Apparently The Phantom Rickshaw is a horror story by Rudyard Kipling, but we're not into horror stories, so I can't tell you about that. I CAN tell you about the house we live in. This is the phantom rickshaw.
In the late 1970's, my parents bought a repossessed double-wide mobile home and (after much cleaning out of beer bottles and other junk) had it brought to our island via ferry. It was a typical two-tone (green and white) with an oil furnace and sunset-yellow appliances, and a lovely linoleum with a fake-wood pattern on an off-white background. With 3-bedrooms, it was plenty large enough for our family of four, and we lived in it this way for a couple of years, on our lovely property. Eventually, however, they began the process of moving to de Overkant (dutch for 'the Other Side'), which was simply the part of their property on the other side of the road. They separated the two halves and had the trailer towed to de Overkant, with my brother's sheets still hanging off of his bed, on the open-sided half-trailer. Once on de Overkant, they set the trailer-halves up with a large gap in the middle, and began the process of renovating. They built a sort of great-room between the two halves, with skylights, a central location for a woodstove, and a more open plan for living. They cut cedar siding with an Alaska Mill and covered the two-tone metal exterior so that one could hardly tell it was a trailer. Eventually they happened upon this beautiful sign, which gave our home its name:
My parents, brother and I moved out of the house in 1993, when they moved to the interior to be closer to work, and they rented the Phantom Rickshaw to a few other families until, 7 years later, Markus and I came back to rent it ourselves, and raise our children, here. In the meantime, my parents have returned, and finally built the house they dreamed of, on the hill behind, and now we are all blessed to live on this property together. Honestly, the house could really do with a replacement, since the walls are rather thin, but we're honoured to carry on the tradition of the van Lidth de Jeude's tenure in the Phantom Rickshaw.
|That's our house in the background, with the shed and chicken coop in the front. All as seen from 1/2-way up the sequoia in the front field.|