This is my favorite place, in my mind no other place can even compete. I've lived in five different houses and an apartment over my life, but this beach house on the Key Peninsula has steadily been my comfortable escape from the city, my unique place to take landlocked friends to walk a saltwater beach, and an abundance of childhood memories.
My grandfather built the Crow's Nest, named for its perch atop a steep bank, in the 1960s. He was a Boeing electrical engineer by week, but an architect and carpenter by weekend. On most Saturdays the family would travel down from Seattle to work on the beach house. It took several years, and this was before the construction of I-5 shortened the drive to a little over an hour.
When I was born the only running water on the property was hand pumped from a well. Electricity was added when I was little, though we didn't get running water in the building until I was a teenager. That was when a kitchen and bathroom were added, and the walls insulated, making it a much more comfortable place in all seasons. When remodeling my mom insisted that the hand pump still function.
I learned how to work here, making so many trips with my family to mow, garden, move dirt, paint, stain, clear brush, install roofing, clean, and do whatever other maintenance needed to be done.
I learned to play here. My brother and I would canoe, kayak and row out on the bay, climb around on the bank, pick wildflowers, comb the beach for treasure, and when we were a little older shoot bb guns out in the meadow. Fireworks are still legal here, so every Fourth of July we come out to barbecue and watch our neighbors put on shows, and perhaps set off a few ourselves.
I learned to love nature here. Something about the lack of pavement, the acres of brush and fruit trees, the garter snakes, sea life, long rocky beach and accessible saltwater fueled my imagination.
I taught myself photography here. My love for this place inspired me to document it. I've been here in every season, watched so many sunsets, seen seals, deer and even evidence of black bears, and spent time with so many wonderful people. Nothing thrills me more than to capture these moments on camera so I can remember them indefinitely.