What could this odd-shaped and many-windowed little house in the woods have possibly housed? I stood in the woods on the top of the hill with my real estate agent, gazing in befuddlement—and increasingly also in delighted awe—at the little structure that reminded me a little of a Dr. Seuss house, a little of a Tim Burton mad creation.

COTH in the depths of winter
COTH in the depths of winter

It certainly wasn’t the main house. Standing in those snowy woods in December 2011, I was on this 10-acre farm, with deeds dating back to 1832, in southwest Michigan, to see the farmhouse and the land that were up for sale. This little cottage was, well, a bonus. My real estate agent was as intrigued as I. We’d already toured the farmhouse, and we’d already walked the grounds, the tool shed, the barn. Now, this.

Spoiler alert: I had fallen completely in love with the property the moment I turned into the nearly quarter-mile long driveway. In my head and in my heart I had already made my decision to buy before setting foot in any of the buildings, because I had recognized this place as Home. I would sign on the dotted line in March 2012.

Z-Acres - Love at first sight…
Z-Acres – Love at first sight…

 

That day, that funky cottage on the hill only added to my sense that this place was meant for me. After all, the previous owner had written the listing and described this cottage as a “writer’s den.” And a writer is exactly who I am.

I stepped inside the cottage. As little as I understand about construction, I knew right away, as I had with the other outbuildings (all built in similar style), that this little house was solidly built. Built with obvious love. It was all in the details.

A wall of windows; a view of writers’ heaven…
A wall of windows; a view of writers’ heaven…

The cottage walls were filled with windows, and not one of the windows was aligned with another. Every window was different. Not only was the mysterious builder a person for detail, knowledgeable about construction, but apparently also a person with a sense of humor.

Two floors: the main floor was about 120 square feet, then, up a wooden ladder to the second floor, an additional 80 square feet. I climbed upstairs and found a small built-in bookshelf along one wall, above it a large skylight, and a small wooden desk with drawer handles shaped like dragonflies, and a chair.

A bookshelf, a skylight and a desk. What more could I need?
A bookshelf, a skylight and a desk. What more could I need?

And more windows. A wall of windows, in fact, floor to ceiling, and sitting at the desk, I felt like I was sitting in the tree tops. I could only imagine what it would be like here when the snow would melt, the trees fill with green leaves. What a haven this must be …

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