The front door faces east and the heavy, double wood doors, carved and old, look out and greet the sunshine as it rises over the horizon and starts the day. To get to the front door, walk through the adobe courtyard filled with spring flowers and the occasional sleeping cat with seating to enjoy a cup of coffee as the sun comes up.
Inside the house is a mere five hundred square feet, a sentiment of a home, but filled with warmth and color, antiques, and memories and cats. When one walks through the front doors they are facing the large wood cookstove on the far wall. It has a Dutch oven of beans simmering, a ladle offering visitors or hungry farmers a bite. The large room is not separated so the heat in the winter can keep the whole house cozy and warm. The shelves surrounding the wood stove hold plates and cups, bowls, a vase filled with silverware, and glass jars of pantry staples and spices, a few well used cast iron pots sit on the stove. A tall farm table with a butcher’s block on top stands by the stove to hold a mixing bowl of something, or to offer its surface for rolling out dough. The deep farm sink sits on the other side of the stove. A door by the sink leads to a pantry behind the wood stove that enters onto the back porch. It has shelves laden with glittering jars of put up produce, sacks of grain, and stairs to get under the house where a root cellar awaits.
The chairs are deep and comfortable and one may put their feet up and read a book or relax or have a spot of tea while they visit. The seating huddles around the fireplace. Bright Americana paintings cheer the walls and warm crocheted blankets and home-sewn quilts grace the chairs. In the corner you will find an armoire with a hidden television used only for sporting events or movies and a laptop for computer work and online business. It is kept out of sight as its ugly screens do take away from the sweetness of the house. The chairs face south, looking out the large picture windows.
On the right side of the house (the north side), close to the kitchen, is a door to the screened porch where little beds are lined up for visiting grandbabies or for those nights that one desires a cool breeze and a screen shot of stars that sing you to sleep. Another door on the north wall leads to a composting toilet of amazing skill that leaves you a place for a moment of peace. I cannot recall where the bathtub was, but it is likely near a fireplace.
A small staircase leads you above the kitchen to the loft. The staircase is necessary so the cats can get to bed. A bed is kept ever so snug above the fireplace and can look out the window above the front door to catch the first glimpses of dawn.
The rooster is crowing and ladies want out of their coop to run about the farm. The goats are figuring ways to escape the barn, the sheep are looking after their young, the alpacas are looking for attention and a bit of roaming. The woods around the lake are dancing with activity as ducks and geese watch their reflections in the pond, squirrels jump to and fro, and birds sing their songs of joy and busy-ness. Bees from the hive are ducking into each new spring flower and the gardens are ready to be planted.
You can look out over the whole 100 acres. “Hundred Acre Farm” is the nickname for this place after the “Hundred Acre Wood” where Pooh lives under the name of Sanders; which is of course, our last name. So, fitting. Really it will be called “Cuddlewell Mission”. And though it only exists in my mind at the moment, I know that if I write out my dreams, then the universe has a better idea of how to put it together! I tried to be as detailed as possible! But of course, there are many variations that would be perfect. Doug and I will have to agree on many things and I am sure that when we see the homestead, we will know.
Now dear friends out there, your input please: Where is the best place to homestead in your opinion and why?