Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Late July on the Hilltop


A year ago, a 1970 ranch house came into our lives. Over the years, it had undergone many renovations, and by the time we came along, the front porch had acquired a sophisticated, formal feel.



 Flower-filled urns were set out here and there. The white, slipcovered chairs were angled to take advantage of the view. A hummingbird feeder peeked out between two hydrangeas. The ranch wasn't referred to as a ranch in those days: it was a well-loved, well-tended place, filled with rose gardens, bluebird houses, and fairy lanterns. 

ranchburger archive photo shared by PO

A place of iris beds . . . an orchard . . . a fenced garden.



Dragonflies hummed over lush, potted urns. . . urns that changed with the seasons.

ranchburger archive photo shared by PO

As much as I loved my old Georgian, I felt a kinship with the ranch house.  I could see myself tending the rose garden, filling bird feeders, and planting herbs in the raised beds. Best of all, I loved watching the happy faces of my husband and son as they walked around the yard. Still, I wasn't sold. Then we brought another grand, old dame to see the house--my 87-year old mother. When she saw it, she tapped me with her cane. "What are you waiting for?" she said. "You're home."



Yes, indeed, the house was a beautiful lady, the kind that wears Hermes perfume and a classic Chanel suit. She was poised, welcoming, and elegant.

I kicked everything down a hundred notches. 
Like a grand, old dame, a house can wear many styles. She'll wear copper, dry-stacked stone, cedar shake, hydrangeas, lattice, and trellises.
Today, she is neither better nor worse; she's just found another version of herself: quiet and laid back, a barefoot in the grass kind of gal who loves bluegrass music and bacon cornbread. I can't wait to get to know her better. I want to share my quilts and cast iron skillets. 
  
The trellised garden is waiting for hydrangeas or roses. Maybe lavender. 



I can't wait to sit down in one of the old Adirondacks, drinking iced tea from a Mason jar, fiddle music playing in my head. I want to learn the names of each blue hilltop in the distance. I look forward to the changing sky.






ranchburger archive photos shared by PO





To be shared at:
Sundays Down Under

15 comments:

  1. I've been gone awhile and haven't seen your house in a while. You've really accomplished a lot !If it's been kicked down, I sure like the way you kick. Especially adore the shingle shutters and all of the beautiful landscaping.Great job.
    Sam

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    1. You were missed, Sam. But I know you had a great time! (The landscaping was done by the PO--Previous Owner, btw.)

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  2. Beautiful Crepe Myrtles! And roses too! That view is stunning. There is nothing like a fantastic view to enjoy while sitting outside relaxing. Have a great day!

    Alexis @ www.chemistrycachet.com

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  3. I look forward to seeing you sitting in one of your Adirondack chairs, Michael Lee, while viewing those hilltops. I must admit that I can't wait to take a peek at the indoors of your home, too, and seeing you cooking in those well loved cast iron skillets.

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  4. What a beautiful home and gardens. I love the stone and cedar shingles.
    xx,
    Sherry

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  5. You sure do have beautiful views! I just discovered your blog and so glad I did,look forward to visiting with you more!

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  6. You are so poetic about the transition. I love it. I wish I could look at our downsize to a ranch as well. Ha! While I do like my house, yard, and on a small hill location, I have a few feelings I need to resolve about it. I am working to make it a place that we all love...and my grown kids can call home...after their growing up and returning to for 24 years ....our Georgian. I am justifying learning to live smaller by telling myself it will be easier to winter at the beach and leave a small house all by itself for a couple of months. Yes...learning to love where I am planted. I am trying to make it a cozy but elegant home for us...baby steps! Oh...can I swing by for some of your bacon cornbread when I drive through TN? Ha
    Sheila

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  7. You gave the grand ole' dame a new dress! Time to enjoy and let her show off :-)

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  8. Do I spy that the copper downspouts, gutters and dormers have been done? Very beautiful and the view is amazing. Now go sit for awhile and enjoy it Michael Lee as you have earned it girl. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Never have been to TN, but perhaps some day.

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  9. Stunning views of the your gorgeous countryside. Your home fits perfectly into this scene.

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  10. What a beautiful setting! It doesn't look like a ranchburger so much anymore. More like a fine surf and turf. The coastal feel of the cedar shakes and the sophistication of an old homestead. Beautiful!

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  11. It now feels like a retreat, a place to replenish your soul. Just the pictures of those vistas feel so good!
    It's as if your home has taken off her suit and her pearls and her chic little hat, put on something chumbly and comfortable, and settled happily into her roots, no longer having anything to prove. I think both of you have come home.

    I would like to offer you a blessing from the Bible as you enter into this new phase of your life:

    "May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26

    It appears that He already has.

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    1. Yolie, your words, Bible quotation, and good wishes lift my heart. Thank you, thank you!

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  12. The cedar shakes are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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