Posted in A bit of history, Autumn, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Maryland, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Spirit, Walking & Wandering

A different kind of day

The skink that lives on the deck.
An inhabitant of the deck (a skink), sun bathing on a Sunday morning.

Is it weird in here, or is it just me?

~ Steven Wright

It's hard NOT to think about it now.
It’s hard NOT to think about it now.

Happy Autumn!  I was going to put together a post showing you what the first day of autumn looks like here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, but I had the oddest day yesterday so I thought I’d tell you about that instead.  Autumn, I think, will be slow to unfold here.  We’ll have plenty of time to get back to it.

Bicycles and gun turrets in the basement
Bicycles and gun turrets in the basement

It all started at 5:00 in the morning when the phone rang.  It was an alert from a local university with a recorded message informing us that a student had been shot off campus.  The suspect had fled the scene and was armed.  We were advised to be alert and vigilant.

Exploring an estate
House hunting?

I was still half asleep as I listened to the alert and thought at first that it was from the local prison.  We are signed up for text alerts should a prisoner or prisoners escape.  When M and I realized it was from the university, we decided we didn’t need to patrol the perimeter or send out the guard dogs (which we don’t have so that would have been impossible to do and, frankly, the cats, being cats, are not inclined towards any kind of duty that we ask them to perform making them useless in this regard).  There was not much on the morning news about the shooting, but I’ve heard the victim is recovering and that’s all they’ve had to say about it other than the alert went out.  Well, that’s not news to us since we got the alert.

Gain entree
Cornered

The rest of the morning proceeded normally.  We had a nice breakfast.  I went out for a walk and spent some time with the butterflies in the meadow.  I also made my way to our little cemetery.  No one has used the entrance path lately and it’s becoming overgrown.

The manor house
The neighborhood manor house

Not far from us, there is a house for sale.  I hesitate to call it simply “a house” as it’s much more than that.  It is a grand manor house.  It was built in 1785.  The original land parcel included 3500 acres.  It now comes with 77 acres which is still nothing to sneeze at.  The original price was somewhere around $1.8 million dollars.  It is now priced to sell at $799,900, and they held an open house on Sunday afternoon.

We're open.  Come on in.
We’re open. Come on in.

M and I have often talked about finding a big place that would comfortably accommodate us and other family members.  We’re aging, our family is aging, and some of the younger people could use a hand up.  A family compound, of sorts, would be helpful for all as long as we each had separate space (because sometimes you need to get away from each other).  A lot would have to come together for such a thing to happen (there is no way we could afford $800,000 on our own), and it seems unlikely that we could get every piece of the puzzle to fit into place at this time.  While our interest in the house is real, we mostly went to look out of curiosity.  We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a look inside.

The Grand Hallway (facing the back of the house).
The Grand Hallway (facing the back of the house).

M and I did a lot of dreaming as we walked through the house.  It is a beautiful place.  The Grand Hallways (one downstairs and one upstairs) alone are worth a look.

The Grand Hallway (upstairs).
The Grand Hallway (upstairs).

It is a seriously sturdy house with interior and exterior brick walls 24 inches thick.  The basement, an interesting place in and of itself, has gun turrets, slits in the walls designed for shooting at people while offering protection.  They needed the turrets and a safe room back in those days because of pirates.  The house is located near a creek which was, presumably, the main way to get to the house at the time as there was no Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  There probably weren’t many roads on the Eastern Shore in 1785, either.

The Library (my favorite room).
The Library (my favorite room).

There are seven Federal fireplaces, 14 foots ceilings, and incredible trim and woodwork.  There is a separate, but attached, apartment with a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, and full bath that has its own entrance on one side, and has access to the solarium on the other side.

The Solarium
The Solarium

At one time, the property included an outdoor kitchen, a barn with two side sheds, a granary, a stable with two side sheds, two corn houses, a smokehouse, a meat house, a schoolhouse, a necessary house, a blacksmith shop, a poultry house, a windmill, and an ice house.  Now it is pared down to the manor house, one garage, a stable, and a guesthouse with three bedrooms and two baths.  Eighteen acres around the house are beautifully landscaped and include quite  a number of majestic old trees.  There is also an in-ground swimming pool.

The plantation, with 74 slaves included in the property list from the late 1700’s, had orchards with apple and peach trees.  The main crops were corn and tobacco.

September 2013L 055a
The spread of this tree is incredible.

I thought of my youngest daughter-in-law while we were touring the house and property.  The house and grounds would be perfect for a bed & breakfast as well as hosting (for a fee, of course) weddings and other events.  Mere has a dream of having a place where she can host weddings, and I think she would love the house and grounds.

Stable
Stable

All in all, it was a different way to spend a Sunday, and we learned a little about the history of the area.

Pardon the graininess of the photos.  I didn’t take my good camera long, but always carry Lulu so all photos were taken with the little point-and-shoot.

Another one of the gun turrets.  That's a Dom Perignon champagne bottle sitting in it.
Another one of the gun turrets. That’s a Dom Perignon champagne bottle sitting in it.

Thanks for joining me on a tour of the estate.  Did you have a good weekend?  Did you do anything different or exciting?  You didn’t by chance take a tour of any interesting houses, did you?

September 2013L 030a
One of the upstairs bedrooms.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  And go ahead and dream.  Who knows?  It might come true someday.  🙂

Author:

Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

24 thoughts on “A different kind of day

    1. I wish we could do more than dream, Anhinga, but by the time we could get our ducks in a row, the place will probably be snatched up. The price is too good. Maybe next time. 🙂

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  1. seems to be a bargain Robin …. I guess house prices are low everywhere over there? Houses in the Kimberley were that price just for very ordinary bungalows with three bedrooms and a two bathrooms!

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    1. House prices are weird here on the Eastern Shore, Christine. They generally start out high and then keep dropping. It depends on the owner and how fast they need the money. There are some that seem to be in no hurry. There is a property near us that has 21 acres and no house (just a shed and a dock on the creek) that costs twice as much as what we paid for a house and 35 acres (along with all the outbuildings and a dock on the creek). I can’t figure out why they’re asking for so much. I figure the price will drop in time, unless the owner doesn’t care one way or the other about selling.

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    1. I thought it felt very welcoming, Elisa, but I may have made it look haunted with my treatment of some of the photos I took. I should have saved those for Halloween. 😀

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  2. I love seeing old homes like this. A family compound–that’s funny. Would have to buy a castle in England if we did that. And I would insist on a moat.

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  3. Actually, if the house and property is in good condition in the parts we don’t see (plumbing, roof, electrical, etc) that’s a really good price. The house needs a little cosmetic work, but other than that is a beautiful house. I don’t blame you for dreaming — that would be nice to have family members under the same roof, or even living in the little house out back.
    Enjoyed the house tour, and I hope the catch the shooter — your cats would make short work of him if the police don’t get him first.

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  4. I’m so glad I didn’t miss reading this post Robin….this house is amazing! I absolutely LOVE old houses, the walls hold the essence of those who have lived within the rooms throughout the years and you can feel the personalities of the previous occupants. And only $799,900? That is an absolute steal!! Did you know that Australia has some of the most expensive real estate in the world? A house in our street recently sold for around $750,000 and it is nowhere near as grand as this old home and only on one acre! This house will make someone very happy when it is sold to them. 🙂

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    1. It is, indeed, a steal, Joanne. I keep wondering if it’s sold yet. I’m sure it must have. It was too good a price. Surely someone stepped up and made an offer. One of these days I’ll take the time to check. 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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