Home in Osprey Point, Maine | House for Sale
After several minutes of drinking it all in, we joined Kendra at the large, round dining-room table for coffee and a piece of Swedish cardamom bread that she’d mixed up earlier that morning, rolling cinnamon and butter inside before baking. On top, she’d sprinkled pärl socker, Swedish “pearl sugar.” When Kendra’s now-grown daughters, Ona and Isa, were teenagers, she lived for almost 10 summers in a house she’d remodeled on the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia in Sweden. So the Swedish influence in her house, her sculptures, and her cooking comes naturally. We’d planned to eat just one piece of her cardamom bread — but ended up eating three. It was warm, just out of the oven. Well, okay, we ate four.
Eventually, we walked with Kendra through her home’s 3,500 square feet of living space (plus basement), marveling at the fact that all the major rooms upstairs and down have those magnificent Swedish windows on three sides. Besides that, what stands out in our memory are the striking stairway (a sculpture in itself), the interesting shapes of the ceilings surrounding the upstairs skylights, the second-floor iron balcony (designed and built by one of Kendra’s dear friends), the upstairs “great room” — not as large as the one on the first floor but nonetheless spacious (it’s currently the master bedroom but has served as a studio, too) — and, overall, the sense of hand-craftedness everywhere.
We asked Kendra what she liked best about the house. “The serenity,” she answered without hesitation, adding that she and her daughters named the property “Andrum,” which in Swedish means “Breathing Spaces.” Somehow that struck us as the perfect name. Perhaps at this point we should add a few of the practicalities, however: two bathrooms, a modern heating system, a pantry, two Vermont Castings woodstoves, a fully equipped laundry room, three bedrooms upstairs, one downstairs, and a back entrance stairway.
It occurred to us as we meandered through the house that many of the large spaces (seems more appropriate than “rooms”) could so easily be adapted to various uses. That downstairs studio, for instance, would make a fabulous family/game/exercise/television area — and the view of the ocean from those triple 12-foot-high windows would be magnificent. Or could be. All a new owner would have to do is cut some trees, and we’re sure the value of the property would leap from the current $1,600,000 asking price to something far above that figure.
Speaking of ocean views, before saying our goodbyes we simply had to see those 381 feet of shore frontage, now so well hidden from the house. So, with Kendra, a very happy Hugo, and one of Kendra’s cats, Bates, who bounded along ahead of us, we wended our way down through the woods for about five minutes until we reached a small rocky point jutting out into Long Cove. Here, Kendra told us, she and Hugo take long swims every summer morning.
“I expected to keep this property until the end,” Kendra mused as we watched a lobster boat moving along the far shore and listened to the distant foghorn on Mark Island, just off Stonington. “But I’d like to live nearer my daughters,” she continued after a pause, “and I find now that I’d like to live where I don’t have to drive so much.” We hastened to assure her that as birthdays accumulate, things change in all our lives. In the ensuing silence, however, we found ourselves picturing the guest cottage with sleeping porch we’d build down here next to the water — with maybe a small dock, too. Nothing that would disrupt the mystery of the forest, of course.
You know, it’s fun to dream.