The past three weeks have been totally consuming, for moving from one house to another. Few tasks are as dreaded as emptying one's house to move to another. The house being moved from was the one in Batavia, supporting Susan's law practise (or vice versa.) But now that she has retired, it became time to move to the farm full-time. We recruited movers to do the heavy lifting and family to help with the moderate, while we executed the rest. The rest included emtying and unpacking endless closets, cabinets, drawers, appliances, basement, and tools. Many, many trips to the truck and many in the truck to the farm. The task seemed relentless and far more tiring than when last performed ten years ago. We had such a good time, however, that we are going to do it again over the next month, emptying our past residence at the farm, Lark Hill, to make way for the arrival of Clark's family in June.
Moving one's domicle is a threshold experience, that defines in part who one is. I have been waiting 50 years to have a full-time address at this farm in this renovoted house. It is dizzying to finally land.
We have been in the new house for 5 nights, and quickly recognize and miss the quieting, intimate, and mystical beauty of Lark Hill, which has nurtured our hopes and dreams on the farm for the past 20 years. We are calling our new house Blossom Hill. It too is perched on a hill, offering spectacular energy with broad vistas, making for a very different living experience.
We invite you to come and see Blossom Hill during farm tours. Land and nature are represented in almost every room. The front hall is graced with two paintings of birds by Mark Eberhard -- an exceptional artist of nature living in Terrace Park. The dining room is anchored by a table I made from 150-year-old, mouse-gnawed. poplar boards, rescued from an old granary on the farm. The living room and kitchen present fireplaces with mammoth hearth-stones cut from the neighboring hillside that are bedecked with hand-made bricks from the farm's streambank. The kitchen offers historic beams of poplar, oak, and cherry which were preserved when taking down old out-buildings. Most of all, the house is full of light. Every room is graced with big windows and sweeping views. It almost feels like we have relocated to the West somewhere. It is so different from the intimacy of Lark Hill, yet only half a mile away.
This house is 150 years old. We upsized in this move, by renovating as described, planning for the future rather than for us. We want Blossom Hill to stand on its foundation for another 150 years and to attract many hard-working, well-intentioned families during that time.
We are blessed, but the blessing comes from relentless work, humility, and vision. It can dissipate at any time, and always seems tempted to do so, so it behooves us to acknowledge the forces that keep the vision afloat. Those are: the sun, the partners, and the customers. We are harvesting an increasing amount of solar energy on the farm, we are developing an increasingly able team of partners, both human and animal, to execute the vision, and we are grateful recipients of a growing base of customers. If any of these falters, we go down. The equilibrium is fragile, but beautiful. We stand in deep respect.
Other activities have been underway as well. Solar panels were installed on two barns, beaver have been tirelessly constructing dams we have to remove, for a tour on Saturday, and we managed to get stuck in a wet spot in the middle of a pasture. Last, the grass is finally growing. We had to buy more hay in anticipation, and only have 10 bales left - enough for three more days of feeding. Then grazing starts in increments of 10 acres rather than 1 acre, as is currently the program.
Beth & I look forward to seeing you at the Hyde Park market this weekend. We are signing up for summer markets now, and will be attending Blue Ash on Wednesday afternoons, Milford on Saturday mornings, and German Village in Columbus on Saturdays as well. Keeping up with all of this will be a challenge, which we welcome.
Below is an omlette made by a retired country-barrister, in a breakfast-room with a view.
It has been a long three weeks, and it feels good to reconnect.
Drausin & Susan