Sunday, March 31, 2013

On the eve of a trip to New York

by Zinta Aistars

Easter is fading fast. Tomorrow is April 1. And, no April fooling, I am up early and packing my bags, heading out on a road trip to New York City for the next week. 

I used to love such business trips. I've been sent on similar work assignments criss-crossing the country, hitting 49 of our 50 states. I have always loved to travel, indeed, hungered for it, wanderlusting for ... ah yes, Home. The place that would hold me. I didn't quite realize that was my driving force until I found my Home now, Z Acres. Overnight, the lust in my wander settled to a soft simmer, an occasional curiosity to see what's around the next corner. 

Ah, don't get me wrong. I am looking forward to this adventure, and I am grateful for the work gig, a fascinating assignment ... and I have always enjoyed my trips to the Big Apple. I'm sure it will be a fine adventure. But tonight, I find myself a tad melancholy. It's not easy to leave this place. I am handing my keys over to a friend in Kalamazoo, who will be watching the farm for me, and I leave a ridiculously long letter on the kitchen table for her: find this item here, that one there, feed the cat thus, and be sure to walk that wonderful path up the hill, watch for the bloom of the first daffodils, don't forget to plop a fresh suet cube in the suet cage for the birds ... 

... and I sigh. 

Looking for my extra key, I find the folded up listing for this property, now over a year old: 

"Breeze gently blowing in the hardwood leaves, bullfrogs croaking in the Koi pond, fish splashing as you step out of the greenhouse to sit on the front porch & watch the sunset over your own 5-acre field. Softly you call to the kids playing in their custom built play house on the hill. You hear a deer rustle in the tall grass as he bounds away into the black walnut and apple trees. Your family returns to find a bubbling pot of stew on the antique stove. Fresh currant bread and homemade apple pie (made from currants & apples harvested earlier in the day, right on the property). Whether it is your permanent residence or a weekend getaway, this craftsman-built home on 10 acres captures the past and invites you to step back in time. There is something special built into every nook and cranny, everything about it will wrap its arms around you. Even the past has a way of embracing modern convenience (like convection ovens and washing machines). Everyone that sees it will want to stay!" 

I sigh again. I laughed the first time I read that listing, thinking the real estate agent overzealous. Purple prose. Until I walked this place myself, heard the bullfrogs, watched the koi splash, startled at the deer. And signed on the bottom line as new owner. Why leave? Ever? Has my sense of adventure gone? 

I'm sure I will feel that old itch as I hit the road east tomorrow. Of course I will. I'm just a little envious of my house sitter. Just a little. The first bloom of daffodils in the woods can be such a stunning moment.

Last year's spring daffodils at Z Acres

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