My secret Hideaway

It’s Spring break in Hudson.  Many of my friends and neighbors have either hit the road or they’ve taken to the friendly skies in search of  escape.  Time away from all the usual things can be very refreshing indeed.  I escape to far off places now and then and enjoy myself  immensely, but it isn’t always necessary to travel  far in order to escape the monotony of life.

I enjoy regular escapes simply by turning  on my imagination, packing  a bag of supplies and heading  to my secret hideaway.  Of course it won’t be much of a secret if I keep telling people about it, but secrets are no fun unless they’re shared – at least some secrets.

My secret hideaway also goes by another name.  It can be called the Outbuilding.   What exactly is an outbuilding?  Webster defines it as a building (such as a shed or barn etc.) belonging to but separate from a house.

My personal outbuilding is inconspicuously located in the rear of our property.  It quietly sits with its back to all, commanding little or no attention.  Most of my visitors never even notice it.

When my husband first saw this outbuilding he was quite unimpressed.  In fact, he suggested we level it.  Level it?  NO WAY!   I liked it right from the start.  It was unusual, and I’ve always liked  “the unusual”  in people and in buildings too.

And so since my husband wanted no part of the Outbuilding I was delighted to make this building my own!  I do share it now and then with honored guests, perhaps hosting an afternoon tea, or serving drinks there before an intimate dinner at the house.

Would you like to pop in?  I’d be happy to show it to you if you have the time.  Why?  You know.  Sharing doubles the joy!

But put on your boots for it’s been snowing even though Punxsutawney Phil said we’d be having an early Spring.  Well, anyone can make a mistake, even Phil, still I’m told some locals are quite upset about the continuing snow.  There are “wanted posters” out for Phil.  Can you imagine such a thing?

The Winter-looking herb garden
We must walk past the herb garden.  Do you see the outbuilding in the distance?  No?  Well I told you it was inconspicuous.  Keep moving past the barn.

The Barn

Now do you see it?  Remember it has its back to us.   It’s hiding in the trees – perfect tactics for a secret hideaway, don’t you think?

The Outbuilding
Doesn’t look like much, does it?  Well, let’s walk around to the front.  We’re almost there.

A row of trees keep the Outbuilding hidden from the street – clever of the previous owners
Ok.  Ready or not, let me welcome you to my Outbuilding, my very own secret hideaway.

The Outbuilding
It looks like a little play house, doesn’t it?  Well, that’s exactly what it is.  I come here to use my imagination, exercise my creativity, dream, read, write and  play. How and where do you play?  You do play, don’t you?   I hope so, but don’t just stand there in the cold.  Come on in!

How ’bout a seat by the fire?
I was expecting you so I lit the candles and started a fire.  These things make the place feel so cozy any time of year.  Let me show you some of my things.  Of course I have my books, lots and lots of books.  I keep them on the shelves…

A few books on The Art of Letter Writing
I keep more books hidden away in cabinets here, there, and everywhere for as I’m sure you know,  books can bring  the world to us  – interesting people and  great ideas.  My secret hideaway welcomes such visitors.

More books
I’m delighted to have my maternal grandparent’s rocker, a rocker I remember from way back when.  I can remember sitting on my Dad’s lap at my grandparent’s house back when I must’ve been in the first grade.  Ah memories! Now that rocker is mine.

To sit and rock… and dream dreams
I also am lucky to have my grandparent’s old kitchen table.  I can remember this table filled with breads and kuchens which my grandmother lovingly made to serve all of us when we came visiting every Sunday afternoon.  What ever happened to the custom of visiting?  I think we should bring it back!

Grandma’s Table
I love to write letters on this table. (This one’s to you, Patricia)  I can sit here and look out the window at nature and ideas flow peacefully.

A room with a view
Nature is always a most pleasant view whether it involves sunshine, rain or snow.  On warm days I open the two dutch doors and listen to the birds sing.

The hideaway tea set
And of course I had to buy some special china for my Outbuilding.  This antique set serves me well along with any guests I may have.  Gee, I wish I could offer you a cup of tea right now.

The firefplace
I was happy to see the color of the bricks used in the fireplace because they happened to blend nicely with some old oriental rugs we had from our first house.

Our old rugs
Along with the rugs I pulled out some prints from storage, copies of primitive paintings… all the colors worked together.  The outbuilding sort of decorated itself.

Primitives and candlelight

                             It was fun to choose fabrics and pillows

A sleeper sofa, should I want to spend the night
                                             select accessories,

One can never have too much candlelight
and hang pictures in my little hideaway –  an old portrait of me with my husband,

Bill and CarolAnn 30 years ago
and a print of Fanueil Hall Marketplace (my husband and I met in Boston and made Boston our first  home together).

Faneuil Hall Marketplace
                                 So here we are, in my hideaway.

Notice the long built-in bench should I invite a crowd in for a talk on The Art of Letter Writing
There are books written  suggesting  the value of having a room of one’s own.  Well, a room is fine, but a building is even better.  When I escape to my secret hideaway, build a fire and turn on my imagination, there’s no telling what creative ideas appear.

What is it about a roaring fire that make a person feel all cozy?
I hope you escape from your daily routine now and then. It’s not important how you do it or where you go, just that you give yourself time to be quiet and think.   Just to be quiet and think! Yes.  It could make all the difference in the world to your life.    This quiet alone time can stimulate your imagination, increase your creativity and bring you much needed peace.

Silence leads to reflection, reflection leads to appreciation and appreciation looks about for someone to thank.  As my good friend Mr. Fred Rogers used to say:  “I trust you will thank God, for it is God who inspires and informs all that is nourishing and good.”

So have yourself a Spring break,  and not just one.  Take lots of little breaks  all through the year, be they near or far away, breaks to get away from it all and be alone with yourself.  Be alone in silence.  If you have a secret hideaway of your own that’s great, but you don’t really need one.  You just need the  alone time and the  silence.

Be good to yourself

Take time to be






3 thoughts on “My secret Hideaway

  1. Carol Ann,
    What a wonderful “Hideaway”….a great place to read…write…enjoy the fire on a cold, snowy day or night….I’d love to have a place like that…:):):):):):)enjoy…..

  2. What a great hide-away!!! It is sooooo cozy and inviting. I love all the windows and could really be “taken away” out there. Thanks for sharing this wonderful place.

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