Welcome to Antler Valley Farm

Goodbye’s and New Beginnings

Saying goodbye is always hard for me.  Really, seriously hard.  I have attachment issues apparently…. so saying goodbye can be really hard for me.  To have to say goodbye to two (YES 2!) homes in less than 2 weeks was nearly my undoing!  Needlesss to say my emotions were all over the place and poor Jim kept herding the kids away from me.  “Give your mother some time kids.”  “Your mom needs a minute.”  Smart move, man, smart move!  Anyway, as I was saying, we had already moved to the farm.  So now we needed to start cleaning out our old house.  Our lovely log home that I dearly love!  Love, Love, LOVE!!!

 I just love this house.  I think it will always be my favorite!

Don’t get me wrong.  I am soo excited to start a new chapter in our lives on the farm.  I’m ready for all the new adventures.  At least, I hope I’m ready!  But I also dearly love our log cabin.  I love the look of it and the smell of it and the homey feel of it and basically everything else about it!  I LOVE ALL of it!!  Everytime we are over there cleaning and moving stuff I find myself ooohhhing and aaahhhing over one thing or another.  (Basically constantly distracted and not getting much done!)  I am continuously taking out my camera to take one more picture of this or that.  Like I don’t already have a million pictures!!!  But apparently I need a few thousand more.  Ya know, I might have missed an angle in the previous million pictures.

I snapped this picture of sweet Maylin in the kitchen one afternoon when we were moving stuff out of the log cabin.  Maylin was just a few hours old when we brought her home to this house.  And now she is a sassy seven year old.  Oh, the memories!!!  Excuse me while I collect myself….

Maleah was only 6 years old when we moved in.  She has spent the majority of her life in that house!  Maylin and Camden both spent their first night on earth in that house.   Every where I look in that house I see memories of them growing, learning, and growing more.  Sweet babies, first smiles, first steps, chaos, accidents, tears, smiles, laughs and lots of love rolled into so many precious memories.  Memories and memories everywhere I look.  I know I will always have those memories, but I would kinda like to have the house too.  I keep bugging Jim about just picking up our cabin and moving it to the farm for us to live in.  He just laughs and walks away.  Can you blame the man???  Saint Jim deals with a lot.  A LOT!

It doesn’t help that we are listing our house for sale in the spring.  Spring is my favorite time of year because everything is coming to life and is so beautiful!  Our peach trees have gorgeous blooms and while I’m sure they will be killed in the frost, they are still beautiful to see driving up the driveway.  All the fruit bushes and trees have blooms on them and the grass is green and just starting to grow.  I hate to leave it all!  I would like to just scoop up our little farm and transplant it on our new farm.  Oh, how I wish things worked like that!

I love the way the fruit trees bloom in the spring and makes everything more beautiful!

Finally, we contacted a realtor and listed it for sale just 3 weeks after we moved out!  That’s too fast!  Yeah, it really wasn’t that fast, but it seemed incredibly fast to me at the time.  Honestly, we didn’t have everything ready when it went on the market either.  With our schedules we just weren’t finding the time to make it over there and do a lot of work.  We had everything cleaned up, but we still had a lot of stuff that we needed to bring to our house.  We also had a lot of stuff that needed to be donated and that is hard to do when the kids are around sometimes.   The kids would see me putting their favorite toy  (the one they haven’t played with in about 4 years) into the Goodwill pile.   Suddenly they were full of memories and emotions.  Yikes, I have created mini-me monsters!!  Help, Jim!!!!

Anyway, back in the world of sane people….The realtors really wanted to get it listed quickly and even showed the house before it was officially on the market.  I am really hoping for a quick sale so I don’t torture myself going over there every few days to an empty house.  I think once someone buys it I will be able to imagine another happy family loving our home as much as we did and then it will all be okay.  Right?  Right.  I’m going to keep telling myself that!

The week after we moved into our farm my sister called asking about the Old Homestead.  The following week she introduced us to a guy who was interested in tearing down the Old Homestead and using the wood to make furntinture.  Well, now!  That’s a lot of change in a short amount of time!  (It’s too much change too fast!!!)  The guy really loved the house and all the wood in it.  He even seemed genuinely interested in the small amount of history we knew about it.  He called us later in the week and made us an offer to buy the house.  It wasn’t a great offer but it was certainly better than letting the house sit there and rot or seeing Jim “accidentally” push it over with the dozer.  He promised to save us a few of the old doors and some of the interior wood to make an island in the next house.  He seemed very excited and promised to make lovely furniture out of the wood.  I was happy and sad all at the same time.  I sure wish my emotions would make up their mind and stick to one or the other.  Whew!  This roller coaster of emotions is worse that pregnancy hormones-and that is saying something!!

One last picture of the Old Homestead in the snow!  This old house won’t be here next winter.  Excuse me again while I go find some tissues…

The guy showed up the next week and started tearing down the Old Homestead.  He was kind enough to even bring pictures of some of his furniture so I could see what the end results were going to be.  He really is an amazingly, talented woodworker which helped my emotions some.  (Some is the keyword there.)  I left after lunch and as I drove down the driveway I saw that he had his truck full of the interior walls.  I could hardly speak to him as we drove past.  I had tears in my eyes!  How silly!  I had prayed for someone to repurpose the old house so it wouldn’t sit there and rot or worse!  Now, here is someone who genuinely loves old homes and is carefully dismantling it as to not destroy it and I’m acting like a baby.  Geez, get a grip on your emotions woman!  After that it took me almost 3 weeks to go into the house and see what he had done.  I cried.  Not because he had destroyed it.  He had done a wonderful job of gently removing doors and walls.  Yes, he had already removed entire walls!  The house looked like it was under construction in places.  However, I knew it wasn’t under construction.

When I walked up to the porch I saw that he had already stripped off some of the outside siding.  

 I couldn’t believe he already had the entire wall removed between 2 of the rooms. 

 He had also removed the lovely vulture eggs he found under the back porch.  Boy, those birds are persistent.  Their eggs may be pretty (the white and purple spotted eggs in the picture)  but I am quite glad there will be no more stinky vulture babies raised in that house.  

I knew the Old Homestead was under demolition and it killed me.  Someone else built this house and loved it.   They probably had tons of memories and laughs in this house.  And I couldn’t preserve it for them.  I couldn’t save their house in the end.  Wow, that sounds really dramatic.  Sorry, I get a bit emotional sometimes.  Ok, a lot emotional.  I will admit that seeing the inside of the walls and the skeleton of the house made it clear that the house was not in the greatest shape.  Having the house taken down and repurposed was the right thing to do.  But it still felt wrong to see it being dismantled.  At the end of the day I have to remind myself that this house is being repurposed into something else that other people will continue to enjoy for years to come.  At least I’ll have the million pictures I’ve taken to add to my memories.  And I’ll still have some of the wood.  And a few of the doors.  And the mantle.  Oh, and the outhouse door and toilet seat!  You can’t forget about those!!! HA HA!!!


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