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Archive for July, 2012

On July 15, 2012, we moved into Barewood. I haven’t posted anything until now about the specifics of the place because, honestly, it’s hard to know what to write about first. I don’t want to belabor you with trivialities, like “I’m going to clear a path through the woods there” (which I will) or “I bought a chainsaw to clear a deadfall” (which I did). It’s also not terribly entertaining to read paragraphs of someone hemorraghing superlatives about how much more wonderful their life is than yours.

However, since most of you may never actually visit our new place (and since you’re interested enough in what’s happening with our family to actually read this blog), I think it’s worth it to give a gefew of our initial impressions about our new place.

A Sense of Discovery

One of the amazing things about Barewood to me is that its scope isn’t obvious at first glance. Though there is a good-sized area around the house that has been cleared and amazingly landscaped, much of the property is a fairly dense wood of alder, maple, and fir, undergrown with blackberries and ferns. The 5-1/2 acres are roughly in the shape of a narrow rectangle, but the foliage is so thick it’s difficult to see the roads that border it even though they may be only fifty yards away.Rough trails, often overgrown,┬ásnake through the underbrush and make exploratory hikes feel like they are much longer than they actually are. We can literally explore our own property, and we are always finding little discoveries like a nice clearing here or a new cedar planted there by the former owners.

In the area around the house, there are things we keep discovering as well, like a miniature “ruined castle tower” made of basalt rock chips glued into place and sited on a boulder under a mask of tall ferns. Or that the wood pile stacked to the ceiling in the shed was *three* courses thick, not just one. Or that those unknown “dying” plants in the garden that we pulled out were really 15 lbs. of red potatoes ready to harvest. Or that we’re always finding a new rhododendron or hydrangea seemingly placed at random in the woods. We love the feeling of discovery.

A Sense of Space

In Chicago we had a house of moderate square footage with small but limited yard, with neighboring houses eight feet away on either side. In Battle Ground, WA, we lived in an apartment with no yard and with neighbors above and below. Here at Barewood, our house has a third more area than our previous one, and we have fewer neighbors in a square mile than we did in a block of our Chicago street. There is a sense of space, of openness, and of expansion, both inside the house and outside. Melissa has a sewing room and a walk-in closet. The girls have their own rooms here, a large deck and a yard to play on, and a forest to explore. I have a much bigger garden, a toolshed, and room for an archery range. We have a garage for the first time in our married life. The neighbors aren’t all that far away, but we have to walk or drive to be able to see any other houses. It’s so quiet here that we feel like we’re the only ones around. We love the sense of space.

A Sense of Peace

One could argue that *any* destination short of a war zone would feel peaceful after a two-year journey to get there. However, there is an amazing feeling of peace and contentment here for us. Maybe it’s being surrounded by trees, maybe it’s not yet having schedules that are even half as busy as Chicago’s…maybe it’s because I get almost no cell reception up here and therefore have been forced to break the technology tether when I’m home! But whatever the reason, our new home feels like a haven, a place to relax and recharge.

 

Anyway, I don’t know what else to say without gushing superlatives, so I”ll stop. Hopefully I will post some more pictures soon, and then later have something interesting to say.

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