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?
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.
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?
Doesn’t look like much, does it? Well, let’s walk around to the front. We’re almost there.
Ok. Ready or not, let me welcome you to my Outbuilding, my very own secret hideaway.
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!
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was fun to choose fabrics and pillows
and hang pictures in my little hideaway – an old portrait of me with my husband,
and a print of Fanueil Hall Marketplace (my husband and I met in Boston and made Boston our first home together).
So here we are, in my hideaway.
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.
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