Updated: Oct 19, 2019
Nearly 100-years old, what we have come to call the Farm House stands forlorn on a hill two miles from the family farm. While it may seem a great distance to some, in the country, it is right down the road. The big Maple and Walnut trees in the yard and a groundhog under the porch have been its only companions for over a year now. The barn behind it has mostly collapsed - only a hay shed and small granary stand nearby in support.
In recent years, two shiny grain bins have been added just across the property line. They hulk on the edge of the house's reality, blocking the view and occasionally roaring as they dry corn, a discouragement to any who would come to stay.
For the past 12 years the Farm House has had renters and tenants. This is usually the last stages in the life of a house in the country as its lifeblood and vibrancy are sapped by inhabitants who don't care and owners who neglect its upkeep because the rent they receive is only enough to cover the taxes. The usual end is abandonment, when no one is any longer willing to live there, and then finally collapse as the roof gives out and rot takes its toll. Before its decline, three generations of neighbors called it home. But now, this old house sits empty, waiting for what comes next. The farm it has anchored is for sale, it's fate uncertain - until now. We approached the owners in June about the house - they were willing to sell. We made an offer, everything moved forward. Then it slowed, stalled and went into a dive. We dickered and dithered over small details, becoming incensed over perceived unfairness - we withdrew the offer - and then after much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth, renewed our bid.
Now, despite the ugly grain bins nearby, despite the house's shabby state and despite it's dyspeptic sellers, the house has new hope. Soon, with winter coming on, it's floors will be covered to protect them, walls will be stripped of lath and plaster and the wiring removed. The basement will get a new floor, plumbing will be replumbed and the bathroom, a desperately needed revitalization. And most importantly, it will get us - people who care, people who won't tear it down to put up a modular home, people who want to save it as a great county home with a covered porch and a front room for a big Christmas tree and pandemonious family dinners. The house is about to become not a house anymore, it will become something it has long remembered.
It will soon again be a home. Our new home, The Farmhouse.