Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy Memories

Loved this house

If you've been following my blog for a while you already know that I live in a little farm cottage in the country in rural Kansas. 

Before I moved here I lived in the mountains of beautiful
British Columbia Canada.
For a time we lived in a lovely English Tudor home 
right across the road from the local ski hill.

I LOVED this house.
From the living room and the loft and one upstairs bedroom and the kitchen you could watch the skiers going up and down the slopes. 
My children just had to walk across the road to ski and snowboard and on the evenings when the ski hill was closed early...they could toboggan down the slopes.
I could sit in the loft and watch them catch the chairlift and ride up the hill until they disappeared.
It was a WONDERFUL place to live and 
raise the kids.

Springtime in the mountains.
The apple tree is starting to bloom and
if you look to the right you'll see our 
old snowmobile waiting to be tuned up and put away until the next winter.

This is where all the action happened.
The kids played volleyball and badminton 
and lawn darts and we had a fire pit to sit around on  
cool evenings. All evenings are cool in the mountains!  

Through these beautiful hand made leaded and stained glass doors we could see the skiers going up and down the 'bunny tow' on the hill. The upper window was my oldest 
daughters bedroom. She could lay in bed
and watch the skiers.
It was beautiful at night when they were 'grooming' the hill.
The grooming machines go up and down the steep slopes at night... they're so bright that you can see the snow falling in the lights during a heavy snow fall. Believe me...when you get 40-60 feet YES FEET of snow per winter...there's a LOT of grooming to be done on the hill. 

The apple tree ready for picking.
The apples were delicious but that tree and 
the plum tree in the back of the house brought around the bears. They would start coming in early 
fall to check the fruit for ripeness.
You could just about bet that a bear would be around every night the closer the fruit got to being ripe. 
We had one large old male and one female with cubs
come every year that we lived there.

Me sitting under the apple tree.
See that dark hair!

Huge stone steps down to the lower level from the apple tree.

The creek behind the house.

By the time we moved we had ivy growing up that short stone wall with the lamp post.
Those doors were beautiful especially in the mornings when the sun came streaming in.

Another look at the entry landing and those doors.
My dad and step Mom came to visit.
These are my youngest children.
Drew was born while we lived in this house.

This is the view from the kitchen breakfast table.
If you look closely you'll see the glacier on top of the mountain. In the fall when the leaves were off the trees you could just see a bit of the Columbia River.

We had lots of wildlife come into the yard...bear, deer, porcupines, coyotes  and after we moved the people told us they saw two young cougar (mountain lions) run through the yard towards the creek. I'm glad they weren't around when we lived there...our large dog probably kept them away.
Behind the deer where you see the children's playhouse 
is the trail down to the creek where we had a hammock overlooking the water.

Here's my youngest son Drew in front of those 
beautiful doors.
Can you tell where we had been?

Here's a glimpse of the living room during one of our parties. If you look up you can just see the beams and the railing in the loft.
There was a beautiful HUGE fireplace that went right up to the open ceiling with a massive rack of elk antlers.
The bricks came from the local train stations roundhouse that was built in the late 1800's. 
All the bricks were cleaned by hand before being laid but they still had some of the black from the soot and the light color from the old mortar.  

In this picture above (with my son and his girlfriend...later wife) you can see the spiral staircase to the loft/office which adjoined my oldest daughters bedroom and then the hall bath and another large bedroom.
There was also another set of wide stairs at the back of the house leading upstairs and down to the basement.
The bricks you see is an arched doorway leading to the breakfast room and kitchen. 

My sister Janet (you can read how we met for the first time)
is pointing to the scratches on the apple tree made by the bears.
They would come around every night when the fruit was close to being ripe and sometimes during the day if they were bold enough.
The were pretty desperate to eat as much as they could before going into hibernation.
We tried to pick all the fruit as high up as we could reach but the rest was their's for the taking.
We even had a squirrel who would pick the ripe fruit and leave it sit on the huge boulders along the side of the house to dry. Then it found an opening between the basement ceiling and the floor above and packed all that fruit in there above the patio doors. 
We didn't even know it until I could see fruit flies on the ceiling and smell rotting fruit.
We were able to find the hole and close it up and killed the fruit flies but we weren't about to tear the cedar ceiling down so we put up with the smell until eventually the fruit dried up and the smell disappeared! 
There was never a dull moment in that house. 

I have a lot of wonderful memories from living in this beautiful home and it was hard to eventually leave it.
But it was time to move on and we moved to a home closer to school and the in-laws.
We still had the bears and deer and even a cougar came life was still exciting.
But I did miss watching the skiers in the winter.

Now I can sit under an apple tree (without bears) here on the farm and hopefully one day we'll have a pond with a windmill.
I may not be able to ski ...but maybe one day I'll be skating. Life is good.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Maura :)


Beatnheart said...

I’ll go first! That house and your stories about living there are simply so so beautiful. You’ve lived a delightful life Maura.
Have a w onderful weekend and enjoy that moon. Cynthia

Rina ... also Chester or Daisysmum. said...

Maura, What loving memories of a beautiful home you lived in. Your home is just beautiful and cosy,and am just crasy over your potatoe & onion cupboard.
Have a great weekend

Catherine said...

LOVE your house!!! and the stories of was a wonderful place to live in
Ilove the doors and windows, thank you for sharing, it's a very interesting post
My daughter has spent three months in BC , she went to school there and she enjoyed her stay

Good week end(we'll try to go to the seaside,but it will be snowing again!!)


Rosetta said...

SarĂ  stato come vivere in una bella favola,e mentre io leggevo il tuo post,mi sembrava di trovarmici anch'io,stupendo!!!Le cose belle anche se passano restano sempre in fondo al nostro cuore.Un buon weekend,ciao Rosetta.

The Bear's Blog said...

Just beautiful. And so many wonderful memories. But, your new (old) farmhouse is beautiful too. And you get to make it just the way you want it to be.

One step at a time, dear friend. One step at a time. And just think of all the new memories that you are creating.


Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

What a great house, Maura. I would have loved to have seen all the animals come into the yard! Thanks for sharing your lovely home with us :)

Ann said...

Sounds wonderful....the house sounds like it had so many great features. It would of been hard to leave. love the view from the kitchen

Kath said...

How absolutely charming and huge compared to English homes/ I particularly liked the hexagonal window, quite unique.

Ornaments by Pink said...

What beautiful pictures of your home! Thanks for the tour and thanks for sharing your memories too!

Verde Farm said...

Oh Maura-love this post. What a beautiful home. I can’t imagine having the view of that ski slope right across the street. I bet the kids loved growing up there. It’s so quaint and such great detail. I bet you miss it. I miss my houses too-there is something about each of them that I absolutely loved. That apple tree is just beautiful and the view from the kitchen nook-oh my. Just love it!

Deborah said...

Oh my gosh Maura..I'm so glad to be back!
I couldnt access your blog for the longest time (I seem to have trouble accessing shabby blogs), but today I saw a picture on your post from my blog roll and off I went to try.
Now here I nice to be back my dear.
That home is gorgeous..sounds like you have wonderful memories and I can see why!!!
Have a wonderful day friend!!

With all my heart...Deborah xoxo

Anonymous said...

Maura -- I found you after you found me, at ScratchandPeck! Just wanted to find out more about you after you wrote me that nice little message. I've enjoyed your memories of life in that lovely home.
Beautiful photos, beautiful gardens - Looking forward to reading more!

Kim said...

It must have been hard to move away from such a charming cottage. Your farmhouse is amazing though. Such character! So glad you found my red farmhouse. I'm off to discover more about your little piece of heaven in Kansas now.

Sally said...

What a beautiful home! :)

Leslie said...

what a darling house. I have a million memories in this little house.. I don't ever what to leave but I know that someday soon we will have to. Home is what you make it right.. : )

Bearly Sane ® said...

Hi Maura!
What treasured memories you have shared with us...I don't know if I could have ever left that home. It's gorgeous and the surroundings are just stunning. You are a lucky girl to have had such a beautiful home.
Warmest Hugs,
Sandi @ Ess D'Ess Bears and Bearly Sane Studio

Rural Revival said...

Maura, What a beautiful spot! Ontario has it's beauty in its own way, but it pales in comparison to BC. How fortunate for you! I'm sure you miss it but you also seem to be someone who enjoys the moment, no matter what you have and I know you love your home now. I do too! : )

Thanks for sharing these photos!

Hugs ~Andrea~

Scufty said...

Wow! What wonderful memories this has brought back to me, too, of our visit out there. It was even prettier in real life than in the pictures. It was so grand but homey and comforting all at the same time. It certainly was a place to sit and take some time to watch the world go by - not that we did with all the kids that were there on that particular visit! lol Thanks for taking me back, you... Scufty

Jeanette said...

Wow! Great house and great memories! And that front door is truly fabulous!!

Faith Hope Cherrytea ~ said...

a lovely share~ thank you from a fellow cdn :)

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

How wonderful to relax and watch the skiers come and go. Lovely home and area.

Karen said...

What a wonderful blog!! I'll be back. I'm going to be your newest follower.
Have a restful evening... you are one busy gal.
Ladybug Creek

A Brit in Tennessee said...

What a beautiful home it was ! An English Tudor and full of character, and lots of space.
Such a special place to live, the countryside is just gorgeous....
Thank you for sharing such precious memories with us.


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