“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) /It’s always ourself we find by the sea.” – e.e. cummings
Seaside is where I live now, and is also the name of the old Sea Island cotton plantation that was owned in the 1800’s by the Edings family. The original house still exists on land to the south, here in Edisto Island. My dog and I can walk to the sea.
My little two acre plot is on old Edingsville Beach Road, a wide dirt road lined by huge moss laden trees. It was the original road through the ancient oaks from from Peter’s Point and Sunnyside Plantations, the Mikells, out over the causeway to what used to be Edingsville, the resort beach front town of the wealthy cotton planters, that was destroyed by the the hurricanes of 1876 and 1893. The more vulnerable white population headed, in summer, because of mosquitos and malaria, to ‘the salt’ or ‘the pines’. The area of housing at that beach is now a resort called Jeremy Cay, and gated. The beach however is still public and the inlets are wide and deep. There are still pieces of antique pottery washing up from the hurricanes of those years on this beach after a good storm.
I have no house on my land yet, only inherited Rosy the RV, and a 8 x 14 ft. custom built “utility” building to hold my edited down version of possessions. It was built for me by the delightfully lowcountry Mr. Hughes in nearby Ravenel. He made the pitch high like a little church, and it has a red tin roof like Alphonso Brown of Gullah Tours says represents “the blood of the lamb” of Passover. The red roof is to honor those red roofs of the city of Charleston and to invoke this protective blessing, which must be true!
The idea of outbuildings have always interested me. Small cottages and buildings like are promoted by The Small House Society have also captivated my imagination for the last few years. The thought of living fully in a small house, and living largely outside is something people do here. The benefits of less insurance, less ‘stuff’ to manage, and a smaller carbon footprint are all reasons. Outside living rooms are quite common here on the island, and it is refreshing to see, coming from the big city where people have grand houses but never sit outside them or talk much to the neighbors.
California – also ‘seaside’.. has now legalized a small house for backyards called “the Sonoma Shanty.” There, too, real estate is so costly and young and old are flocking to a more sustainable way of living and ways to create a housing for multiple generations on one lot.
Today I am blessed and intrigued by my new residence. There is so much new about living in an area so full of history. My little place still needs a name. Allee de Lune. What do you think?