We first stumbled upon The Hudson Valley and all it's glory in the summer of 2015. At the time we were living life on the road in Camp Wanderings (this picture was actually taken only a few miles from our now home!) and were fully immersed in our goal to travel the lengths and breadths of the country..
We semi joked during our 18 months of calling nowhere in particular home that we were auditioning the country for our next big move and often mused a couple of nights into a new town, could we live here? New Orleans, Austin, Savannah, Toronto.. So many places piqued our interest that I forget them all now but something special happened in this quiet valley. The mix of country life, peppered with incredible restaurants, culture and fellow city dwellers who like us were looking for a different, more sustainable way of life caught our interest in a way we just couldn't shake.
Six months and several thousand more miles of adventure later, with Upstate NY still firmly on our minds we were beginning to look towards a life beyond wheels. So we boarded a plane from Los Angeles headed to the East Coast with eight houses to see and two days to make a decision. We were going to buy a home. Our very first foray into property ownership. We'd spent less than a week in total over the two trips in the area but somehow we knew this was where we were meant to be. I guess you could say we're impulsive by nature and tireless believers in the reward of perpetual forward motion.
Wandering Acres was the last house we saw on Valentines Day 2016. I'd thrown it into the mix last minute even though it didn't fit a handful of criteria, all of which I've since forgotten. And it was love at first sight.Built some time in the 1920's she was a glorious mix of a Sears Catalog Home and an Aladdin Kit House. If you're not familiar with this part of our architectural history both companies sold mail order kit homes for several decades in the early 20th Century. They offered some of the latest technology available to house buyers at the time including central heating, plumbing and electricity (Although our home was originally constructed with only an outhouse for a bathroom and a coal furnace in the basement!). Arriving via the railroad the kits included most of the materials needed to build a house and once delivered they were either constructed by the homeowners themselves or a local team of carpenters.
The family that called Wandering Acres home before us had done so for three generations and my sentimental heart struggled to fathom how they could bring themselves to part with it. Their children were born in our bedroom upstairs, their heights lovingly memorialized over the decades on the wall of a closet, the kitchen handmade by the first generation in the wood shop in the basement below. The building whispers their memories in its every room. But over the short 8 months we've called her home she's started to tell our story too, we are leaving our mark too as we painstakingly renovate her tired old bones from top to bottom. A building sent to teach me once again that things must evolve over time to stay anew. And so every night I go to bed with a smile on my face knowing we are the latest in a long line of custodians breathing new life into these old rooms.