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Perhaps Ted and Dorothy should give up looking for their dream house…

“The next morning my husband Ted went drearily back to his city job with a resigned air that all but broke my heart.  I sighed and sat down with my second cup of coffee and the morning paper.  Without any conscious thought on my part, I automatically opened the paper to the Real Estate ads and began reading them listlessly.  Suddenly an ad caught my eye.  It ran something like this: “For sale, five acres of pasture with small ranch house with plans for addition, landscaped with fruit and olive trees, two deep wells with lots of water, close to town, but lots of privacy, price $7500.

Needless to say, and completely forgetting our resolve of the night before, I rushed to the phone to call the Realtor.  I made an appointment for him to pick me up in half an hour to view the place.  This gave me time to call him back to cancel the appointment, because I knew that this would be just one more disappointment to take.  I finally reached for the phone and called the Realtor’s office, but he had already left to pick me up.  The only courteous thing for me to do was smile as he pulled up in front and get into the car for one more disappointing ride into the country.  I had visions of that lousy five acres and of what it would consist.  Putting it all into a nutshell, I knew that it would be a five acre gloried garbage dump.  It seemed to take an eternity to arrive at the place that first day, with the ultimate turn-off from the paved road.  Yet, this time the rutted dirt road looked as though a car could disappear in the holes and never more be seen.  I smiled at this thought and the Real estate agent caught it and stated “It is a bit bumpy along here” and I agreed with him.  I thought that the place would really the crowning glory of all the rat holes that we had visited in our quest for our farm. I felt rather sorry for the poor salesman who had wasted his time and gasoline on this wild goose chase.

Then quite suddenly, we were turning into a lovely circular drive and viewing a darling little ranch-style house that had a broad expanse of lawn with giant cottonwood trees fringing it.  I grew excited at the sight, but maintained myself , thinking how bad the interior might be,  We knocked at the door and it was opened by a classmate of mine from high school, named Lou.

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As promised, here is the premiere of “Life on Maple Avenue“. My mother, Dorothy Pierini, is the author sharing about her life in the country…

“Everyone has his own dream of Utopia, going native at a distant leisurely Pacific isle, or leaving for safari in the wilds of Africa, or the adventuring in outer space.  My dream did not seem as fantastic, far out, far-fetched as any of the above, but it did run into difficulty when it began to become a reality.

My dream involved a move from the hustle and bustle of city life into a rural atmosphere with “back to nature or “back to the farm” syndrome.  This dream was sitting on an unbalanced and extremely short shoestring.

My husband and I felt that “the country” was the ideal place to raise children, and we wanted lots of them.  We also dreamed of our own cow for milk, growing our own beef, raising our own chickens, and gathering our own eggs (that the chickens obligingly laid for us).

This dream came from two city dudes, whose only experience with farms was limited to fieldtrips taken in elementary school.  We learned, fast or slow, according to the nature of the lesson involved, but learn we did.  Many of our lessons came the hard way, unfortunately.

The first step in initiating our dream was to acquire the land with a livable house on it.  This, with so many later steps, seemed quite practical and realistic, and above all, simple.  Right?  Wrong!  We looked, poked, pestered, and probed with various Real Estate agents as we looked for our dream farm.  Every weekend we aimlessly drove through various farmlands, feeling that the right place would loom up in front of us with a huge “for sale” sign on it, requiring only minimum down payment and accompanying low asking price.  Needless to say, this went on for a year before we finally decided one weary Sunday afternoon that “never the twain shall meet”, between what we wanted at the price we could afford.  That evening we resigned ourselves to forever being chained to the city and raise children in total ignorance of pure air, fresh vegetables, sliding down haystacks, etc.  Our hopes were shattered forever.”

My mother, Dorothy, had a wonderful sense of humor and saw things with such an interesting twist. She was a special education teacher and loved to write.  I knew that she had been putting together some of our life stories to share with others. But, it was not until after she had passed on that I found her “manuscript” in a box of her possessions, stored away in the basement.  As I began to read her binder of writings I saw that she had dedicated her “book” to me, Stella, by saying “without whom its writing would have been impossible”.

That brought the tears to my eyes and again now as I type this.  I mentioned to some family members that I wanted to put on computer her touching and humorous accounting of life in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  They said it would mean a lot to them and it would be a fun perspective to read what Dorothy had put into words.  So I am going to share bits of her thoughts on this blog, transferring her typing on easy-erasable sheets of paper to the technology world of blogging.  I hope family and friends will enjoy episodes from what I am calling “Life on Maple Avenue…the Country Life”.

Our cat, Bella has been on a weird schedule lately, wanting to go outside during the night.  I went to the french doors in the family room to call Bella to see if she wanted to come in before we went to bed.  I called out “Bella, here kitty, kitty”.  To my surprise a fox came running across the deck in my direction,  I quickly closed the door and the fox stood there outside and looked at me.  Perhaps he was as confused as I was.  It totally reminded me of the eye glasses commercial where the woman calls the cat into the house, only it is a raccoon that comes inside.  I know we welcome pets at our home, but this was ridiculous!  Perhaps I should look up “fox” to see what that signifies…

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