When we first moved to Water Valley, and settled into our first house on Wagner Street, we found a wonderland just a couple blocks up the street. A long, easily overlooked driveway leading several hundred yards back into the greenery, and at the end a peaceful wonderland that felt like the middle of nowhere. Rolling land, a falling down old barn, and many old beautiful trees. 20 acres of rolling fields dotted with giant pecans and oak woods, all within an easy walk of the main street, the store, all the kids' friends' houses, etc.
The house was empty. The owners were not interested in selling, though over the last six years we have reached out on many occasions.
At any time in the past four years, we would not have been willing to buy it. We had children, a building under renovation, a house under renovation, and a store getting on its feet. Last year we were not sure we were going to stay here, and after leaving the corporate world this spring, I went on a trek on the country looking for other places we might rather be, and other things we rather be doing.
One of the revelations I had over the past 4 months was that we really like Water Valley. When weighed against all the reasons we like here, this town doesn't have any peers that I was able to find in 10,000 miles of exploring.
Which is all to say, for the first time the farm became available, and for the first time in a long time, we have the desire, ability, and schedule to go for it.
So we have. Contract is in place, we're hoping to close at the end of next week.
There's so much to do, the place has been empty for many years, and the land unmanaged during the late period of the prior owner's life.
There are orchards to plant, barns to save, woods to clean up, fence lines to re-establish, animals to get, and a house to design.
Walking up the drive. The kids are running ahead of us.
This is a third generation farm. The second generation who built all the current buildings was amazing in his prime, and built everything well. Unfortunately his prime was 40+ years ago, so the barn is in rough shape, but things like the iron fence made from salvaged wheels from the rail-yards in Water Valley are solid, and still ring the entire house and yard. The view out over that pasture goes down the valley to the water tower.
A very solid, if not all that attractive, workshop.
We've been spending our evenings walking up there and sitting in the front yard daydreaming. Caspian and Annaliese love it. One evening they each took turns acting out stories.
On the other side of the rail fence there is a patch of old blueberry bushes, and a couple chinese chestnuts.
We lost Annaliese to the little maple tree. She couldn't quite reach the lower branch, so she found a few bricks, stacked them up, and got enough hold to swing her legs up.
Caspian was distracted from his story telling by the shrieks of triumph, and he was off to try his hand, with a little help from his big sister.
There will be more on this whole adventure. In the meantime, I'm in the market for a tractor.