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Self-designed A-frame house


Mill Valley, CA, USA

Shirlee was surprised, opening the door to some strangers from Asia. We thought we had left a letter (w/ our photo) asking her for permission to interview her but she hadn’t seen it in the pile of letters. Anyway, she welcomed us!


She wasn’t smiling at the beginning so I told myself to be relaxed and sincere. Still I was a little worried but before long I realized my fears were needless. As we continued, a kind smile crept across her face. She took us everywhere inside and outside and told us to take as much time as we wanted.


She used to have a four hundred-year-old oak in front of the large-opening window. She loved it so much that she designed her A to make the most of the view of it. I saw her attachment to it in a portrait, a reminder of the time, even though it had been cut some years ago because of a disease. Then I had a moment to realize that one of the charms of an A-frame house is its large-opening window.


What a surprise it was that she was the one who designed this beautiful A-frame house that was built in 1962. While she was working at a design office, she learned how to draw plans. With help from a few architects, she managed to finish it! I saw her love towards her 56-year-old house since it was perfectly tidy and clean. (How could it be so even though our visit was a walk-in!? Impossible! Oh, no. Never say never. One day I will... maybe...)


Our A-frame angel's A (*see episode 10) inspired her to build an A-frame house. She used to walk her kids to school, looking at it. After about 10 years, she made it come true.

A-frameを建てるきっかけは、現在私たちのA-frameエンジェルが住む家(エピソード10参照)だった。かつてこの家の近くに住み、子供たちの送り向かいの際、憧れを抱きつつ眺めていた。10年余り経過し、A-frame houseに住むという夢を実現した。


She took no second to answer my question; "what do you like about your A-frame house?"

"No complains. Life is good."

... My questions about her house became questions about life before I even knew it.





"I enjoy everything;

happy family

the feeling it goes on the site,

the orientation,

the morning sun,

the afternoon sun..."

I don't know why but her words were like poetry.








Now she lives alone. Her daughter's family lives near her and visits this A often. Her time with her family, including her grandchildren, is what she looks forward to the most.


〜 A Message from Shirlee to you〜

If you have your dream in your mind and keep working for it, it'll come sooner than you think.



Altitude(高度):22m Average temperature(平均気温):9.2to18.1℃ 

Annual precipitation(年間降水量):946mm 参照(CLIMATE-DATA.ORG)





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