Saturday, March 27, 2010

You can’t build a view? or There’s no place like home?

Many years ago – 20 or so – Maria Von Trapp visited our local High School where hubby was an art teacher. The choir director happened to be a friend of hers. He had invited her to see the school's production of The Sound of Music. The production was based on Maria’s autobiographical book, The Story of the Von Trapp Singers. In visiting with Maria, hubby especially remembers one thing she said.

“You can’t build a view”

You can’t build a view. I don’t know whether she was referring to the breath taking Austrian mountains from where she escaped the Nazi’s during WWII, or the lodge that she eventually built in Vermont. But, those five words have stuck with us throughout our lives. You can’t build a view.

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We have a beautiful home, nestled in the middle of 25 acres of woods. It has been home for almost 30 years.

Jim designed the house and, along with one retired builder, built our home. The kids helped. I helped. Over the years brick sidewalks, rock walls, flower beds, and many other very personal touches have been added.

We have barns. We have a separate building for my business. We have memories. Oh my, what memories!

To this day I can’t look at my living room wall without thinking about seeing snow filter through the cracks in the un-caulked walls the year we built our house. We got it under roof just before winter hit. We were all laying on the living room floor on mattresses, too sick to move. The only heat in this unfinished home was the fire place, which was ducted through the house. We were on the living room floor because there were no bedrooms yet. I remember looking at the dying embers of the fireplace, the prone figure of hubby, who also looked like he was dying, my three sick kids, at the snow outside, and then finally at the wall. Realizing I was the only one alive enough to keep the fire going, outside into the snow I went to get wood. Some memories just don’t go away, and I don’t want them to. Things that seemed so difficult at the time are such fond memories today.

I remember Christmases, birthdays, babies crying during the night, children sitting up late doing homework, teenagers coming home late, me coming home late only to find hubby on the roof trying to patch around the chimney where there had been a flu fire just moments before…. This house talks to me. But, yet, it is just a house. The memories will be with me no matter where I am. Right?

I can look at the tall trees and remember Jim’s dad looking up and saying “I’ve never seen such tall trees!” He’s been gone from us for over 13 years now. Or Aunt Madeline looking out the kitchen window at the garage and saying “my you have close neighbors”. And my dear timid mom tiptoeing down the brick sidewalk because it was unconventional and bothered her to walk on the bricks.

I remember love. I remember fights that at the time I wasn’t sure we would recover from. I remember…. I remember so many things!

As I said, our house has undergone many changes over the years, with all sorts of personal touches added, kitchen expansions, rooms changed, buildings added, porches added, and on and on….

The one thing that we’ve never found a way to add, though, is a “water feature”. I’m not talking about water pumped up through pipes and then trickling peacefully over rocks. I’m talking about a WATER FEATURE!

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THIS is a water feature! The is the land we looked at yesterday. Acres of land overlooking the Missouri River.

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If you look carefully, you can see the railroad box cars chugging along at the base of the trees. Muffled by the cliff above, it was a very peaceful sound.

We walked. And we talked. And we walked some more. The real estate agent let us off at one end of the property and then got into his jeep and drove to the other end to wait for us. He knew the scenery was the selling factor, rather than anything he could say.

Sixty acres of farm land, rented to a farmer who plants corn on it. An acre or so of peach trees. And 30 or so acres of scenery and miscellaneous acreage. What a find!

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We drove about five miles up the road to the closest town.

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Maybe we could put a dollar or two on the craps table, or play a little Black Jack, and come up with the money needed. Or feed the slots machines….

crab legs

Since we don’t gamble, we did the next best thing. We ate… And talked…

I didn’t think we’d ever find a more perfect piece of land…

But we are so comfortable where we are…

This is just what we’ve been looking for…

It is way too expensive…

Yes, but we can rent part of it. Maybe we could even subdivide it into several parcels…

But then we’d have neighbors…

We’d be closer to where Tessa and Greg and their families live…

But we love St. Andrew’s…

We have so many friends there….

We have so many years invested in building our place…

We could never replace the walkways and rock walls…

We wouldn’t be able to move right away…

Do we really want to go back into debt?…

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Then we drove to a lookout point and got a taste of the view we would see each night once the scrub trees were cleared away.

Maria Von Trapp was right, “You can’t build a view”.

But, I think the Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy said it best, “There’s no place like home…”

austin walking to the house

16 comments:

Janet said...

Wow, that is a gorgeous view. But I know what you mean about all the memories around your current home. I'm sure you'll be very happy, whatever you choose!

Funny in My Mind said...

Someday, I am going to drop by for a tour of your hard work!
I just took the dogs around the neighborhood and noticed all the new buds and green.
You can always rent a cabin on the lake for a nice water view but if I were you, I would keep the one you have. Priceless!

Flat Creek Farm said...

Oh, both places have gorgeous views. I know whatever choice you make, it will be the right one for both of you. What a great post full of priceless family memories! Good luck! -Tammy

That corgi :) said...

that does look like an awesome place and loved the sunset, but there truly is no place like home with lots of memories (I know you can make new memories, but....... it seems like where you are now is really an ideal location with so much history behind it of you and your family)

betty

AliceKay said...

I need only one word to describe this post.....Beautiful!

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Ya gave me goose bumps tonight.

I understand your thought and words. Like you guys, we built our dream house 17 years ago, a timber frame. So much of our blood sweat and tears went into it.

Great memories . . it was during the floor of 93, we came one Sunday morning and our road was flooded, After it went down, and we got to the house, the basement had water in it. Later BT asked if we were going to church. I was so mad at God, I said no.

Cooking for the workers in the firepalce. Place a cedar tree for the workers in the unfinished dining room and decorating it with soda and beer cans.

It would be hard to move, but then you can always make more memories.

Snappy Di said...

I'd opt for staying at home... who wants to live next to a river that has no memories for you. I say, "stay put where you are". Just my two cents.

Di
Love love love this post!

Lynn said...

What a wonderful post Punkn, I was in awe the whole time reading it and oh my you definately do have a beautiful home and the surrounding area I would love to live in a place like that. I also think it is wonderful that Maria visited the school your husband worked at thats fascinating, thanks so much for sharing hugssss

junyah said...

Its going to be a hard decision leaving what you worked so hard to complete and call home and to think about building again..It wasn't like that for us. leaving that trailer park was a blessing and to end up in our own little house. You would be lucky to find such a wonderful view, you didn't say how much land was involved but i hope it would be enough to farm on.That's always been a dream of mine to, to have a farm to grow stuff. The only animals i want are dogs and what ever else comes wild ( besides me) ....what ever happens you will make the right choice..Hugs and a squeeze Jr

Rural Rambler said...

A beautiful post Deanna. Such deep emotional thoughts. I don't envy you that decision. Your pictures show a beautiful property and the sunset over the river is stunning. Your home is beautiful tucked in under the canopy of trees and your memories are very much with you. You will make the right choice that will make your heart happy :)

Queenie Jeannie said...

Whew!!

I can't imagine you guys moving anywhere else!! Your home is so lovely!!!!!! I think you should show it off more often, lol!

Intense Guy said...

I'm with Alice Kay...

This post is one of your best... and you know? its gotta be really, really good to stand out amongst all the good entries you have written.

I got goosebumps when mentioned the snow coming through the unfinished house walls... You wrote so... from the heart.

As for where the future takes you -only you and your treasured soul mate and life companion can decide... but no matter where your journey takes you - I hope to be allowed to come along for the ride ...

Intense Guy said...

p.s., That last picture is one of my all-time favorites of yours...

Toriz said...

This was most definately a beautiful post!

Whatever you decide, and whether you move or not, what matters is that you are both happy with the decission.

CTG Ponies said...

What a difficult decision to make. I'm sure that your heart will decide for you.

LadyStyx said...

That's a beautiful view. I've got too much gypsy blood in me and never stay too long in any one place to develop those kind of memories. Closest thing I have is the house in East Syracuse. Always something coming up that prevents me from staying in one place too long. May as well buy a caravan...