|Quit Jobs, Buy Farm||
June 4, 2005
Hello to Family and Friends!
I am writing to share some news.
As some of you already know, much has happened to the LaMothe/Gee family in the last month. Three weeks ago today, Geoff, Jordan, Jessica, Kyra and I went to visit a farm in upstate New York. It was a farm that Jessica, age 7, had found in early April while surfing for real estate on the web. "Mom! Look at this," came her call form the computer in the living room. I looked... and I looked again. The farm was in Hebron, New York, just over the Vermont border, and from the pictures, it looked beautiful. 95 acres. With an old 1800s farmhouse, barn, and numerous outbuildings. Geoff and I began to imagine ourselves there.
As Jessica was well aware, for over 10 years now, Geoff and I have had a vision of moving out of the city and buying land. Our dream is and has been to build a "compound"--a place where we can do our music, writing, and dancing; a place where people can come to work with us, see performances, take classes and workshops; a place to grow a community, and of course, a place for family reunions. And our kids have adopted this dream for themselves. For Jessica, it means a place to have animals; for Jordan, a workshop, a tractor, time and space to be outside. Could this farm be it?
We soon learned that the farm was under contract. Nevertheless, we kept exploring the area, from a distance. On the way to visit a new cousin (Zoe!) in late April, we stopped by to visit a few other pieces of property we had seen on the web. Two weeks later, in early May we placed an offer on a large piece of land, and lost.
Meanwhile, we had received a call. The farm that Jessica had found in early April was back on the market. We immediately made plans to visit. Three weeks ago today, on May 14, we drove up for the day. We were captivated. The place is stunning.
The farm has been in the Craig family for over a hundred years. As Harold Craig (age 75, who lives down the road) relates, his grandfather built the farm himself, with wood from the property. In the basement, you can still see the twigs sticking out of the beams. Behind the farmhouse, which sits conveniently on Rte 31, the land rises up a fairly steep hill to a meadowed basin, fringed with forest. From there, views open up and down the valley of lovely farms, meadows, and mountains. Over the far side of the hill is a pond. The farmhouse has a large living room with wooden floors, perfect for a piano and dance space.
If it was Jessica who opened the deal, Jordan sealed it, and Kyra enabled it. Until that visit, Jordan had been dragging his heels, not wanting to leave this house and his friends. Up on the hillside behind the farmhouse, he called me aside, and asked me to sit down beside him in the tall grass. "Mom," he said, "this is the first place that I can really see us being." Later that afternoon, as we placed an offer. Kyra, with her impeccable timing, fell sound asleep. She handled that day in the car with all the grace a 3-year old could possibly muster. The next day, May 15, we learned that our offer had been accepted.
Since then, life has been a whirlwind. We spent that week packing up boxes and the next weekend removing 50 or 60 of them to a UHaul storage bin. I began painting (equipped with the Darth Vader fumes-protector mask Geoff bought me)... parts of the porch, living room, dining room, kitchen, hallways, bathroom, outside trim. We had the bathtub reglazed. We bought flowers and washed windows and last weekend (May 28 and 29), put our house on the market ourselves.
The work payed off. We had an offer in hand on Monday night. By Tuesday the prospective buyers had come up to our asking price, waiving their mortgage contingency and offering us the closing date we wanted. We had a backup offer as well. The house inspection was on Thursday afternoon, and yesterday, we received a call from the buyers saying they approved. Barring unforeseen catastrophes, the deal is done. We are preparing to move at the end of June! Ironically enough, we sold the house to a young couple from Montana who has spent the past 5 years building their own house and running an organic farm.
Meanwhile, we are planning the work to be done on the farmhouse. It does indeed require some "fixing up," and we are happy to do so. We hope to do most of what needs to be done by early August, when we will greet the next little "LaMothe" who will probably arrive in the hospital of the nearby town of Glens Falls, under the expert care of a midwife practice there. In the fall, the kids will take a bus up the road to the school in the nearby town of Granville, whose three schools (K-2, 3-6, and 7-12) are all located in the same block. And Geoff and I will be working to generate the resources we need to support the further unfolding of our vision... And so it goes!!
Love from all of us,
Kimerer, Geoffrey, Jordan, Jessica, Kyra, and the one-on-the-way