Recently I was asked to view and give my opinion of value on a small piece of land with an 1840's house and barn on it. As I went to the property in the beautiful New England town of Tamworth, New Hampshire, I had no idea that what I would see would stimulate so many feelings of my youth when in my twenties I had dreams of just such a property to live on. There's the hippie in me I think, as I was in my twenties during all of the 1970's.
I've always been a lover of old. Old houses, antiques, paintings, records, boats, cars, stamps, stone walls and so many other things have always stimulated in me those questions of who built this, who used this, who saved this, and who valued this as much as I do now?
What I ultimately found on this beautiful early spring morning was a truly captivating property. The house and barn were empty and unlived in probably for well over fifty years, but the cape style home in need of major restoration still showcased the wooden floors, wood stoves, hand hewed beams and the patina of time with a magic that was perfect for what it was. The barn, though listing slightly had those dirt floor, and wooden stall characteristics along with the wide doors that typify early New Hampshire barns with room for a horse, cow, chickens and few goats or lambs. What was most intriguing about the house was that it was built to house a family who worked at the old mill; a mill structure that no longer stood. I kept thinking about how small in height people back then must have been compared to today, as the house was small by most conservative standards. I also thought about how hardy these people were working at the mill and making ends meet with none of the things we take for granted in our lives.
The property abuts a brook, which on this day had become a raging river, as well as the Bear Camp River. Here is where I really felt reminiscent. I looked longingly at the brook and thought of the fun it would have been in my younger years living in such a spot with those three distinct swimming holes polished into the granite by rushing water. I had not seen such fine swimming holes before this and I thought of hot summer nights in July in one of those three swimming holes with friends and family, which captivated me for many moments.
Call me a dreamer when it comes to such things, but experiencing these feelings about not only the wonderful brook and river, but the gardening possibilities of which I'm passionate about, as well as the work I would have done on the cape and the barn made for a delightful time on a day when I didn't expect much unlike any other day.