LOOKING OUT THROUGH MY WINDOWS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I am not an outdoorsy person. I’d go so far as to say that I am predominantly an indoor person. I like the regulated temperatures on the inside. I also like the absence of bugs and wind, let alone rain and snow and other types of weather.

On the other hand, I absolutely love LOOKING outside. I am a huge fan of windows. My house has lots and lots of them. I have a rounded porch that is all windows. My bedroom has two walls of windows. The bed is in the middle of the room so that it is surrounded by all of the windows.

This makes my house horribly energy inefficient. As a result, my heating and cooling bills are high. But it’s worth it for me.

I built my house in the woods, overlooking a stream and a small waterfall on one side. I wanted to be able to look out at nature 24/7. And I wanted natural light everywhere in the house. I want nature and light all around me, in every room inside my house. I just don’t want to actually be outside in it. Looking at it through my wonderful windows is fine with me.

I’ve always been ever so slightly agoraphobic. My home is my happy place or my safe space. There are times when I don’t want to go out at all. I often consolidate my errands so I have to go out only a few days a week. That leaves me several days when I can just stay home. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with wanting to look out at nature from indoors. But in my mind, they’re related.

Next to my home, the thing I love the most is our boat. Now, boating is considered an outdoor sport. But in my case, it’s not. My boat is a floating condo. It’s a miniature apartment or house with a comfortable and spacious interior. But of course, I only wanted a boat that had lots of big windows. I can look out at the water and the other boats all the time. The deck on the boat is a screened in porch on three sides. Technically, there is no outdoor living space at all on the boat!

You can see the fully enclosed but windowed deck on our boat

So, even when I’m on the water, I’m inside, enjoying the outside through windows and screens. I’m fine with that.

View from our boat in the marina

At home, we don’t even have to go outside to walk the dogs. We installed a doggie door and fenced in a huge area in the backyard for the dogs. We are the rare dog owners who never have to go outside because of our dogs. We do go outside with them for a few minutes most days to get them to run around and chase each other. And we do have to walk the dogs when we have them on the boat with us. So in that way, boating does get us outside more than usual.

When I lived in New York City, I walked outside all the time and loved the freedom of being able to get almost everything I needed in my own neighborhood. I also used to play tennis and ski a lot. I have experienced the joys of outdoor sports. But that was a long time ago. And I don’t miss them now.

My kitchen table looking out at the yard and the stream/waterfall

Now I’m content sitting in my kitchen, looking out at the trees and the waterfall, watching the birds and the dogs. I’d be bereft if I could only look out at other buildings, a city street or something else man-made and unattractive. But give me my nature on the other side of the window please.

Don’t make me GO OUT THERE!

10 thoughts on “LOOKING OUT THROUGH MY WINDOWS – BY ELLIN CURLEY”

  1. I was afraid you were a secret, outdoorsy person. Garry is NOT an outdoorsy person and is the only person I know who refused to go camping. Ever. I am outdoorsy for brief periods, when it’s very pretty and I can take pictures. I’m pretty sure if I didn’t develop photography as a hobby, I might never have gone outside at all. I am comforted that I am not alone.

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    1. I went camping once as a child at camp and would never do it again. It’s my idea of hell. Uncomfortable with no discernible counterbalancing benefits. I admit that going outside to look at stars and the moon can be very rewarding. But that only takes a few minutes, not an entire night on the cold, hard ground.

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  2. I do love a room with a view and your windows are beautiful. I’m not what you would call outdoorsy but not a total shut in either. I don’t like extreme heat and you would never find me on the beach in summer. We have a nice mild climate most of the time so sometimes I’ll go and sit under the pergola in the back garden and enjoy the birds close up but too much wind, heat or noise from the neighbours sends me scuttling back inside.

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    1. Sitting outside in mild, pleasant weather is wonderful. On that rare day, you will find me outside on my patio or in a chair overlooking my waterfall. But I agree with you about heat as well as cold – I don’t like any extreme of weather. I have a very narrow range of temperature in which I am totally comfortable. I’m always either wearing coats indoors or turning the air conditioning up higher. So even indoors, I have to deal with uncomfortable temperatures. So outside is usually a nightmare for me and my sensitive body thermostat!

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    1. Thank you! I love my home too and don’t often have strong incentives to leave it. The wall to wall windows really give me the feeling of being outdoors. I designed the house that way and I’m glad I did, despite the high fuel and electric bills.

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    1. Thank you Leslie! I designed my house to bring the outdoors in. I think I was successful in certain areas of the house and that’s where I spend most of my time. It’s hard when it gets dark at 4:30 PM and I can’t see outside anymore. That can get depressing for a few months of the year. But then there’s the months when it’s light till 9:00 PM and all is well with the world!

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