Every year I have the luxury of escaping the cold weather months in Santa Fe – which my thin beach blood does not tolerate well after the initial charm of the holiday season wears off – and heading to the Beach House!
As I hear about snow storms, high winds, awesome skiing (from my grandson) and springtime allergies…I sit in a treehouse by the sea.
Oh…it’s no picnic. I am here to work, to clean, to refresh, to garden, to pamper, to housekeep. It is an annual process of rubbing the belly of this 40 year old cottage and making sure she is happy and kept. In the last several years we have had to replace roofs, skylights, decks, plumbing, paint, floors, landscaping and much more. It is no small task and I am happy to do it. This old house has a long life ahead of her and it is my job to keep her in shape for my grandson and many guests to come.
You see…I built that place. I made that fence. I laid that flagstone. I set those retaining walls. I painted that deck, I planted those trees…I designed those stairs. It is personal. It is my soul…my partnering with God to create a little haven in the midst of the hustle…on a corner…on a hill…in the trees. That is what we do to create “home”.
So in the midst of the scrubbing and working and checking and fixing…there are ocean breezes, gorgeous sunrises and stunning sunsets…and a lifetime of memories. There is the sage my daughter planted when she and her little family lived there. There are floors our friend Tom hand painted when he lived there and walls with letters on them when it was my husband’s studio …there are the initials TR painted under those floors by my son in law and the wrong color paint with the same name of the right paint 3 layers under from the week we closed escrow a lifetime ago. There are previous owner’s daughter Madison’s name in the cement behind and Adrian and Cheryl’s English Gardens still thriving beneath decades of new growth. There are flashbacks of our good old dog Dolly running in a field that has 4 mansions on it now. The children who are grown with children of their own now. There are fights and love and struggles and triumphs in that house. I have had dozens of people living there with me and I remember their stories and their struggles and the welcoming and the saying goodbye. And it goes on and on…good, sweet memories. A lifetime.
“La Fortuna Suites” is a state of mind…not a place…but those who understand recognize her immediately and know they need to be there. Souls get restored here….and then…they take a little of “La Fortuna” …with them on their journey. I hope they remember her…like the old man who built her when he was a younger man and stopped by many years ago just to take another look before he passed on.
Today…she is being “unrecognized” by everyone but me. So it is my turn for now to enjoy her. To bask in her. To watch the sun rise and fall. To pray. To listen to the birds sing and watch the hummers play. To enjoy the first blossoms of the Apricot Tree. It is my turn in the Treehouse and I must savor it…however long it may be this time…