Our daughter Aly’s move back to the homestead will not be a return to old ways, necessarily. When she left, she was a child of the home; she returns as an adult, with different rights and responsibilities than before.
For instance, she won’t return to her old bedroom, at least not in the long run.
When we moved to the homestead, Aly happily nested in a tiny bedroom upstairs in the main cabin. Little more than a walk-in closet, space wise, with no headroom through most of it thanks to the slope of the roof, she created a private space that suited her personality and needs quite well.
When she prepared to leave for college and Michelle and I began to look toward a two person home (see Homestead 2.0) Michelle hatched a new plan for the upstairs.
She designed a master bedroom that filled the whole upper floor. Among other adjustments, it calls for removing part of Aly’s bedroom wall to create a half-partition dressing area.
For years, the main part of the upstairs floor has served as our home theater, with zero gravity folding chairs providing seating to view the television (see How Sizing Our Battery Bank Led to Uncomfortable Truths About Our Lifestyle). Michelle’s plan calls for moving all of this down to our current bedroom, in the back build-on on the first floor. We plan to put a futon couch in there that can fold out to a double bed, as a guest room. Originally, we planned to house Aly there on visits home.
We consider this a long-range plan. Who knows when we’ll implement it fully?
Now that she’s moving home, we’re looking at setting her up in the building we’ve always called, alternately, the boat house or guest house. This will give her an apartment separate from the main cabin. She won’t easily live independently there, but she’ll have a measure of freedom and privacy she wouldn’t find in the main cabin. This is why I created a diversion earlier this year to provide water to the building in the summer months (see Diversions).
The water was the first of many adjustments we need to make. Not the least of these includes rearranging the boxes of possessions we’ve stored more or less willy nilly in the building for years.
The building will also have a new name, thankfully. Aly has dubbed it “Shell Cottage,” after the Weasley family’s beach retreat in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. That’s so much nicer than the former interchangeable “slashed” designation we burdened it with for more than 10 years.
Other than making space and a few other jobs, we’re waiting for Aly to come home before we do too much to Shell Cottage. Aly’s very excited about the project, and has many plans that will make it her own. We’re clearing out and cleaning up her old bedroom for starters, so that she can arrange the cottage without living in the middle of the work. After a couple of weeks in her old room, Shell Cottage will feel like a mansion to her, I’m sure!