Sunday, October 07, 2012

House hunting....down a dirt road


It's as if he's simply taking his mind and imagination for a walk, 
and as they forage, as any dogs might do, 
he never quite knows where they will take him... 
looking for the road less travelled and the humble pleasures overlooked.

...it's in the digression, the getting lost, 
the unexpected diversion that the joy of travel comes. 
Trains of thought can take you places that no other trains reach at all.

Written by author, Pico Iyer regarding W. Somerset Maugham
in the book, 'The Skeptical Romancer- Selected Travel Writings'

It is a rainy day in Ho Chi Minh City, we are coming to the close of the monsoon season, or so they say. I am actually kind of enjoying it, the temps have eased a bit (81F/27C) and it has given me an excuse to curl up with a new book. I started Pico Iyer's collection of travel writings by W. Somerset Maugham, 'The Skeptical Romancer'.

I had to laugh at the passage above...at the similarities. In my mind the same could be said for blogging...never quite knowing where a thought will take you..

A road less travelled...

On that note, I have decided, one day, I would like to live down a dirt road...to a place where peace reigns and grass grows softly underfoot. I have no wish for the faintest sound of a plane, train or automobile. Just a place to roam and stand amongst the silence of nature with a cup of coffee in hand and to be able to say...yes, this is it, if only for a little while. That would just about do it for me.


It started in Maine....

This all came about on my recent trip to the USA which started in the most uncanny way...it started here, on my blog and on Facebook. One day, I shared my interest in mid-coast Maine, in a particular town and low and behold, a high school classmate, Bill, who I had not seen in 40 years, and had only recently discovered on Facebook...wrote to say, he lived in the town I mentioned and was a local realtor. Mission accomplished. He listened to what I was interested in and brought me along to some wonderful properties. From the minute I arrived to the moment I drove off...it was magical. If you were to think of that one home, that one place, where you could truly be at peace and create the life you dreamed of...it could easily be in Maine. The following is a collage of my experiences on this brief visit... Bill, got it just right. Each home, inside and out, was just what I had in mind. I left with the perfect house in mind....

A landscape in Maine...

Places to create...

A home by the sea...



and then...I was on the road again, to New Hampshire...

Down a dirt road...

A few days later, I drove into New Hampshire to a town I had never heard of until I started corresponding with Lisa, Joe and Paula.  Lisa wrote to me last year to say she enjoyed reading my blog and the similarities we share. We started writing back and forth about our lives and our interests in books, gardening, small town life and then it happened...

The Blind Blogging Date...

On a visit back to the USA in 2011, we had the opportunity to meet. It was one of those meetings that many bloggers have had. I call it the BBD (Blind Blogging Date). You make arrangements to meet, indicate a way of recognising each other and hope for the best. I have never been disappointed and I wasn't with Lisa. We met and hours later we parted.  Lisa mentioned Joe, a keen gardener's who has a wonderful blog, Notes from Juniper Hill, and suggested I check it out. I did and another kindred spirit was found in Joe and his partner in life, Paula. Letters, blog comments, Facebook conversations ensued and there I was last week...sitting in Joe and Paula's garden with Lisa. We met and it was like old friends coming together...you know that feeling, when it does not matter how far or how long since you last spent time with a friend...it feels like yesterday? It was the same feeling, except in this case it was the beginning of something special. I could feel it.

Small world that it is, Lisa is also a realtor and knowing me, she knew what this small town girl had in mind for a special home. From house to house we travelled and then, down a dirt road, I found it....that perfect spot...a farmhouse and silence in the trees. Nothing grand...just a house and a barn and a quiet landscape. The perfect retreat...to create.


a view....

a house....

and a barn.

Thinking..

Now...you are most likely thinking what I am thinking...but...you said you found the perfect spot in Maine?  I did. I also found the perfect spot in New Hampshire. So I sit...in confusion...searching, wondering what I am doing and what I am going to do. As I type in Ho Chi Minh City on this rainy 'monsoony' kind of day, explaining this to you. I end as I began...



It's as if he's simply taking his mind and imagination for a walk, 
and as they forage, as any dogs might do, 
he never quite knows where they will take him... 
looking for the road less travelled and the humble pleasures overlooked.

...it's in  the digression, the getting lost, 
the unexpected diversion that the joy of travel comes. 
Trains of thought can take you places that no other trains reach at all.

Written by author, Pico Iyer regarding W. Somerset Maugham
in the book, 'The Skeptical Romancer- Selected Travel Writings'

Still curious? Me too...

In truth...at this moment, I am uncertain of the outcome. The 'H' family is in discussion..so much to consider, our life swiftly moves from page to page as we think ahead. Mrs. H knows that one thing is true..one day she would like to live at the end of a dirt road...where there is silence in the trees. In this big wide world... there are many options.

Dear Henry...

It is times like this when I pull out one of my favourite writers, Henry David Thoreau. He has been a great source of inspiration to me over the years. Some days I just need the wisdom of Henry...I think he would have understood.

'I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, 
which, if we unconsciously yield to it, 
will direct us aright'

Henry David Thoreau


PS...

If you would like to know more about these properties,you can write to me... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com
I am sure Bill in Maine or Lisa from Vermont and New Hampshire,
would be happy to help. They come highly recommended from this blogger. 


Best wishes for a lovely weekend to one and all...

Jeanne xx



39 comments:

  1. Oh Jeanne, all these homes and the views are what most of us would dream of. The last home and the barn..are nothing less than spectacular. The perfect time of year too to catch the colour of the leaves and the beautiful surroundings. I can picture you sitting in the screened porch, reading, blogging and enjoying all that beauty and of course, the silence in the trees. xx

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    1. Thanks Deb...my hope one day is to have other friends doing the same with me...sharing the silence in the trees. :)

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  2. Jeanne, I can most definitely understand you confusion as the pictures show wonderful properties. Water, windows and woods....as you described, places to create and dream. It is good to hear you arrived safely home. Thoreau is a favorite.

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    1. I think you just described it perfectly Bonnie... water, window, woods...just like Walden Pond. :)

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  3. Narrowing your search down to 2 lovely spots is a real point in your favor. Imagine if there were dozens that were all tugging!! When we moved to Houston, we had 3 realtors and must have looked at 60 houses! Is the one in New Hampshire on any water? It seems that you might be drawn to water.....but that red barn! So adorable

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  4. Jeanne,

    I have been waiting to hear all about your lovely adventure searching for a house here on the East Coast. It sounds as if the journey of looking was just as much fun as the journey to see the houses.

    How wonderful this world of blogging, kindred spirits finding one another across the vastness that is the world wide web. I think it is wonderful that you had new friends and old to share this adventure.

    Have a wonderful rainy weekend, hopefully sitting in your beautiful chaise, with a cup of tea, pondering the day away and finding the perfect place for you and your family.

    I love them both and can see wonderful times at either place.

    xx Elizabeth

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth...I am waiting for the day when we can meet and looking forward to it.. :)

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  5. Here I've been reading your blog & never knew you had visited New England! We might have passed each other without knowing it... :) Maine & NH are both wonderful places to visit..or live.

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    1. So glad you have been visiting Beth...welcome! :)

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  6. The last farmhouse is my favourite too Jeanne. Imagine white wisteria over the exterior of the rear verandah? (Or jasmine, if wisteria was too rampant.) And then a beautiful potager in that overgrown vegetable garden... The double-story exterior is impressive too.

    But best of it, it looks like a beautiful place for the children -- and grandchildren -- to come and stay...
    xxx

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    1. Janelle...I think I need you as my house hunting buddy...we might end up buying a whole village! :)

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    2. I'll be there Jeanne, especially if you end up somewhere near Rockport (Mass), Cape Cod, the Vineyard or Maine! xxx

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  7. Oh golly, Jeanne, which would I choose - they all look lovely - but then the photos were all taken on lovely sunny days. What about rainy days, snowy days, windy days - that is when one should view I sometimes think. I also think that sometimes it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive. Good luck anyway.



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    1. I completely appreciate what you are saying and managed to be there on a few overcast days. You are right...better to look at the light in a house in the rain...a sample of what is to come in winter. You quickly start to learn what works and what doesn't and what the essentials would be if you were in for a long winter. :)

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  8. What a wonderful post, jeanne! I would definitely be torn between the two! They are picture perfect indeed! What fun to meet up with blogging friends! I've often wondered how that would turn out! I must say I'm still confused about why you live in Ho Chi Minh City in the first place! Not that it's not wonderful and adventurous! I just truly can't imagine such a different culture…I definitely can understand why it's hard to choose between Maine and New Hampshire! I am very sheltered indeed…and perhaps a bit too comfortable! Thanks for sharing all of this…it was gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you Carolyn...I find sometimes that answers come more easily when I write and even better when I have lovely readers like yourself adding their words of wisdom and encouragement. Many thanks! :)

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  9. Such wonderful possibilities dear Jeanne - I wonder what you will do.
    I think the 'pull' to return to the land of our birth and connections is very strong.
    I adore travelling and spending time in other countries but home will always be here, where my strong connections lie.
    It's about the familiar - landscape, language, colloquialisms, history.....

    I feel that beautiful country road, house and barn have been in your mind forever, always a faint memory from long ago and the need to return one day...

    Take care
    thinking of you
    Shane ♥

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    1. Shane...the wise words of a Kiwi...you know me well. :)

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  10. Hello Jeanne

    What a choice and what to do. Both are so beautiful yet so different. I thought initially the house in Maine and then I looked at the New Hampshire beauty and it reminds me of the home my late sister lived in (near Manchester, NH)and beautiful memories came back of Christmas spent there.

    I wish you good luck with your decision.

    Helen xx

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    1. Helen..it is within an hours drive of Manchester, NH...a plane ride (or two) away. I imagine it would be lovely at Christmas. :)

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    2. It was beautiful and my sister's home was in Londonderry, NH

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    3. If we buy the NH house Helen...you will always be welcome. :)

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  11. Oh Jeanne... these houses are heaven... and i can imagine your dilemma.. I also know that you will make the right choice ultimately... You will know... and there will be no confusion... Thoreau is right... Happy Sunday, xv.

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    1. Thank you Vicki...what started as a simple journey has become one of the longest roads I have travelled...in my both my heart and by car. I wouldn't have it any other way! :)

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  12. Oh my. I actually read your wonderful post yesterday and just had absolutely no idea how to reply! Such unbelievably incredible choices. The farm just made my heart go kerthunk, it really did. It is the perfect version of such a farm.That barn! The creak of the wooden stairs, that deep screened in porch for summer thunderstorms. But to be on the water...and watch the birds swoop down in the morning...to take a long bath with the windows looking out on winter. My oh my. But Vicki is right, you will know. I do love that you already have friends in either place! How amazing is that? Although I am completely confident in your ability to make friends where ever you go...

    Gros bisous,
    H.

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    1. I just love your way with words Heather...you capture my heart every time. That's what friends do... :)

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  13. Jeanne, after all those bits and bytes flying across the Atlantic through internet space, it was so wonderful to finally meet face-to-face. I hope that meeting was just the first of many more to come. And, if it helps to further that goal--selfish person that I am--I vote for house number two!

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    1. Thank you Joe...and for your note that followed. You and Paula are the best! :)

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  14. Hi Jeanne. Our family has gone from down town Toronto to a farm in southwestern Ontario. 20 years after our first move from the city, people are still shocked to learn we live on a farm. AFter living in 4 other homes, we arrived on the farm 2 1/2 years ago. We feel like we finally arrived home. We are more firmly rooted and live a much better life. Hiking the trails with the dog, fishing the river or riding my horses is magical in its simplicity. Our daughter was in university when we moved here, so she doesn't have the same bond as we do, but with every visit home she too grows roots. We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday (ours is a month ahead of US), and the house was full of memories in the making. Nurture your dream, take your time, and I know that some day we will be reading about your new home and life in the country...somewhere! All the best:) Brenda. ps. I am with you on Thoreau!

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    1. Thank you Brenda...we are speaking the same language, even the part about the children. Your land sounds wonderful...just as wonderful as you show in your blog. :)

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  15. Oh what a dilemma - but a beautiful dilemma. I would love to have the same dilemma myself.

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    1. Loree... and so many of us dream of your beautiful spot in Malta. To have the Mediterranean at your doorstep...now that would be something! :)

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  16. Jeanne, this is all amazing! Your strength never fails to impress me; for many people it would be overwhelming moving around as you do, but you just manage to take it in your stride and what shines through again and again is the strong sense of family, wherever you all may be.
    These houses look stunning, I'm sure you'd love either, but I'm willing to bet that they won't be the last you visit before you find the ideal one.
    love to you
    Sharon
    xx

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    1. Thank you Sharon...I think walking around the house talking to myself may be a sign that it is getting to me! If anyone knows about the inner workings of a home and making it fit just right, it is you. If I could only be half as gracious...
      Still waiting on 'My French Country Home' book...I have the perfect spot on my bookshelf for it, front and center, with Vicki's... :)

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  17. Great pictures. My fiance and I are currently looking at Mount Pleasant real estate. We looked at 5 houses already but they are not what we are looking for. I hope we find something soon, I can't wait to have my own house! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Kaden...You have some fabulous choices there, I hope you just what you are looking for. My sister lives in SC and loves it. Good luck! :)

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  18. well, we all know maine has silence and sea and landscape and space...something that so many places lack.

    here by the pacific, in a town of 481, 20 minutes down a highway 1, (almost dirt road), silence is so much bigger than we are.
    we've been watching the sun set for the last hour, taking photos and saying ahhhh as it sinks into the pacific.
    now that is my idea of bliss.

    lovely to see your quest.
    B

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  19. What a delightful post, Jeanne. Thanks so much for taking us into your confidence. No wonder your heart is torn. They both look so magical. I could see you in either of them. And I look forward to our BDD, wherever that may happen! J x

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. Just a few words or a
few paragraphs, no matter. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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