"Fare"..... as is in the things unique about "My Island"


  • I've always been drawn to islands. Going back to when I was a kid and would swim to the postage stamp island in the middle of the lake in the Sierras where my family and I camped summers. You know I'm a true island girl because I kept coming back even after I encountered a rattlesnake there during one visit. 

    Since then, I've been priveleged to live on two islands: Key West in Florida and the island of Manhattan in New York, where I currently make my home. My husband and I built a house on a third, Orcas Island in Washington, but never got to live there, as Fate would have it. A bit of a heartbreaker, that. As the story goes...


    From the moment we set foot on Orcas Island, it was love at first sight. We booked a cottage at Place at Cayou Cove, which quickly became our home away from home. The owners, Charles and Valerie Binford, we were priveleged, then and now. to call friends.   Before you know it, we'd bought a parcel of land with a view of the Sound.  Next we hired an architect to draw up plans for the custom home we would build. We were warned about the perils of building on an island, but naively believed if we were careful we could avoid those pitfalls. Well, guess what? We experienced each and every one and then some! When the recession hit, it was double whammy. Our dream home became a nightmare.We were lucky to sell (at a loss) and hang on to what was left of our shirts.

    But I believe every curse has a blessing in it somewhere. The trick is you have to look harder with some, either because it's buried deep or it has yet to be revealed. We came away with a deeper understanding of the less-is-more principle. For us this has meant a living space less than half the size of our former Manhattan digs and a less than a quarter that of the house we built on Orcas. And I've never been happier. Less space means less to maintain. Fewer material goods to clutter my house and life. Fewer shopping expeditions when I could be outdoors enjoying the sunshine. These days I generally buy only what I can consume. And my husband, Sandy, always knows what to get me for my birthday or Christmas. Something I can eat or drink, rub on my body or use in the bath, put in a vase, or burn (as in candle). No jewels or clothes, please. And God forbid, no tschoskes.

    I've since come to see our Orcas experience as a sort of blessing in disguise. Because of it I discovered another gem of a place where I spend a lot of my time these days, a lake in Wisconsin with the gorgeous views and relaxed pace of Orcas. There's even a small island in the middle I can swim to.  Better yet: no rattlesnakes. Just the occasional bear.  


    If you go to my website, you'll see a gorgeous image of the lake on the homepage. 

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