"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Friday, May 08, 2009

Fifteen Years

Today marks the 15th anniversary of our ownership of the Lodge. In 1994, after a decade as seasonal residents of NH, we moved to this state on May 5th. Three days later we closed on the house we'd fallen in love with the previous summer. After 3 years of unproductive house-hunting, we never imagined finding a residence so perfect for us, so ideally situated.

The day after the closing I began gardening here, even though we wouldn't actually take possession of the house until mid-June. The peepers were peeping. The blackflies were hovering but not yet biting. The phoebes were darting from tree to tree.

Until that day, God had been the only gardener on this property. His plantings still exist...here are a few of them.

Wood violet.

Painted trillium.

Unfolding ferns.

This vernal pool is located on an adjacent lot.

At the time of the purchase, the Lodge included approximately 11 acres. A few years later we acquired the adjoining 10-acre parcel, which had been subdivided into a separate lot. In that transaction we gained many more trees as well as a lovely stream that descends from the mountain, and several vernal pools.

Over the past decade and a half I've planted many gardens, now filled with perennials and flowering shrubs and over 70 rosebushes. We've added a screened porch sunroom to the house. Renovated the master bath. Installed walls of bookcases. Upgraded and updated various necessary items (furnace, water filtration system, satellite dishes, kitchen appliances.)

Four of my 11 published novels were written in this house. Many more have been started, abandoned, resurrected.

There have been 6 canine residents. Killian, Daisy, Shadow, Lola, and now Ruth and Jewel. And assorted temporary indoor residents from the wild--orphaned chipmunks, injured birds, a vole, baby turtles.

The first time I saw the little lake, 30 acres of mirror-like water, spring-fed, I felt I'd found my proper habitat.

The instant I walked inside the house, instinctively I knew that this is where we belonged.

Time has proved the truth of it.

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