I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

July 14th, 2011

Where I Love Best: America’s Pacfic Northwest

It was like a theatrical curtain, raising, revealing a spectacular set, a magnificent view, a wonderland. I stepped timidly onto the stage that was my former life like a guest, then, with a rush of remembrance, ran from room to room, crushing every piece of it with a visual embrace so fierce that the house itself gasped for air, as breathless about my return as I was. I felt Life oozing up from the floors and seeping out of the walls and shining through the windows, gaining momentum and intensity with every squeal of my heart until all three-stories and our acre of woods flooded with exuberance. After thirteen months in England and Europe, it was a glorious homecoming.

Every day since, my eyes flutter open to birds on fir branches, and I sing my prayers with them like a child. Morning begins in the kitchen-that-looks-like-a-rose-garden and we breakfast on the deck overlooking a backyard stream and gazebo. Daylight is spent digging in the gardens or homemaking indoors. At night, in the great room of wall-to-wall windows, we wait in company with one another for the sky to turn dark and then go up to our big, soft bed, falling asleep to the gentle whir of the ceiling fan. Enthralling as great cities on distant continents may be, as stunning as foreign countrysides, or as charming as old world villages, no vista or lifestyle can compare to this place because it is ours and I have always always loved it.

Even as a child, I would steal away into the forest, tuck myself into a tiny cove of giant evergreens, and there unleash whispered dreams: a tall husband, lots of round cherubs, something to make music and write about, and a house; not just any house – but a blue house, nestled in the woods. Of course it would be enchanted: engulfed in the spirit of everything ancient; close to rivers and creeks where Indians once paddled; hidden to all except the primeval orchestra of flying creatures and leafy breezes.

A haven, a respite, a chapel – that would be my Blue House in the Woods.

I grew up and married and started life in a series of unremarkable apartments, growing like dandelions through cracks of commercial cement. We graduated to rental homes in cookie-cutter neighborhoods. Four children later, we owned our first house and then another, and so forth. All the while, Blue House stood secret sentry on girlish dreams, waiting somewhere in the green-grey of Washington State.

(While I found other parts of the country had their charms, my rainbow touched ground in the Pacific Northwest. Someday, someway, I knew we would return to find our pot of gold there.)

Then, in the manner of storybooks and fairy tales, when babies had become people and careers were in full swing — at a stage of life when folks have forgotten first fantasies — fortune picked up our little boat and on the crest of circumstance, propelled us across America. When the commotion had receded; when Dale had settled into his new assignment and scoured the vicinity for a new home; there, suddenly (even miraculously if the story be told) stood BLUE HOUSE, emerging from years of cloudy imagination, literally opening the red front door, inviting us in — to stay.

So today, in honor of our reunion with Blue House, I beg Miss Brontë’s pardon and dally with Jane Eyre’s narrative just a bit to celebrate my castle-in-the-sky-come-to-earth:

‘I know what it is to live entirely for and WHERE I love best on earth.’

(Scroll over Dreamstime photos for descriptions)

I know my international as well as U.S. friends particularly love the places they call “home”. Muse with me: why do you cherish your corner of the world?

Related Musings:

The Quest for a New Home in the Old World
You’re Home Now

Hint of Romance

If you love each other long enough, dreams come true one at a time.

What did you think of this musing?

Join the discussion!


  1. Wanda Copier says:

    Welcome home!! I’m waiting to see a picture of ‘Blue House’! You are an excellent writer my friend!! I don’t know if you majored or minored in English…. but you DO have a gift!

    Thanks for the inspiration. When are you writing a book? :o)


    • mona says:

      Thank you for commenting! There is a picture of Blue House in the last musing: Living in England, The End of a Beginning! And as for the book….stay tuned…announcement in process…

  2. Bri Z. says:

    Awe! You were right! This post did make me terribly homesick for bluehouse…

    Before I even met and married your son, I fell madly in love with the occupants of the blue house in the enchanted forests of Ridgefield and when I found out the castle had a Prince Charming living there, my rapture only increased. It truly is a place like nowhere else, but it is more than its idyllic setting. It is the people who enliven bluehouse with their presence who make it such a magical abode, visitors and inhabitants alike! The house comes alive with the spirit of those who enter there, and it has seen so much joy! I think that is what makes is such a special home.

  3. Ellenor Abeln says:

    Hello to Ramona and Dale and Welcome home. It is nice to have you near again. I am so happy you are home.
    Hannah and Kenneth both look so happy and beautiful. I wish I could be at her wedding. I am doing pretty good, at 95 ,so I should be counting my Blessings which are many.I wiah all of you very much happiness.
    Lots and Lots of Love, Hugs and Prayers,
    Aunt Ellenor


  4. sue simper says:

    Well, our kids have done their best to leave their mark on Blue House, (with markers, smoke, and broken glass), but Mona – as much as you love this incredible house, you always have the perspective of it’s greater purpose – a place to welcome people in so they could soak in all that “Z” love. The day you came home, it felt so good to just sink into the couch and feel at home once again. You inspire us to make our house the same kind of place.

  5. Sarah says:

    It’s amazing how many of our dreams really do come true! I’m so glad you’re home, the fulfilled dream it is.

    While I do feel partial to the world of tropics, really my cherished corner is anywhere I feel safe and secure, a security brought about by righteous living. Nothing feels more homey than that! Don’t you agree?

    I love you and thanks for reminding me of all the special homes in which I have been welcomed, your especially!

Share your thoughts!

Hide responses