I have this tendency to romanticize things. Sometimes it’s nice.
For instance, every day on my way to work I pass a house that someone has slowly been turning into a castle. I’m not even making this up.
If you look up castles on highway 1, chances are you’ll find a lot of stuff about Hearst Castle, and I’m sure it’s great, but this is not the castle I’m concerned with. The castle I obsess over is in Moss Landing. It is a bright teal house (the same mermaid-color you’ll find on the inside of old stand-up swimming pools) with a plethora of pink flamingos, toys, old tires, and other lawn detritus littering the outside. It’s a large lot, I think there are currently five or six cars parked on the grass, three of which are being sold, and it’s surrounded by a chain link fence and lots and lots of stuff. This is all fun, and definitely adds to the appeal of the place, but it isn’t what’s important. What’s important is that the house has four turrets—two of them are pointed and two of them are circular with that up and down stone work. (I just looked this up and found out they are called crenellations. What a great word.)
Over time, this castle has changed. It used to be all teal but a year ago (or was it only a few months?) the owner started painting stones on the turrets. At one time I think there might have been some pink somewhere too, but I can’t remember it exactly, and maybe I’m just making that up.
Still, I wonder what’s next. Will the entire house become covered with stone? Will the owners leave the teal? Will they create another tower? Another turret? Will they dig a moat? (That would be awesome!) Will they put up a flag?
I love the castle-house. I even love the term castle-house. I love that it exists and I love the meanings I assign to it. I love that there is a place, a silly little place in the world, where someone has created such a thing. This so cool to me.
On my way to work I think about this castle-house entirely too much…
I like to think that some woman always wanted to live in a castle, and because her husband couldn’t afford to buy her a real one, he made their home into a castle instead. Or maybe the woman left, and he made the castle to get her back. Or maybe there wasn’t even a man. Well, of course there was a man. (There’s always a man somewhere isn’t there? Just like there’s always a woman.) But maybe he left, or he was never really there, and maybe the woman made her own castle. Then again, perhaps it was two children. (A castle-house is a childlike thing after all.) Maybe their parents passed away too early and left them a home and a lot of money they didn’t know what to do with and so they spent it on silly things like toys and fudgesicles and turning their house into a castle.
It could be anything really. And whatever it is, it’s a lovely house. It’s nice to have something to wonder over. (And I mean wonder in both senses of the word. )