There, beyond the smoky greys of city-life, the road will lead you to greener pastures. A little house with a blue front door, a garden big enough to grow all your hopes and dreams, and a view that inspires poetry. Life will be lived at a gentler pace. ~ Flora Turrill
Good morning, dear friends. This past week I was, once again, going through my ‘little books of special things’ and I came across this quote from Flora Turrill. Which led me to think about our home in the beautiful countryside of Virginia. I know I have chatted in previous posts about ‘Crabapple’, but there is so much to tell, I thought I would share a little more today. And, by the way, when she was first built she wore a blue front door, later changed to red.
‘Crabapple’ was built with youthful energy, strength, love, and determination. I will always be forever grateful for our sweet home and the wonderful times, experiences, and opportunities we had on those lovely enchanted twenty-one acres. Yes, they were enchanted. The land was flat and stretched into the sky. The snow geese landed in the fields and looked like huge puffs of cotton. Oh, to see them fly across a full moon was like something out of a fairy tale. And, to see the fog roll in across the fields was nothing short of magical.
These beautiful fields also grew wheat, corn, and sweet potatoes. During a summer breeze, I loved to watch the corn tassels dance, while wheat gently swayed. It was so pretty. Not to mention, how sweet it was to have a few bushels of sweet potatoes in our pantry. While this land did ‘inspire poetry,’ there were many adventures and a great amount of work which took place.
“I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea
While I can’t say we lived life at a ‘gentler pace,’ I can say it was oh, so peaceful. My husband stayed busy building barns to provide shelter for our sheep. Sheep are the sweetest animals, truly special and gentle creatures. We had Romney’s, a wool breed, shearing around ten to twelve pounds of wool each year, per sheep.
Shearing time was always the most fun, as our shearers came from England, Australia, and New Zeland. We had the same group for years. There is a shearing circuit in the United States and they were on the circuit. They would stay with us and we would take them to all the local farms with sheep. Returning back to our home in the evening, we would enjoy a wonderful meal and listen to their tales of travels and homes in which they had stayed. It was a blessing to know them and have such wonderful memories of times spent together. They were also a blessing for our sheep as shearing can be stressful for the animal. Because the shearers were so skilled and worked quickly, it greatly reduced the stress.
“But where our hearts truly lie is in peace and quiet and good, tilled earth. ” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Our gardens grew and thrived in the heat, humidity and boiling sun. We grew every imaginable vegetable, many types of herbs and of course created beautiful flower gardens filled with luscious blooms. I became skilled in canning and preserving. Surrounding farms also provided numerous fields to pick strawberries and blueberries, while the peach orchards were roughly seven miles down the road in North Carolina. I must not forget our marvelous fig trees and blackberries we planted, both are such an exquisite treat. Merry, our Labrador retriever, thought so too. She knew when the berries and figs were ripe and she would ever so gently pick herself a few. Sometimes, too many!
At Crabapple ~ “There’s something magical and downright peaceful about rainy days and the moments leading up to them. My heart gallops at the sight of thick grey clouds gently being pulled along the white sky like little fingers stretching pieces of off-white cotton candy. I love the way everything slows down and quiets for a moment as the peaceful white noise of the rain softens the normal perception of the world outside. And I find happiness in the way the water drops from the greenery with grace and the way the sky rumbles with intensity. I’ll never tire of rain and everything that comes with it.” ~ unknown
“There is no such thing as too many deviled eggs.” ~
And there were chickens . . .
and so, so many eggs. But they were wonderful. To enjoy an omelet from just gathered eggs is a perfect way to begin a day.
“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.” ~ Rachel Carson
What a joy it was to have and watch the Eastern Bluebirds as they bounced through the air.
My husband could most likely build bluebird nesting boxes in his sleep. We had them all over our property. Oh, how we delighted in watching them raise their young and see the babies fly away.
It was always sad to hear the geese telling us goodbye as they left for their northern home in the spring. They seemed to always choose a pretty day to travel. Still, I would say a little prayer for them to have a safe journey.
Truly . . .” Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.” ~ Louie Schwartzberg
“We people who are attracted by the countryside cherish fond memories of certain springs, certain woods, certain ponds, certain hills, which have become familiar sights and can touch our hearts like happy events. Sometimes indeed the memory goes back towards a forest glade, or a spot on a river bank or an orchard in blossom glimpsed only once on a happy day but preserved in our heart.” ~ Guy de Maupassant
In the spring a morning walk down our 450-foot lane to the mailbox was a marvelous time for sights, smells, and beauty. It was a simple, but glorious pleasure.
Thanks to my husband, there were early blooming daffodils which lined both sides of the lane. That in itself was a sight to behold.
Oh, it was sheer bliss to cut their happy blooms until my heart was content. Every room in our home smiled.
“A house is not a home until there is a story attached to it.” ~ Tom Stringer
I could write endlessly about stories attached to our home and the treasured memories forever preserved in my heart. During our twenty-three years, there were many special celebrations, holidays, and also the beauty of joy in ordinary pleasures. Even though we will always miss Crabapple, we know we were blessed beyond measure to have had such a wonderful life on our piece of paradise.
But, what I treasure most from our years is the beautiful gift I received. That gift is perfectly conveyed by the words of John O’Donohue. I learned to “take time to celebrate quiet miracles that seek no attention” and to “experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.” I wish I could begin to tell you how this has enriched my life.
Thanks so much for visiting today.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful week, filled with the little things that make your heart sing.
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