Here are some words to describe the house where we are living now in Upstate New York: beautiful, enchanting, inspiring, down-to-Earth, quiet, relaxing, real and fantastic at the same time. This is the most special place where we have lived so far.
This home is one of the houses featured in the book that you see here, titled: A Simpler Way of Life. Old Farmhouses of New York & New England. The author is William Morgan, photography by Trevor Tondro. The title of the book describes exactly what Bill and I have craved for a while. The search for A Simpler Way of Life is what brought us and our children to Upstate New York.
This amazing house, known as Shultisbrook Farm, is described by William Morgan as “a love letter to the soul of a 1769 working farm.” This place was carefully restored to honor the past and to celebrate natural beauty and simplicity.
Our landlord, who is an extraordinary man and deserves a separate post, has taken good care of this place for many years. He also took good care of us and made sure that everything was perfect and that there were fresh flowers in the vases at our arrival. We felt so welcomed here.
These photos cannot capture what makes this place so special. It is not only the house but the sounds of birds, insects, and the leaves, delicately touching each other as the wind finds its way through them. Being surrounded by so much green is an invitation to slow down and notice things and sounds and smells. It is hard to do that in the city.
The smell here is a mix of wet soil, flowers, and wood, just delicious. I can sit on that porch for hours and let my nose do its job discovering other more subtle hidden smells.
If my eyes could talk, they would be asking for a pair of extra eyes to help them process everything around here. There is so much to see.
I looked at some plants and saw an extra-large bee trying to get to the bottom of a yellow flower. Nobody could stop that bee from getting some yummy pollen. I looked at one of the doors in the house and saw a rare insect having a nap in a corner. His long legs were comfortably stretched in what it looked like a yoga position. I looked at the road and saw 2 brown, small bunny rabbits who felt so comfortable there, right in the middle of the road. They own the road by the way. Whenever we try to drive through that path in our car, they make us stop. I have never seen such fearless rabbits. Maybe I should write a story called: Two Fearless Rabbits.
We have done lots of things since we arrived here as you can imagine. But I always steal a few moments from our agenda to walk around the house and experience this peaceful piece of land. My legs and eyes are the most active parts of my body right now. All the other components such as my nose, ears, brain and hands are very active as well. But the legs and eyes are leading the team and I am just following them.
This porch is very inviting. Do you see the 3 rocking chairs? In green, yellow and light blue? Each of them offers a different experience. The arc in the part of the legs that touches the floor varies from more to less accentuated, so the rocking effect goes from crazy dynamic to subtle and slow. I have loved rocking chairs since a was a little girl growing up in Cuba. I used to be scared of them in the beginning because it is easy to fall back if you overdo the rocking motion, which all children do. But as you domesticate them, things get better and better. Rocking chairs have different personalities, just like horses. My favorite one so far is the green one. It is very kind and quiet.
Every piece of furniture here is original, very old, and has tons of layers of paint on them. Looking at them closely is fun. I like to count the colors and see which of them has the most layers. The winner so far is a small table in one of the 2 living rooms. I will show you photos of the interior soon.
Below is my favorite resting spot, where the green rocking chair is.
Here is a closeup of that area. The hose behind the green rocking chair is my friend. Together we enjoy watering all the plants on the porch. Don’t you love the sound of water coming from the hose? I like playing with the shapes that water takes when you manipulate the hose head, that thingy that you install on the end of the hose. The plants seem to like that as well because they dance in different ways as the water falls on them. The bees are not that excited though. They only want to dig on those yummy flowers without interruptions.
The rooftop of this house is alive. There is a whole universe up there. You can almost see miniature gnomes walking around. I know that having moss growing on the top of a house is not good, I read that in a book. But let’s ignore that for now. That moss deserves some respect. Look how nice it looks.
I love these 2 old trees in front of the house. I wish that they could talk and tell me everything that they have seen in the last several years.
Look at this mini porch on the side of the house. Perfect for reading a book. And those windows! My eyes will spend lots of time looking through them in the Winter.
Back to one of the views from the porch. My favorite place to sit, on my green rocking chair, which is kind and quiet.
And here is that peaceful grass area where I am planning to do a picnic before the Winter arrives. I said that in a low voice because I don’t know the ants to hear it. They grow wild and mighty over here. But in the large scheme of things they will always be tiny, so we’re safe.
I hope that you enjoyed this tour around our new temporary house. Next, I will share photos of the interior, which is equally special.
Have a wonderful day and see you soon!
UPDATE: See the living room and kitchen here.