A Long Lost Friend

Sometimes This Old Farm Feels Like A Long Lost Friend..

It's always good to be at home again.

Married four years, living on the lakeshore
 with a three year old toddler and a 6 month old baby, 
we began to look for another and safer place to live.
 Safer was my thinking. I've never learned to swim.
 Our lakefront home was surrounded on three sides by water.
 In addition to the lake, there were canals to the north and west of us.

We had no preconceived idea about the style of home we wanted to find.
We looked at many places and none of them seemed to be just right.

Someone told us there was a farm for sale nearby. 
Maybe we should check into that possibility.
Neither of us had been raised on a farm so this was a bit of a stretch.

We approached the owners and learned the farm included twenty acres,
 a cobblestone house and an old barn.
 When we checked it out, we found there was also an old garage, a chicken coop, a root cellar and a corn crib.

We decided to take a look.
We found an old farmhouse built by the sons of the original owners in 1936. 
We've always assumed that's when it was built 
since the numbers are embedded in the cement steps which lead to the basement.
Eventually we learned that the barn had been built in 1917. 
It was in need of  painting along with other repairs
 about which we hadn't yet learned.

After our visit with the owners, we talked on our way home. 
"Well, what do you think?" my husband asked.
 "I liked it", I said. "And you know what, I felt like I had been there before".
 He responded, "So did I".
It seemed this was where we were meant to be.

We are celebrating our 58th year of enjoying our lives at Hidden Meadow Farm.

Both my husband and I have been in retail businesses.
 He owned and operated an Ace Hardware and Sporting Goods for 25 years.
  I owned and operated a Hallmark Shop for 13 years.

During those years, we raised sheep for 10 years. 
 A flock of 100 was ours 
 when we sold them in 1998.
In addition to the sheep we've had goats and pigs and chickens.
 We've also raised ducks and geese and peacocks.
 Our pasture afforded us the opportunity to have horses 
for our sons and grandchildren.
 Many wonderful dogs have graced our acreage,
 including a St. Bernard, a German Shepherd, a Collie and several hunting dogs.
Last but not least the one we have now, a Toy Poodle. 
Yes, we've had a few cats too.

When we first arrived, there was an apple orchard
 which has now been reduced to four trees.
 They're old even though we aren't.
 We have two pear trees
 still producing very, very small pears.
This year, one tree produced two pears.
It may be time to plant new trees.
 In the beginning we had an orchard of cherry trees. 

There are enough Maple trees to hang ten or twelve sap buckets in early spring.
 Many labor intensive hours have provided us 
with wonderful maple syrup for the family.

The hours of labor are, of course, provided by my husband.
(Necessity, they say, is the Mother of invention.)

The years of "Living The Life" which have been given to our family
 at this wonderful place, are indeed a treasure for us.
When we were considering the purchase many years ago,
 we asked my Dad, who was a carpenter by trade in his early years, 
what he thought about the place.
He said, "There's probably nothing that's level or even.
 It seems solid enough, though.
 If I were you I wouldn't put much money in it,
 because you don't know how long you'll be living here."

If he could only have known!

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