Thursday, January 27, 2005

It’s a FARM!

Anvilcloud posted a blog yesterday asking the question, so I just have to set the record straight. It’s a farm!!! Can you tell that this is an ongoing topic of debate at our house?

Of course Riverwood is a farm. What else would you call a piece of property with an old farmhouse on it, two barns (no animals in either one any more, but one used to house horses), and other assorted outbuildings? Nothing for it, but to call it a FARM!

Most of the property is densely wooded, and the ground is solid rock in most places but there are open pastures with fences, which were once used to keep animals from roaming out onto the road. We even have a meadow with an apple tree. Now I ask you – Isn’t that a farm? No, we don’t grow any crops here anymore, but we could have a Christmas Tree farm or something like that here. We sure have evergreen trees aplenty. Yes, it’s a farm.

A cottage is a house or cabin on a few acres of land overlooking a lake. Riverwood is not that. It is a huge piece of forested property (123 acres) with a river running through it, a farmhouse and two barns sitting on it, and fences marking the boundary lines along it. All these things make it a farm!! Don’t they?

Whatever we call it — house, farm, cottage, or country property — I am never ready to leave it when it is time to go home. This is our last week here, and I have been struggling with my emotions every day. Shadows of sadness sweep across me as I go through each day, and I almost dread our return to the concrete greyness of the city. I don’t mind being home once I get there, but I will miss this beautiful spot so much. I think I could live here year round quite easily. Well, black fly season leaves a bit to be desired, but even that could be dealt with by using special jackets with hoods and facemasks. Anvilcloud says that if this was my permanent home it would lose its charm, but I can’t imagine that ever happening.

As this week keeps marching forward and we get closer and closer to our departure day, I get up each morning and make my daily rounds of the windows and try to hold each view in my memory, but I can’t do it. Every morning the landscape is fresh and new, a unique gift that changes with each sunrise and sunset.

It snowed again last night, but this morning dawned clear and WINDY. I looked outside and smiled when I saw that the wind was having a party with the new fallen snow: picking it up and throwing it around like handfuls of confetti and shaking the trees like feather dusters until their snowy coverings scattered like dust in the wind. Then it scooted over to the snowdrifts to spruce them up, and give them razor sharp new edges. Here and there in the open fields we could see Mother Nature picking up her fresh white carpets to give them a shake in the wind. Mini tornados of snow swirled and danced to the wind’s tune as Mother Nature went on her dusting rampage. Such a whirlwind of activity out there this morning and so much fun to watch.

We went out for our walk this afternoon but stayed away from the open fields as much as we could, just to keep out of Mother Nature’s way while she blustered about doing her housework. The thick forest was the place to be on a day like today. Amazingly, all was quiet and calm along the wooded trails, and we enjoyed a peaceful walk.

I will hang onto the beauty of this day for as long as I am able to, take what I can of it with me into tomorrow and add it to the beauty waiting for me there.

Today I must allow myself to feel what I feel, give myself all the space I need, and then move through the feelings of loss and sadness and into the joy that is beyond them. Learning from these little daily life lessons and taking baby steps in the right direction all along the way, helps me cope with the major upheaval and change that comes into everyone’s life eventually: sickness, loss, grief, death!

On some days we can avoid the blustery fields of life and walk in the calm quiet forests that protect us from the biting, bone chilling winds, but on other days we have to venture out onto the cold windswept fields and face the storm head on. On those days we have to wrap ourselves in the warm layers of love, friendship and memories that we have gathered over the years and keep moving forward through the gale.

Whatever path you have to tread today, I wish you strength for the journey, a coat of love to wrap yourself in, and a peace that passes understanding at the core of your soul.


Anonymous said...


You are most obviously wrong and the esteemed Anvilcloud is most obviously correct.

Unbiased Observer

Karla said...

Hi Cuppa
How heartbreaking that your wonderful winter tales at the Farm/Cottage (I’ll call it both to appease Anvilcloud in case her reads this) will be laid to rest for another year. Riverwood sounds like such a relaxing, yet exciting place to be all at the same time.

I am much more familiar with a cottage being on an island or near a body of water, but that image of a cottage mostly stems from my childhood memories visiting my Uncles cottage in Point Au Baril (just north of Parry Sound). It wasn’t until I moved away from my home town of Penetanguishene that I realized that many homes in the town I grew up in where referred to as “Cottages” by the city folk.

mrhaney said...

it looks wonderful. my wife and i live in atlanta, ga. in a ranch house on 2 acres of land. it is enough room for us. four years ago we thought we wanted to move so we rented a car every weekend and went looking for houses in ga. then we went to south carolina and north carolina and tennessee. we looked at ranch houses and we looked at log cabins and we looked at houses in the mountains. we finally found a piece of property about 90 miles from atlanta. it was in ga. but it was only 10 miles to s. carolina. we thought if we bought it some day we might build a house on it. well it was 30 acres and i liked it because it felt like if we got it we would own our own park. thirty acres is a lot for us but we ended up buying it. there are farms all around our property. we will probably not build there now that i have been doing a lot of remodeling on our place in atlanta for a couple of years. it is getting to look a lot better finally. i still want to hold on to our 30 acres though because that property is paid in full and it is like having a savings acount to us. land usually never goes down in price. we have had the property for about 6 years now and the prices have almost doubled per acre around there now. i would love to have a house smack dabb in the middle of the 30 acres though and a barn to store hay and a couple of dogs and a horse. thats probably just a dream though. it could happen though so i do not rule it out. i never thought i would own 30 acres either but my wife and i do. so, never say never. thanks for your post on your farm. it gave me the oppertunity to dream about my possible farm.