Yesterday a friend asked me why I don’t blog more about “the Farm.”  Though I spend a lot of my time here, I don’t really think of it as travel.  I think of it as home.

It’s a special place.   Its magic has worked on me my whole life, and judging from the comments I get from people who come here, most are not immune to its beauty and specialness.

Margaret - the house is visible thanks to the snow on the roof.

Margaret – the house is visible thanks to the snow on the roof.

After the long drive on a narrow gravel road, the first glimpse of my property is Margaret, our totem pole.   I don’t know why we called it that . Maybe it reminded my Dad of his mother-in-law (my grandmother’s name was Margaret…) or maybe it was just a funky name. After all, he named his dog Arnold.

Perhaps I need to go out and straighten her, no?

Perhaps I need to go out and straighten her, no?

When I bought the property, Margaret was in pretty bad shape.  She’d been standing out there for 50 years in the rain and the snow.  The water had eaten away at the wood in many places and of course the paint was badly faded and even missing in spots.  So that first winter, we took her down and brought her into the basement and spent about 18 months (remember we’re only here sporadically) restoring her.  Most people were aghast that I choose the brightest white, red, yellow, blue and orange to repaint her…but when you’re standing sentinel in the leafy green woods of summer and the stark black and white of winter, only the brightest colors will stand out.  What in the basement looked outlandish, out in the woods looks just right.

The driveway finally ends in a circle in front (or in back, according to my husband) of the house.  The house appears as a cedar-shake-covered ranch house – it really doesn’t look like much, and that is part of the fun.  I have described the inside elsewhere in the blog, but here I will just say that most people are so surprised when they walk in and see the big open plan and all the windows, that the mousy aspect that first greets them is well worth keeping that way!

The "front" of the house with the woodshed.

The “front” of the house with the woodshed.

There is a woodshed in the front, too.  My birdfeeders are there, so it appears in many of my bird photos.  I put in a garden along the front of the house – a garden based on hours of research into what plants deer will NOT eat.  The first winter we were here, those bold creatures would walk right up the shoveled walkway to the front door, just so they could eat the plants on either side!

Now we keep the garden mulched under a foot of straw during the winter, and each year the garden spreads a little more.  I like to find native plants and flowers to put there, but I often find little surprises.  One of the most pleasant was the jack-in-the-pulpits that we found growing near the woodshed that now have spread out.

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