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Fairy Houses–Mackworth Island

My sister-in-law and her two boys came to visit for several days this April vacation.  We love when the cousins come.  Her boys insisted we go to Mackworth Island in Falmouth, a few miles from our house.  Even though it is so close, we don’t visit often.  It is one of my favorite places to walk.  There is a path that circumnavigates the island.  The loop is between 1.3 and 1.4 miles, depending upon which gate attendant you ask.  For the children, the reason to visit the island is the fairy houses.

Fairy houses are little tiny houses built out of all natural materials.  Beds, baths, and decor are all considered in the thoughtful design and building of a house for tiny fairies about the size of your thumb.  You can build fairy houses anywhere in the world but there is a whole village of them on Mackworth.  Acres of land covered in little houses for fairies.  It is simply amazing.   We went to the island with Hans’s parents and his sister and the kids two times on this short trip.

Here are some photos of other people’s fairy houses.  In some of the photos you can see other houses in the background.

It’s nice to look at other homes for ideas.  Often as you walk to the village you gather natural items along the way.

You might start a home leaning up against a tree but they can also lean up against logs, hide in the branches of trees, or might even be freestanding.

C-man created rain collectors out of mussel shells for the fairies to collect water.

I tried creating a free-standing house.  I was happy with the mussel shell tiling job but not happy with the walls.  We had to take a trip the near-by beach to gather shells.

My sister-in-law, Tanya, built this gem in the tree.

Can you see the message my daughter wrote to welcome the fairies to the house she built with her father?

Do you build fairy houses?  If so, where did you learn about them?  We first learned about them from our back-door neighbors when we moved to Maine.

My Boat

I bought a sailboat.  More specifically I bid on a boat at a silent auction to benefit Sail Maine and won.   The description of the boat read something like, “420 hull, missing most parts.  Starting bid, $50.”  I arrived late to the auction that night with my date, one of my dearest friends and one of the greatest educators I know, Jen San Angelo.  My husband was home sick.   We immediately ran into another old sailing friend who told me there was a 420 for sale and I should bid on it.  The auction was closing within minutes.  I read the description and thought, what the hell.  I signed my name with a minimum bid knowing that at the very least, I was making a tiny donation to a great organization.

I won this 420 for $50–essentially free.  It was probably not a very smart decision to buy a boat I had never seen and one that was missing most parts, but I was thrilled.  I think I won this back in Nov, it may have been October, but I just saw it for the first time on Easter weekend.  I borrowed a truck from my friend (thanks Andrew!) and picked up the boat at Sail Maine.  I was really nervous to see it–would it have any hardware?  Would it have a really soft hull that would be a challenge to fix?  Would it float?

I felt the hull as soon as I got to it and was thrilled to feel that it was firm all around–inside and out.  It had a pretty major hole but I am actually looking forward to figuring out how to fix it and doing the work myself.

The hole:

The sketchy way I got it home–don’t worry too much, I tied the crap out of this boat (photo taken before I tied the boat in):

Very proud owner:

I raced boats like this at the University of New Hampshire many years ago.  Now I race larger sailboats–other people’s sailboats, mostly J24s and Etchells.  I can’t afford a racing boat (yet) and because of that I crew.  Someone else pays the bills (and those bills really add up) and I, for the most part, get to show up a bit before the first gun fires and get to race with very little effort to maintain the boat.

My husband gave me a mast and a very soft mainsail for this 420 for Christmas.  Soft is great for bed sheets, not great for sails.  Despite the quality of the sail, it was the most thoughtful present he’s ever given me.  This boat will essentially require me to buy another very used boat for parts–but hopefully I’ll be able to do that soon without spending too much money.

I’m really looking forward to fixing this boat up and then finding a home for her where I can take her out with friends, with my kids, with my husband, and alone.  I love having this boat, my boat, in my yard.  And I really look forward to teaching my husband and my kids how to sail in her.