Welcome to Serenity, a gorgeous post-and-beam house sharing 4 acres of woodland with Ganesh Gardens and HeartSong, a small natural health clinic.
THE SPACE: For me, timber framed houses, with exposed wooden beams, are living, breathing spaces where we can rest from a world of plastic and metal. For me, the places where we house ourselves and our families are alive. They embrace us, they protect us, they nourish us, and, if we are lucky, they inspire us. We interact with them, and our interactions imbue them with energy that, in turn, creates more or less harmony in our minds and our bodies. This is the essence of Vasta Shastra, the Indian approach to creating living spaces with the intention of nourishing and inspiring us. Like the Feng Shui of China, it is a philosophy of life grounded in a deep understanding of how the spaces in which we live affect our health - mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
Basically, while it is true that Serenity is simply another house listed on VRBO, it is, for me, much more than that. It is a place to relax and rejuvenate. It is a place where you create a restful vacation for yourself in a peaceful rural setting, comfortable in the knowledge that there is someone around to answer questions or help you if you need it.
Physically, Serenity is 1750 square foot traditionally pegged post-and-beam house built around a 12 foot chimney and hearth. This means that wooden pegs, rather than nails, are used to construct the frame and all structural beams are exposed beneath wood paneled cathedral ceilings with skylights. All flooring is solid wood (oak downstairs; pine upstairs), as are all furnishings.
Serenity sits on just over four acres, of wooded land, with Ganesh Gardens, a profusion of cultivated flower and herb beds spilling out on the hill behind it. At the base of the slope is a lovely pond, inhabited by peepers, frogs, turtles, and visited by deer, ducks, and, when we are lucky, a beautiful grey heron. Like Serenity, I experience Ganesh Gardens as a nourishing and soothing place to be. There are spaces to meditate, or just hang out and talk. There are medicinal herbs, and flowers, and I'm happy to teach people how to identify herbs or prepare native plants for a meal.
Serenity is not alone on the land. A smaller timber-framed guest house is attached to Serenity that is used by HeartSong Health In Community, a small nonprofit naturopathic organization, to provide holistic primary medical care to local residents. HeartSong is a quiet, easy-going clinic, serving no more than 10-15 people per week. Guests at Serenity are also welcome to make appointments, and various naturopathic spa services are available, upon request: Infrared sauna, craniosacral therapy, colon hydrotherapy, yoga therapy, marma therapy (Ayurvedic energy work), a therapeutic jacuzzi, and, our latest addition, an amazing massage in an electric chair like nothing any of us have every seen before -- the Daiwa Legacy from Japan. (For more details about HeartSong offerings, see under "Other Things to Note".)
In 2017, HeartSong hopes to open its doors to weekend guests who would like to enjoy a weekend of unlimited access to most of these therapies, as well as health-promoting meals cooked fresh daily. If this interests you, be sure to let me know so I can put you on the email list for when the service becomes available!
In addition to Serenity and HeartSong on the main floor of the joint building, there is a sound-proofed apartment in the basement where I sleep.
LAY-OUT: There is a kitchen, living/dining room, three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, plus a sun room where you can sleep under the stars during spring, summer and early fall. A deck complete with outdoor grill and deck chairs also overlooks Ganesh Gardens.
KITCHEN: The kitchen is fully equipped with a refrigerator, gas stove, microwave, toaster oven, blenders, food processor, waffle iron, dishes, pots and pans, cooking and eating utensils. The kitchen is stocked with tea and coffee Keurig cups and a Keurig machine, common herbal mixes, salt, pepper, and a range of other staples that previous guests have left, such as flour and sugar.
BEDROOMS: There are three bedrooms, each with a double bed, dresser for your possessions, blanket boxes for linens, several lamps, and a writing table. The upstairs rooms also have individual refrigerators.
Master Bedroom: Upstairs, the master bedroom is doubled-sized.
Loft Room: Also upstairs, another has a large loft where the futon mattress has been placed under the skylight, leaving a full-sized room free for your use. The loft room is a favorite choice for teens and young adults, but is not recommended for young children unless they are accompanied by an adult. There is plenty of room for two -- the loft itself extends 20 feet along the length of the ceiling and is kept warm and toasty with the chimney as a side wall. The two upstairs room share a bathroom.
Accessible Room: The first-floor bedroom is directly off the living room, and is wheelchair accessible with direct access into one bathroom.
SUNROOM: Located off the dining room, this room has double futon bed, with glass on all three exterior walls, in addition to the interior wall, plus a glass ceiling. It's fabulous if you'd like to gaze at the stars while in bed or wake up to a blue sky with clouds drifting by and the branches of a lilac tree nuzzling the window next to your bed. Roll down bamboo curtains provide privacy from the dining area.
LIVING ROOM: The living room has a fireplace and a woodstove. The house is heated with the woodstove which I manage due to insurance requirements. I am available 24/7 to get the woodstove started up for you. There is also a fireplace where you can light your own fires at any time.
ENTRY: Shoes are not worn in the house; there are slippers available if you need them, as well as thick clean socks. There is a covered porch and small interior room for storing shoes, sports equipment, plus a pocketbook library for your use while at Serenity or to trade in the book you just finished for another.
SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS: Beds have futon mattresses with memory foam and hypoallergenic mattress covers, 100% Egyptian cotton sheets, and 100% cotton quilts. Additional linens provided are 100% cotton blankets or snuggly fleece blankets.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
My Standard Rate
1 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 3 guests; add C$20 per night, per additional guest|
|Cleaning fee||C$136.65 + Tax|
|Refundable Damage Deposit||C$409.95|
$165 / night is for three guests. Additional guests are $15 per guest per night.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.