The lower farmhouse, blanketed in early morning mist.
When the power company installed electric lines in March, we were told our house is about 900 feet up the private lane from the road.
I have struggled with the math and have a somewhat shaky concept of this as approximately 1/6 of a mile. Thus to walk a mile a day I would need to go up and down the lane...how many times?
At one point my feeble calculations suggested that the end of the mile would land me at the mailbox rather than at the house.
Jim roars up and down the lane with his 4 wheeler--often with tools or such in the carrier he has strapped on the back.
I could take the van or car--but nearly always trudge along afoot. I walk to the mailbox to collect the mail. Sometimes I take a 'smoothie' or a cold drink for Jim; sometimes I head down to see and appreciate the progress he is making on the house.
Messages have to be carried down, as we have no cell phone reception here in the 'hills and hollers.'
I have strolled down the lane to pick strawberries, and sometimes to help with painting and such.
It is good exercise and gives me a chance to enjoy the sights, sounds and scents along the way.
One day last week I took my camera.
In the week of hot weather punctuated with rains, flowers and grasses along the way quickly alter.
Daisies flourish in clumps on the side hill near the house and in the hedgerows along the lane.
A fence post wears a mad cap of woodbine.
Jim used the bush hog to cut the hay in the pasture that so briefly held Pebbles.
I have thought the dried pods twined on the fence were milkweed.
Seeing this vine, I'm now puzzled regarding identity.
Petals have fallen from the daisies along the fence that borders the brook.
It appears to be a seasonal brook--chortling over the stony bed during the heavy spring rains, now nearly dry.
Blackberries grow along the fence in thorny profusion.
I am wary of plunging into that thicket of brambles when the berries ripen.
This is the spot where I saw the rough green snake draped gracefully over the wire.
A tattered butterfly alights on a fragrant red clover.
Wild grapevine unfolds glossy leaves and clambers up the fence.
Queen Anne's lace bows in the wind.
The upper reach of the lane divides as the ground slopes upward.
The longer stretch runs between the workshop and the basement level of the house;
The drive to the front door on the upper level climbs the steeper way past the sweet gum tree with its dead top spire, runs along the cement retaining wall where Amish visitors to the former owners hitched their horses and buggies.
The drive fans out at the back of the house creating a parking area near the small stable and loops back down to the lower drive.
Puffing up the hill with the mail tucked under one arm, or carrying a bowl of berries, I raise my eyes to the house.
The window farthest to the right in the upper story is in our bedroom. The center window is in the master bathroom--still a work in progress. The left hand window and the nearest one on the long side of the house denotes a small room adjoining the bathroom. We are calling it a 'dressing room'--which sounds a bit too grand.
The walk-in shower will be there, a towering cupboard for linens, various storage pieces.
There is much to be done--and the work goes more slowly than I anticipated--mainly because Jim needed to carry out renovations in the lower house before finishing our own.
Unfinished, with much to sort, still it is feeling like home.