Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hedgebrook Writers Retreat Day Five

(Continuing a series of posts about the week I spent at Hedgebrook Writers Retreat for Women on Whidby Island off the coast of Washington in December 2012)

photo c/o Hedgebrook

At the Hedgebrook Womens Writers Retreat on Whidby Island off the coast of Washington, everything has been beautifully designed for comfort, privacy, inspiration and contemplation, from the cottages and gardens to the farmhouse and the landscaping.  

The cottages are handcrafted, each made from a different variety of wood, and each with one-of-a kind artisan touches. The Amish influence on the construction is evident in the open beams, use of wooden pegs, and hand-made furnishings. 

The kitchens are efficient, with a toaster oven, hotplate, and small refrigerator. There are enough pots and pans, dishes and silverware to                       accommodate one person easily. 

Every window offers a beautiful view of the surrounding forest. This one is from the window seat in the Willow Cottage, where I stayed.

 This is another view from a window.

I learned to build and maintain fires in the surprisingly efficient wood-burning stove. 

I took this photo of the woodpile because I knew my son in Finland would be impressed, as his home is heated by a large soapstone wood-burning stove, and he has learned the art of stacking wood. 

Each cottage has a half-bath. In the bathhouse are private showers, laundry facilities, and . . .  

 a deep, claw-footed tub, where one can enjoy a long candlelight bath in fragrant bath salts. 

Hand-crafted tiles and basin in the bathhouse. 

Though the kitchens are fully equipped, the dinner table, where wonderful food is served and warm conversations enjoyed, is in the farmhouse. Hedgebrook employ several terrific chefs. Produce, in season, comes from the garden (which had been put to rest in December, but is pictured at its height in the summer). Other food is supplied by local farmers. 

photo c/o Hedgebrook
A typical table set for writers in residence. 

photo c/o Hedgebrook
The queen-sized bed with handcrafted headboard is reached by a ladder.

If a guest doesn't want to brave the ladder, a bed can easily be made below the loft, under a bank of windows that offers yet another perspective. 

The stained-glass windows in my loft made me think of Monet's irises. The sound of rain on the roof was a wonderful accompaniment to waking and sleeping. 

photo c/o Hedgebrook
As seen from the loft, there is ample desk space below for the working author.

Bookcases allow for ample storage of an author's personal library, but I traveled light. The dictionary and thesaurus were sufficient, and the farmhouse has a good-sized library filled with books written by previous residents. 

On the path to the farmhouse, this open fire pit invites writers to spend a cozy evening in front of a bonfire. In December, we didn't choose to. 

Photo by Kate
I heard owls at night, and I also heard stories about them swooping over resident writers, encouraging some women to wear hats, but the only owl I saw was this carved one, which stands guard over the garden. 

1 comment:

CTW said...

My favorite is the stained glass window, the tile and sink, and the nooks.