to protect values from individual expressions. This little development of Two Thousand Eight Hundred subdivided lots is comprised of; about one-third with houses (mostly vacation, several retirement), one-quarter “seasonal camper lots” and the rest vacant, overgrown with dune grass and coastal pines. The community has approximately three miles of beachfront and a small lake (pond) with long canals that run the length of it. There are walking trails running East to West with foot bridges over the canals, creating easy access for all “members and guests” to the beach which extends as far as the eye can see… to the South and North.
We quickly found the one, close enough to the ocean to hear its methodical constant mumbling and an easy walk away. It was new enough to not only become a dreaded nest of repair projects. A cozy little two-bedroom house that would be greatly appreciated as-is, customized over time into “our place” and enjoyed along the journey through time.
September Two Thousand Five Nissa closed the deal, and we came out for our first three-day weekend and camped with Sarrah, in the empty one-year-old house. On this stay we personalized it by painting the garage floor, making it into more of a warm multipurpose room. This tan coating also has its share of the ever-present small black and white hairs permanently sealed into it.
Sarrah instantly liked the new little house and it quickly became her preferred home. She was delighted with being able to roam the whole place and sleep closer to me. Upon each arrival and inspection of the Beach House, her toys and the yard she would relax on her overstuffed bed and smile.
As a group we decided that the best spot for Sarrah’s bed was next to the sliding glass door, on the east end of the Great room. This gave a comfortable vantage point to guard the front door, see all that went on in the house and watch out for wildlife trespassers as they regularly strolled through ‘her yard’. One of the best perks of this spot was the morning sunshine, perfect for soaking up a little bright warmth.