Saturday, January 26, 2013

for the love of beauty



I have moved for college...  moved for work... and moved across the country for love, but 
five years ago today I moved for beauty.
I was born a Texan and raised a Texan, but I truly believe that I was supposed to come live in
New England.
I feel that my heart came home by moving here.  

My late father gave me my love of nature through our summers of vacationing in Colorado, Yellowstone,  Glacier National Park,  Oregon, and his deep love for the Tetons in Wyoming. 
Dan loves nature and the mountains as I do and during the years we lived in Dallas we would make numerous trips to Colorado each year to get our fix.  It wasn't until one day in Dallas while Dan and I were driving near the edge of the city and I spotted a beautiful tree-lined green field of about 7 acres (an unusual sight in the metroplex of Dallas) that I had an epiphany-  I needed to move.  The overwhelming intense reaction I had at seeing that little tiny plot of undisturbed land made me realize that I needed, not just wanted, to live in and around natural beauty.  
Everyone is different- for some living in the city is beauty and feeds their creative soul; but for me, I realized in that moment that I needed to live surrounded by nature as much as I needed food and water.  I didn't always feel that way.  When I was younger the thought of living in the country made me uncomfortable and had no appeal.   But with age came clarity on what my heart now desired.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

-John Muir-


As I've mentioned before, not many a day goes by that one of us doesn't say...
 "Look where we get to live!"
We both feel very blessed to have landed in such a beautiful, special place not having any real experience with New England and not knowing a soul here.  I've had people tell me it was such a brave thing to do, but for us it wasn't so much bravery as necessity.
I always start to get emotional when I have the thought of "what if".... what if we hadn't thrown caution to the wind and followed our hearts, leaving family and good friends behind and moved to New Hampshire.... what if?  
The mere thought makes me sad and can bring me to tears.  I think I would have never found that part of my heart that knows peace.

... and I would never have met you.
Thank you for being on this journey with us.

On this 5th anniversary of the day we arrived in New Hampshire I thought I would share the world around us.  They are but a few of the reasons why we moved for the love of beauty...



"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
-John Muir-



"The mountains are calling and I must go."
-John Muir-



"Our peace shall stand as firm as rocky mountains."
-Shakespeare-



"Beauty awakens the soul to act."
-Dante Alighieri-



"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy."
-Anne Frank-



"In every man's heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty."
-Christopher Morley-



If you would like to read my post on "how we got here" click here!

86 comments:

  1. I want to thank you and your husband for your leap at happiness. It has brought me many hours of joy reading about your journey.

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  2. Lovely! I'm curious what made you and Dan choose New Hampshire? I wish more people were as appreciative of the outdoors as you are. I fear that people are becoming less and less connected to the earth and that's a scary thing. I'm amazed at how little people know about nature. Most people can't identify basic birds, for example. I hope there's a shift toward understanding and appreciating the natural world so that we can protect it for many years to come.
    Claudia

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    1. Claudia- I just added the link to that post at the bottom of this one. Thanks for asking!

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  3. Lovely post, and lovely photos.

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  4. Beautiful post and photos. So glad you found your piece of paradise. Blessings, Pamela

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  5. Thank you for sharing your part of the country and your home with all of us! I so look forward to your posts.

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  6. Joan, Dan, and Ella: While we have lived in different parts of this great country, and enjoyed them, there is something about "home". I love that we are so near the ocean, lakes, mountains, less than an hour from Boston and a quick flight to other cities. Beautiful photos of our area! Stay warm, Cindy

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  7. I don't usually post comments, but I felt compelled to comment on this one. I live in Montana, I visit the places you mentioned on a very regular basis. I lived 45 mins from Glacier Park in the 90's, I am only 2 hours from Yellowstone Park now, I lived in Fort Collins Colorado for 4 years, nestled under the Rocky Mountain Front Range, and I have seen the beauty of the Grand Tetons on several occasions. It never gets old. Some people take fro granted the beauty that surrounds them, not me I take it in every chance I get, and I never fail to take a look around me at the sunsets, sunrises, undisturbed snowfall, frost on the trees, waves in the water, stars in our *Big Sky*. I am true nature lover, at its best. . . and sometimes worse here in Montana, but it's all beauty to me.

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  8. John Muir said it best...most people are on this world..not in it. I am and always want to be IN IT! So are you and Dan...and that causes such a big smile to so many. Such a simple...GREAT...thing!

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  9. I know exactly what you mean.

    I was born and raised in a small town about 35 miles from Vancouver, British Columbia. I moved to Ontario when I was in my early twenties to attend university, eventually marrying and living in various cities in Ontario for 25 years. Every time I returned to Vancouver for Christmas, I longed to be back in British Columbia. I needed to be surrounded by ocean, trees and mountains. It was a physical yearning so strong I almost couldn't bear it.

    Finally, 13 years ago, I took the plunge and moved to Victoria on Vancouver Island in the province of my birth. I felt as though a boulder had been lifted from my shoulders. What an amazing feeling it is to be where you're supposed to be! There isn't a day goes by that I don't go for a walk through the woods or on one of the dozens of beaches. I am truly home.

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  10. Oh yes - I get it.
    You are, indeed, blessed to have been able to make the move that brought your heart home. I've been able to do that too, and it makes all the difference.

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  11. awww joanie what a beautiful story. we just never know where we will wind up and how wonderful that you chose such a special place. thank you for sharing your part of the world with me. ;)

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  12. Oh Heavens to Betsy....I think I NEEDED this today. I will be calling you :). Such a blessed corner of the world!

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  13. Yes!!! John Muir's "The mountains are calling and I must go" pretty much says it for me. My husband and I always wanted to live in the mountains of western North Carolina where we honeymooned, but the jobs weren't there. So, living in our home town a couple of hours away I always had to have trees around me and a creek nearby - nature at my doorstep, even when in town. As a young adult I thought the big city would be exciting, but I still wanted trees and creeks and soon came to realize I needed to have that connection with nature. Finally nine years ago we were able to buy our cabin in the mountains. The next hurdle is to be there full time. This year, we hope. We feel our location there is ideal - nature all around us and a vibrant small city (Asheville) just down the mountain. Of course living on top of a mountain can be a bit tricky in the winter, as I'm sure is the case in New England. Worth it, though.

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    1. P.S. And it is about the love of beauty. I am constantly staring out our window of the cabin and thinking, "it's so beautiful!"

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  14. My ultimate goal was to have ten or so acres of apples trees, but my life moved in the other direction, to crowded Taipei City. I still feel, as you do, that a sense of peace and fulfillment must come from the countryside.

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  15. All I can say is "thank you." I get excited everytime one of your blog posts shows up in my inbox...and am so glad you're back...you were missed! I'm about to start builing a new "old" house on 4 acres in Keller, TX and plan to use many of your ideas and paint colors. I'm excited and scared and nervous and can't wait. Thanks for sharing your lives with us!

    Shelly Shults

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  16. I would love to move to the countryside one day. Not possible yet due to young adult children still at home. But when they leave the nest I might just make the move. In the meantime, I will continue to make our home and very small garden beautiful.

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  17. It is wonderful that you and Dan were drawn by the same dream to make such a dramatic change to your life. It clearly was the right decision. The house couldn't have found better caretakers and guardians. You both have the vision and the talent to make your home the best it could possibly be and I am loving following your journey.
    XO, Victoria

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  18. I loved this post, thank you! My late father also taught me to appreciate nature and what it means to our heart. Like your other reader, Squeak, I am from Victoria but currently living in Ontario for a brief time (my job requires it). Even though I write a food blog, I wrote a post awhile back about missing Vancouver Island and what it means to me. Congratulations on your courage to make the move and finding success in happiness in such beautiful surroundings.
    http://simplyfreshdinners.blogspot.ca/2012/10/a-little-off-topic.html

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  19. ..."happiness..not for another place...but this place...not for another hour but this hour"...walt whitman would be pleased you understood...blessings laney

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  20. much older sister SusanJanuary 26, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    yeah well, I remember a little girl that wanted to move to the country so she could have a horse! She kept begging for a horse and her mother and daddy told her that she could have one when they moved to the country. (Her mother and daddy KNEW that wasn't EVER going to happen but the little girl thought it would!) VERY clever of them. heheheh

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  21. As a native born New Englander, trying not to sound prejudiced, I truly believe it's the best place on earth to live! I'm happy o know you love it too!

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  22. What beautiful pictures Joan! You truly live in a magical place, and it must be wonderful to wake up every morning, and see the beauty that awaits you outside, just marvelous. Congrats on your 5 year anniversary on your move, I say it was a very smart choice indeed.

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  23. I feel as though I will probably never live where I belong. This is our last home, I am sure and we are here because this is where our daughter is. And lots of friends. But my HEART is somewhere else. However, I wouldn't go somewhere else and be away from my daughter. I also HATE winter and the cold so can't imaging new England, Pa. is cold enough for me:):) I am so glad you are HOME now and your heart is happy. XO, Pinky

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  24. Happy 5th year anniversary on landing in your beloved New Hampshire! It's been fun riding along with you as you've share your story about your home's renovation and all the wonderful details about living there. You are lucky to have found your place that you feel you belong! I always think of you when I pour maple syrup! LOL....
    Thanks for sharing this part of your life!

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  25. Welcome home Joan.
    Denise

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  26. I'm so happy you are back. I love your writing and decorating. My favorite blog by far. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  27. I love your EPITHANY!I'm kinda dealing with that myself now.....
    I live just about 12 minutes from JOHN MUIRS house too!
    A beautiful post..........I will go back and read how you got there!

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  28. I so admire that you and Dan followed your hearts and are where you belong and need to be. And you did it with no reservations. I have often dreamed of living on Martha's Vineyard after spending some time there. I also love the islands off South Carolina and Georgia. Obviously I'm drawn to islands...I wonder what that says about me. We are so fortunate that we have a home in the city and one in the country, I really have the best of both worlds. And it is so important to me that I live near my children so although I have island dreams, they will stay just that.

    Meanwhile, I'll continue to follow along on your journey. This is such a lovely, sweet post, and I think it has myself and all the ladies thinking! :)

    XO,
    Jane

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  29. I found your blog about a week ago. I am a fellow Texas and moved to the cold North East (just outside of Philly in beautiful Chester County).Your home is so beautiful, and I just love the heart your show in your writings. Many blessings to you. I look forward to getting to know you through your blog.

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  30. I can relate so much to this post!!! We moved to New England because my husband was in the Air Force. I had always had that as one of "dream" places to live. Then we got there and I felt like my heart was home. I am from the west, lived in Utah, surrounded by beautiful mountains and absolutely loved it, but have always felt a pull to the east. We got out of the Air Force, moved to New Hampshire (southern) and then I "really" felt like I had come home. New Hampshire is my "heart" place. It fits me. We now live in the DC area. Nice, I like it, but like I said, NH is where my heart is. I can understand why you had to go!!! I miss a Dunks on every corner!!!!

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  31. I will soon be following in your footsteps.. a bit more South and we can't wait.
    Be prepared for many questions :)

    How happy I am for you that you found such beauty ..

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  32. Lovely post! I feel the contentment of your heart, and know the same feeling myself. I can't thank you enough for sharing your life with such graciousness!

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  33. Thank you for such a beautiful & thoughtful post today. My husband & I are restoring a 130 year old home in Marietta GA so I know what you & Dan have lived through in the process of making your house the beautiful home it is now. Thank you again for sharing your journey with all of us.

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  34. Agreed. I could never live in a city and don't understand the attraction. I seek PEACE, QUIET, TRANQUILITY. If you can bear to leave your beautiful place I recommend going to the Maine Woods (and read Thoreau's book about it), Moosehead Lake and Baxter State Park, where Katahdin is. I've hiked along the Appalachian Trail there and felt like I was the only person in the world. It's so incredibly quiet and beautiful, just you and wildlife.

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  35. Love the John Muir quotes. And enjoyed hearing your story, and how you were drawn to a specific place, and to the beauty of nature. I truly believe that a place, or region, can get into one's blood and become as much a part of who they are as anything else in their life. Spending most of my adult life in Oklahoma City, and having visited Dallas many times, I must agree with the people who told you it was a brave thing to do. It was! You may as well have moved from Dallas to Hampshire, England, for the culture shock wouldn't have been much different. This makes me think of the Greek aphorism "know thyself", and it certainly sounds like you have accomplished that. You have found the place that makes you the most happy. My problem is, I don't really know thyself. I cannot decide whether I am a Town Mouse or a City Mouse. It varies from day to day, and often from minute to minute. I guess, I am a prairie girl at heart, still looking for a place to land. The mountians are too high, the ocean cliffs too rocky, and the deep south too warm and muggy. I like the open sky and the wind in my hair. Thanks for such a great post. I enjoyed your story, along with the quotes and the pics!

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  36. Joan, Dan and Ella, I am so happy you are "back" I love your writing; your beautiful pictures are the icing on the cake. This is such a beautiful post. Thank you!
    Susan, Alexandria, Virginia

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  37. Yes!! I have been longing for wide open spaces. Beautifully stated and I will dream of a country farmhouse tonight.

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  38. Just beautiful
    Kind Regards
    Karen

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  39. A wonderful post that speaks to my heart. It is still dark here in my particular part of (old)England, I read your post slowly and carefully and agree with every word. I have been longing for that move for a year or two now. I know that there are two parts of England that appeal to me especially and I dream about them constantly. I am so glad that you have found the place that makes your heart sing.

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  40. Gorgeous pictures !!!! Hope you have a great weekend !

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  41. Hi, I have lived in New England all my life (Massachusetts - in the western part) and feel like (after reading your posts) I have taken its beauty for granted all these years. Thanks for opening my eyes again.

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  42. I love your story, Joan -- as a Texan that's lived in lots of different places (and I will always be a Texan), I was blessed to spend my summers with my grandmother in Newport, R.I. and through her and our many excursions around New England, I have a love and appreciation for that beautiful part of our country.
    Someday, my husband and I hope to be in the country somewhere, enjoying the peace that you and Dan do... after the kids are all out of school, maybe. :)
    Thank you for sharing and letting the others of us soak in your happiness through your posts.
    xo Heidi
    PS -- I can't tell you how seeing you in my inbox has become the "happy" in my day. Thank you. :)

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  43. Thank you for sharing. I feel the same pull to New England and am looking forward to someday living my dream there too!

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  44. Joan-

    Just a weird question. Have you had any problems with deer ticks? This was a huge problem for us when we lived in MA. Our animals and children would get covered. Also, do the long grey months bother you at all? Do you miss constant sunshine down South? Would love to know your thoughts.

    So happy your blog is back!!!!

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    1. While we 'do' have ticks you learn to live with them- if you're going to live in New England you're going to have ticks! We take precautions- use repellent and long shirts/pants when in the bushes and do body checks for them when you come indoors. Dan got his first tick bite in five years this past October. A trip to Immediate Care and a round of mega-dose antibiotics seemed to work. They don't test ticks here as they assume all ticks carry lime and give you the antibiotic to prevent getting lyme.
      Ella on the other hand doesn't do well with the topical tick medicine, but does get an annual tick vacination. We do tick checks on her and also find them just by loving on her. We then use a tick spoon to remove them.

      Funny you should ask about the grey months as Dan and I were just talking about that a couple of days ago... In doing our due-diligence research before moving here we had heard people mention this, but honestly we just haven't found that to be the case at all- not in 5 years of living here. We have grey days sure, but not months. We have lots of sun and light. We had many more grey days living in Portland, Oregon than here. Perhaps it is because we sit on a hill and not down in the trees that makes light more available?? Whatever the reason we just haven't felt or noticed a long grey winter!

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  45. I'm so glad you're back. Reading your posts makes me realize how much I missed them. We are planning for our 'escape to beauty' and will transition from suburban Chicago to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina as soon as we can. May I ask what steps you've taken to meet people and feel a part of the local community? That's my biggest fear, leaving my friends, family and support community and not knowing how to create a new one.

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    1. My neighbors were very welcoming when we moved here and the area is very social. There is a neighborhood book club that I initially attended and I also did/do some volunteer work at our local library.
      The best of luck with you upcoming move!

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    2. Joan,
      What a lovely post. Thank you for bringing the country to those of us that live in the suburbs and long for the country!
      Karen

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  46. I am so with you on this!!! I have always felt the need to live near nature and have never been "at home" in the city. Right now I am living in the suburbs with trees surrounding my house, but I still feel the need to have more land (woods) surround me. My husband & I talk about when the kids move out & we retire, where we would go. We have actually thought about New Hampshire for it's beautiful surroundings! You inspire me to pursue my dream of living where it feels most comfortable - in nature & tranquility!
    Lisa

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  47. I'm fortunate enough to be a native New Hampshirite, (although I've had to spend time in Vermont, lol) I know your feelings well. I cannot imagine living in another place! I LOVE where I live! As I left a friend's home yesterday evening, I was amazed by another glorious pink sunset that set the sky ablaze & the full moon rising over the mountains was out of this world, those few moments of splendor making a bitter cold day well worth it. I appreciate the change of seasons, reveling in the beauty of each them...trying hard to ignore the bothersome parts of each, lol. Each season brings its own treasures...the trees in the Spring with their new buds of chartreuse green, tulips & daffodils & grass bursting from the ground and the robins returning from their winter vacations; Summer, sometimes coming slowly but finally with warm days, humidity that won't quit, perennials gardens in all their glory, long summer evenings with beautiful sunsets, stars ablaze in the night-time sky; Autumn....ah, my favorite season of all, what can I say when New Hampshire does her absolute best and brings out all those colors? Crisp air redolent of earth & leaves, the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot, walks through the woods, a glimpse of a red fox & wild turkeys on my front lawn, gardens full with vegetables needing to be harvested and asters growing wild along the back roads, leading us to Winter...an ever-changeable season, sometimes without any snow at all, or not enough snow, or TOO much snow,,lol we're never quite happy with Winter it seems, but being out in a snowfall, it's quiet, the snowflakes catching on your eyelashes, sticking out your tongue to catch them. The "crunch" as you walk down your unshoveled front walk, the trees covered in "frosting" that turn everything into a winter wonderland, these moments are what I try to keep in mind through Winter. I'm so glad you discovered a place that makes you feel at home and surrounds you with beauty. Thank you for letting us share in that beauty and remind all of us that live here in New Hampshire just how lucky we are to be here.

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  48. I am new to your blog, just a few weeks here. I've started to write a comment several times after your last few posts about New England. I don't want to sound bitter, or snippy, or divisive! But.... I left New England two years ago and am so happy to not be there. So, it is particularly interesting for me to read of your new found love, and those of most of your readers!

    I was reading Michelle's comment above about knowing yourself and being true to that: and yes, that is exactly what happened to my husband and I , just as it happened to you. But in reverse, sort of?

    We waited for twenty five years to move south, and are now in North Carolina. I'm still dealing with my mother's estate outside Boston, and all my siblings are there, and I spent every summer of my life either in Maine, or Vermont.

    Well, what can I say? We love the South. I guess I'm sort of amused at everyone's love for New England when I hope to not have to return there for quite some time....
    On the other hand, your blog is beautiful and your posts fascinating, so I will continue to read!

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    1. First, welcome to the blog! Your comment reminds me of something Dan is always saying... thank goodness we aren't all looking for the same thing! I'm happy for you that you found your "home" place!

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  49. Congratulations on your 5th year here in our beautiful state Joan! I can't image living anywhere else except maybe Italy...lol. Nothing I love more then hiking in our forest and enjoying the peace and beauty around us. I can't believe we get to live in such a beautiful place either. Here's to many more years in your peaceful surroundings.

    XXX
    Debra~

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  50. It's a kind of a Paradise, that place, those pictures...

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  51. Happy 5 years to you. It was inspiring to read this post -- following the calling for your life is a brave thing to do. I've always been a New England girl, and as much as I sometimes complain about the cold, there is no better place to be, where mountains , ocean and city alike are only a few hours away. Home really is where the heart is.

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  52. Congrats on the 5 yrs and most importantly for finding your "place" :) For hubby and me ours is "somewhere in Texas" and hopefully we'll get there one day :)

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  53. The first time I read your blog was the same day you made your final post before taking a break. So I've spent a fair bit of time reading through it while you were away. So much more fun to have you back! My husband and I found our old (160 years!) home in the country 1 year ago this month. We and our 7 children spent many months last year remodeling and painting it to make it ours. It is a white brick over clapboard farmhouse, with black shutters, and has a similar look as yours. Your home is very beautiful and it has been inspiring to look through your posts of the progress. The kitchen is my favorite! I can't tell you how many times I have come back to it! Thank you for taking the time to share all.

    Kelly (in Indiana)

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  54. Hello, belated happy five years! I admire you for the fact of being a nature lover. You're adventurous and you love to travel for beauty. We're the same actually. The pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them.

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  55. Joan,
    Just five years and your house has the warmth and beauty that it's been in your family for generations! I can completely understand how mother nature came calling and beckoned you to move- the outdoor views and the change of seasons can never be underestimated. Glad your back!!!

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  56. When you said that you moved for 'beauty'.. I so understand... this resonates with me, Joan.. Beauty is why I spend so much of my time in France... and I feel that I lost my heart to my adopted home too... 13 yeras later I still feel the same...
    Beautiful post... xv

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  57. I was so thrilled to check in and see you were back! As always, your posts are so beautiful and inspirational.

    Sincerely,

    Debi

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  58. Dear Joan,
    I was one of the 'quiet ones' that you mentioned in a post earlier in the week! I have loved your blog for quite some time, and was sad when you took a break. In the meantime, it has encouraged me to start my own, so thank you!
    You live in a very beautiful part of the States, which I am longing to visit. We too live in a beautiful place, but England, UK. There is not a day that goes by that my husband and I don't look at each other and say how lucky we are. We fell in love with a gorgeous piece of land with stunning views 6 years ago and to cut a long story short, designed and built our dream house. It has been blood, sweat and tears, but the most satisfying thing we could have ever done. Through a hard winter in mobile homes (not a camping kind of girl!) while the build was progressing, my mother in law rang and told us she thought we were mad and how we 'couldn't live on a view' - well we had news for her, we could! It was that view, and the beauty of nature all around us, that kept us going.

    I love visiting London, or any other beautiful and inspiring City for that matter. But it is the countryside and having nature surrounding me, that is my true love and inspiration. I am so pleased your posts are back, and I look forward to continued reading.......Thankyou!

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  59. It's a pretty special feeling to have found the place you're meant to be. I know exactly the feeling that you're talking about--and I didn't realize it was missing until I found it! To people who say, "Why did you move to the country? What made you buy a farm?" I don't have a good answer aside from this feeling. Maybe I need to say, "I moved for beauty."

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  60. Such gorgeous pictures! I also love living in New England. Always have.

    A funny story...I knew I had seen a post about painting ceilings last summer. I kept it in my mind....the shine of a ceiling sort of obsessing about it at times. But then I couldn't find it....coudn't remember....couldn't find you!

    So I googled...and in 2 seconds I was here

    http://fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com/2012/07/favorite-detail-ceilings-with-sheen.html

    and I will never make that mistake again :)

    You are in my blog roll for a daily (or weekly...whenever you post) fix.

    Just know that your posts are breathtaking, helpful, and nurturing, all at the same time.

    Glad I found you again.

    Monica
    Prince Snow Farm
    A Nantucket State of Mind

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  61. From one transplanted Texan to another....I understand your pull toward the open, tree filled spaces. What a leap of faith and one that has enhanced your life!

    What inspiration for all of us who want to follow our hearts, Joan!
    xoxo Elizabeth

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  62. Your home is lovely! I somehow stumbled across your blog and I am so very pleased that I did! While I was born and raised in Indiana, I feel that my heart belongs on the East Coast! Lol! Maybe someday . . .

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  63. What a beautiful post! I just adore your story. There is so much soul and spirit. Yours is a journey of truth, authenticity and genuine beauty which is why it resonates with so many in today's world of manufactured desires and tasteless excess.

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  64. Joan
    I'm Brenda from Wilmington, NC. I'm one of the ones who usually comes and goes quietly but I sure have missed your posts and am so glad you're back. I'll enjoy checking in. Brenda

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  65. Dear Joan,
    How truly lovely to meet you.
    I'm not really sure how I happened upon your blog, but feel so welcomed to be here right now.
    My name is Becka, I live at CA, at a place I call Girasole Farm.
    I browsed around your blog, and just feel a kinship of sorts.
    Your home is absolutely stunning, as is your style.
    This may sound a little weird, but I feel as though I have had a calling to New England for many years now. I don't know why, just something I feel. Tell me Joan, how did you make it there? other than just the feeling? employment? I'm just curious.
    Thank you for the lovely inspiration you have left with me today.
    Hugs- Becka @ Girasole Farm

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    1. It doesn't sound weird at all, I totally understand the feeling. To answer (what I 'think' is) your question... the job came with us and we literally just decided that we wanted to live a different life in a different place and made the decision to do it. While the decision created many complex situations that we had to get through, the basis for the move was really very basic and simple.

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    2. Thank you Joan for taking the time to reply to my question.
      I truly appreciate it.
      Have a lovely day.

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  66. Hi Joan,
    I live in Jaffrey N.H. Jaffrey and Marlborough natives still argue which town has the prettier view of Mount Monadnock. Personally I think Marlborough wins, but I should keep that to myself.
    You were looking for a recipe for pancakes that would be like a diner favorite of yours. A couple weeks ago King Arthur Flour had a recipe on their store website titled Pamela's Diner Pancakes. It stressed that the pancakes claim to fame was the delicious crisp edges. It a good idea to read all the hints surrounding the recipes. It said putting the small amount of oil and butter on the hot griddle was very important for getting the signature crisp edges. It sounded very close to what you were seeking.
    So glad to have you back Joan!

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    1. hello neighbor;) Love Jaffrey. Thank you for this information- I will check it out. I do think , from all my research, that you are correct and the key is lots of butter on the hot griddle! Have you been to the Swanzey Diner- home of the pancakes I mentioned?

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  67. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. Moving to live near beauty is wonderful. I feel the same way about living in Northern Virginia, I am from the San Antonio area of Texas, but it has been in the Mid-Atlantic region that I have truly felt a home, finding my place here along the Potomac.

    Your photos are beautiful and I am so happy you paired them with such great quotes.

    Congratulations on having made the move.

    Liz

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  68. So beautifully said Joan. I am so glad you followed your heart. It was indeed a brave thing to do. Often times we over rule our hearts, by letting so many things get in the way. You were brave and strong to push any doubts aside and run to your heart's desire.
    Terri

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  69. Your post has moved me to my core. Thank you.

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  70. I can relate to you entirely! Born and raised in Houston, Texas, but my soul came alive when I moved to a small farm in Franklin, Tennessee. Thank you for the ways you encouraged me along the way! I love your story! xo!

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  71. I had the same experience, I was born and raised in Colorado. My family has been in the general erea since just after the Civil War. When my husband's base moved to NC I went for a visit, I felt that my spirit moved home. We hope to move to the NC coast soon. Thank you for your many wonderful posts.

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  72. Oh my goodness. Your post was so timely. I recently have had this intense desire to leave California and move to South Carolina. I was born and raised in California. This state is the only place I have ever lived but yet I know I belong in the south where my soul resides. Now to convince my husband that is where he is supposed to live also. My sister lives in South Carolina and tells me often that I belong there. Oh to have my heart's desire come true. Someday I hope.

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  73. Saw a photo from your blog and of the entrance to your property on a blog. Apparently her posts and photos have been copied illegally. Blog is "the essence of the good life".

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    1. Thank you for letting me know Anon. This is the second time this week I am dealing with a fraudulent blog. The first one hijacked my entire blog and just gave it a different name. So frustrating. And the hoops google makes you jump through to remove them are ridiculous.

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