While you were sleeping in Vietnam....Tahilla Farm

"Tahilla and all of her dreams are now passed along to you and
nothing makes me happier than to say "Welcome Home"! 
I'm a firm believer that you can only connect the dots 
when you look back in time, but one thing I can already "see" 
is that the stars were aligned and all for the good."  

excerpts from an email entitled 
"While you were sleeping"
from Lisa to Jeanne
December 12, 2012

The road to Tahilla Farm
It has been one year to the day, when I awoke in Saigon to read an email from my dear friend and realtor, Lisa...to say the deed was done. The closing had gone smoothly and Tahilla Farm in New Hampshire had offically passed hands to us. I saved the email and sent it to Lisa yesterday...it is a link between us that I know we will share for a lifetime.

I am often asked why we bought a home in New Hampshire and why in particular, Tahilla Farm. I have never been able to give a quick and easy answer. The one time I did, I simply said...because of my blog. I love the story and hope that those of you who know it well will not mind if I tell it again. It seems only right on this occasion.

Lisa and I met in 2010 through Collage of Life...we wrote back and forth often, sharing dreams of country living and gardens.  Lisa lives in Vermont by way of New Hampshire. When we first started writing to each other I lived in England. Lisa suggested that I would enjoy the blog of the creative and talented "Country Gardener Joe" @ Notes from Juniper Hill in New Hampshire. She was right. So much so that when I read about his idyllic life in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire I knew that this was an area I needed to explore.

It took two years for the stars to align but they finally did. The purpose of my trip was to start looking for  a home base in New England. Mr. H and I both grew up in New England and wanted to establish a family connection again. On this occasion, I travelled solo while Mr. H held down the fort in Vietnam. His only request was that I look along the coast of Maine. My only request was to travel to the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. I did both.

It was a lovely crisp autumn afternoon in New Hampshire when I met Joe and his partner Paula for the first time. We all  met in Joe's garden, talking like old friends, parting naturally, as if we had done so many times before.  Lisa and I left them to carry on looking at houses in the area. While I liked many, nothing sang out to me. I was nearly convinced that the coast of Maine was going to win over and then it happened. The very last house on our list was Tahilla Farm... as soon as we drove up the driveway (see photo above) ..I knew I had found what I was looking for...but not quite what Mr. H was looking for.

With only one day up my sleeve before heading back to Vietnam, I called Joe and Paula and asked if they would come around to look at the house with me. We all met at Tahilla the next morning, their excitement at the conclusion of the tour was all I needed. I flew off to Vietnam with a mission, to convince Mr. H, sight unseen, that Tahilla Farm was the place to buy and to convince him to forsake the sea for a mountain.

With his heart in Maine and mine in New Hampshire...I knew it would take time. For all the right reasons (proximity to family and friends, the property, cost and because I really, really loved it) we decided to proceed with Tahilla Farm. I first visited the house in September 2012,  we had an accepted offer by the end of October and closed in December. One year ago today, while I was sleeping, the news came that we officially owned Tahilla Farm.

I thank my lucky stars for that fortuitous moment when I first clicked onto Joe's blog...since then, a whole world has opened up to me, filled with many more friendships. Our architect, landscape designer, forester, property manager, lawyer, doctor....and the list goes on, all came by way of Joe and Paula. Some of my favourite memories from my time at Tahilla last summer were the evenings Joe, Paula, Lisa and I spent sitting under our big maple tree, beer in hand, looking out to Mt. Monadnock. There was no question in my mind that the stars had aligned on Tahilla Farm and these wonderful friends.

When I think of what we have accomplished in a year, the mind boggles. Our view to the mountain has opened up, fields have been created, Tahilla Farms place in history has been reestablished with the discovery of endless old stone walls from it's farming days and the final plans for our renovation are nearly complete. Operation Tahilla is on the move!

With all of this I give thanks to each and every one of you who have read and commented this past year. I feel like we are climbing this mountain together. Your thoughts, suggestions and encouragement have been invaluable. I secretly hope that one day, when we bang the last nail that I will be able to hold a small creative retreat...for like minded souls...looking for a place to create. A small and intimate version of my constant source of inspiration here.  It is just a dream and we have a ways to go...but hold that thought. We can walk and dream together!

PS..if you are looking for a home
in Vermont or New Hampshire, 
I highly recommend Lisa True Grady.
It will be a pleasure working with her,
I know from experience! 

Hoping your holiday planning is coming along. 
If you are still looking for Christmas ideas 
you can have a look here and here

As always my friends, thank you for reading my words,
you are all the most delightful people a woman could write to!

Illustrated by Sara Lee Parker here

The Tahilla Farm Story

 (click on video)

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