Home Equals Adventure: Part 1

This is for the first assignment in the Photo 101 course here on WordPress. Photo 101 Assignment: Home is elusive. When we think about this word, we might picture different physical locations. And while home is often found on a map, it can also be less tangible: a loved one, a state of mind. . . . What does home look like or mean to you? Share an image in a new post.

I have no idea what I’ll learn about photography but look forward to the unknown.

June 1988
Clouds and heavy mist hung over the northern Olympic Peninsula, moistening air and plants. Still my boyfriend and I searched for some place, any place to live.

December 1987
Our landlord broke up with his girlfriend and needed his house back. It wasn’t a house; really, it was an older mobile home that, when we’d first seen it, had the top of a fir tree embedded inside its front room from the last fierce windstorm. But the landlord promised we could move in by December tenth and the little home I rented in the small town of Sequim had a severe propane leak and no insulation so we ‘d needed somewhere safe and immediate before the storms of winter became any worse. It did not escape out attention that about twenty more such trees surrounded the mobile home. In spite of the obvious dangers, we loved the location. Who wouldn’t want to live way up on top of a mountain valley at the end of a long and winding mountain road? The views were spectacular. We not only survived the winds of winter there, we fell in love with that property. It was with a heavy heart we had to find a new place to live six months later.

View from Lost Mountain
View from Lost Mountain

June 1988
We’d given up on living in the high country, not that we wanted to, but because we couldn’t find anywhere to rent with elevation. Down in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley we weren’t having any luck either. It would be tough living in the valley and only looking up at the mountains instead of living up there, but we were having some real tough luck.

Out of desperation, we explored the backroads surrounding Sequim, looking for homes that the owners might not have listed in the paper. Roads around here have strange names, like Jimmy Come Lately and TookaLook, and Kitchen Dick, which often happens to get transposed with the road we were now driving along: Chicken Coop. (I don’t know why it is but it is a blunder I’ve heard every Sequimite newcomer make at least once.)

We hadn’t driven very far before we spotted a hand-painted “For Sale by Owner” sign on a lot off to our left. We pulled over, parking on the side of the road, and stepped out of the car to look around. Like I mentioned, it was clouded over and everything was moist with mist. There was a small rope between two wooden posts draped across what once was an old road. We stepped over it and beyond a screen of trees there opened up a most beautiful field of white daisies.

Property woods: photo taken by Lenee Cobb
Property woods: photo taken by Lenee Cobb

We walked back to the sign and wrote down the phone number posted, drove into town and made the call. This was in the days preceding cell phones and digital cameras. The owner said he was willing to meet with us and walk the property. He said he’d take $2,000 down. We figured that with our deposits returned to us from  the phone company, the power company, and our current landlord combined, and a good portion of our next paychecks, we just might be able to pull two grand together. It was what we’d be paying for first and last months rent plus deposits somewhere else, less, actually. So we called him again and made an appointment to meet him—immediately—back at the For Sale sign.

Field of daisies on our property. Photo by Lenee Cobb
Field of daisies on our property. Photo by Lenee Cobb

Instead of the field of daisies, he took us to an adjoining five-acre parcel, full of its own daisies. As we traipsed through the daisies down the woods towards a creek, you could smell them strong. Did you know that a field of wild daisies on a misty summer’s day can smell an awful lot like bear? I kept smelling bear but the owner assured us it was just the daisies . . . and granted, that field of daisies did stink . . . however, as we were to discover after we purchased our property, my nose did not lie.

Daisy Bear: photo by Lenee Cobb
Daisy Bear: photo by Lenee Cobb

End of Home Equals Adventure: Part 1

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