We are selling the farm. Just saying those words out loud has been a mix of different emotions depending on where I am in the process of acceptance.
The past year has been exactly like when you look down at a half finished jigsaw puzzle on the table and no matter how hard you try; you can’t find the final pieces to complete the picture. You know that puzzle piece is hiding inside the unused pieces stacked to the side somewhere.
Maybe a piece fell on the floor, never to be found again. Maybe you lost interest in completing the puzzle. Maybe the cats found it, batted it about and it’s tucked underneath the couch.
You can drive yourself crazy with puzzle stress.
About the best way I can explain it is that we are looking to start over because so many events occurred to everyone in the family and there was no way the puzzle pieces could possibly ever fit together. Not here. Not this picture. Not this dream.
At first it was me who saw it.
The sheer magical beauty of this property has had us under its spell since the first time we set foot on it with our Realtor. Actually, Eric was in love from the moment he saw pictures of it before we arrived. I had never seen him so fascinated and drawn to a house. Not even when we had our other house built and could pick out the colors and built the mammoth deck. Nope. This old farm stole his heart.
And then it wrapped me up into its history. In the days to come, friends and family would visit, and most would say they could feel a Native American presence out in the woods by the stream. I did too.
We had two properties to sell. One new and one old. The new one went quickly. This older one is like an old wine, waiting for the right person to open the bottle who knows how to respect the vintage.
Why are you moving, everyone asks?
Didn’t we have this conversation two years ago? Just before Thanksgiving in fact. Just like now.
We did so much work on the property; tending to the parts that nobody will see. The plumber, roofer, landscaper, carpenter and stone mason are all on a first name basis, and ready to come here quickly, not because we needed their skills, but because each one of them loves the farm. They say it is their escape. They claimed to get something from the experience of being here, whether it is their love of the horse, the trees and natural surroundings, or the occasional voices from the barn. Could be the barn swallows. Could be the ancestors. Everyone agrees that whatever is here, it is friendly.
I realized that there is something called the season of the farmhouse. It doesn’t occur to everyone. For us, it was the realization that living in the suburbs in a brand new house with every luxury was delicious but not us.
For the people who came here to help us with renovations, the property was sanctuary. We had to ask to be billed for their time. We worked it out that they could come and go as they could. We were in no rush. And so each man would arrive, excited and ready with stories and jokes, looking for the horse or the spot on the property where they knew they could work in peace. Be creative. Take their time. Have long chats with the wood.
I thought I would regret leaving but as Eric and I moved closer to the understanding that this was not our forever home after all, we crept towards a realization that we experienced a massive learning experience.
When every day was a new worry about a job, health problem, career change, broken something or other that needed fixing, being parents, and being human, there was no better place for the shit to hit the fan than five acres packed with trees and a house in the country built with stone.
I couldn’t figure out why the title search indicated that so many families lived here. I now believe that we were right, when I said we came here because we were “growing dreams”. I think those families did that too. Some of the people who lived here before us are local legends.
I can think of no greater honor than to have lived here and for the next homeowner to experience their season of the farmhouse too.