In the fields of our property, behind a thicket of evergreens and underbrush, there is a tiny little house called Jack’s House. It’s no more than ten feet long by six feet wide, barely big enough to hold a bed and a few shelves, but somehow it was the residence of Jack, who was the caretaker of the old farm in the early 1900’s. I don’t know much about Jack. I don’t know whether he was old or young, whether he was married or a bachelor, whether he was employed fairly or poorly. But his house still stands today, with an old and rusting horseshoe over the entrance for good luck.
The building must be at least a hundred years old if not more. Our home was built in 1901, and began as a land given to our predecessors by the King when they came over from England. Originally, they were gifted 680 acres to settle upon, before Washington was even a state. Then, when it became a state they were granted permission by Ulysses S Grant to build and farm, and so they did. They had hogs and horses, a big garden, and who knows what else on that land. Little by little it’s been sold off until all that remains is what we own and what our neighbor owns – ours is nearly five acres, hers is little more than an acre. But through it all, the old barn and Jack’s house and our home have remained — all connected, all with a history I only barely know.
I thought that utilizing our fall-stricken fields and Jack’s house would be the perfect time to debut this glorious fox beret I bought from Amazon. Its rustic colors and mild quirkiness seem to blend so well with the autumnal season befalling the farm.
I have to wonder what happened to Jack. The family who owned this farm lived on, the property being handed down through generations from those who came in the 1800’s to those who built the house to their daughter in 1923 after she graduated college to the old owner – her daughter -in-law- and finally to us. We are the first people outside of the family to ever, ever own this house and the aching sweetness of that history enthralls me. On one hand, it’s bittersweet to know that they had to finally give up the home, whatever their story may be, after nearly 200 years of owning this property. On the other hand, it’s thrilling to know we are the very first people to ever purchase this particular home. Every other owner has been family, and given the property through inheritance!
But what of Jack and his family? Did he have a family? Did he live a solitary life, performing his daily duties of checking the horses and the hogs and perhaps even cows and other animals? Did he live to a good old age? What became of him? Does he, perchance, still have family in the area, or did his line die with him?
The untold story of this tiny little home’s original occupant has me all aflutter with curiosity. I am sure I will be able to learn more from our dear neighbor (and the old owner) who has a robust love for talking and a rich knowledge of the property, house, and all of its history.
Until then, I can only visit and touch its walls and slowly clean it out from years of being used as storage for old jars and barrels and a rather aromatic old couch. We hope to someday utilize Jack’s House as a playhouse for our kids, or perhaps a studio for myself or my husband. Perhaps it will become a place where we can go and be creative, whether that be in writing, in filming, or in photography, or other forms of art. Perhaps it will be given new life as our children play in it. Its storied walls have much life left to give!
As for an update with our home, we have not yet moved in. Tomorrow, my husband will sand down the floors and then begins the finish application. Each coat will need about a day to dry, so we hope that by next Saturday we can finally finally move in and enjoy our house. I cannot wait to actually live there! I have so many ideas for the property, the old barn, Jack’s House, the farmhouse… and it’s been a little bit of torture having to wait so long to move in. But, I am glad we have had unhurried time to renovate before we move in – I cannot imagine what this process might have been like if we had opted to wait until the sale closed before making any moves!
For those of you who may not know, we are renting till the closing of the sale, as the lot lines need to be moved and that can take months to complete. So, we renovate, we will move in soon, and we will pay a frankly mind-blowingly low amount of rent while we wait for the closing date to come. It’s been long, but very much worth the wait!
And at last, I must make mention of this fox beret. While searching for a new color to add to my very slowly-growing collection, I came upon the seller Miss C on Amazon. Miss C makes a plethora of amazing quirky and cute berets emblazoned with all sorts of things – bunnies, foxes, cats, deer, galaxies, fruits, flowers… you name it, it’s there. I am dying to add more to my wardrobe now that I’ve splurged on this one! The quality is beautiful – the fox beret is soft and not at all itchy (though I am mildly allergic to wool so it does itch a tiny bit if I wear it on my forehead too long), and the ears are sewn on very securely. As simple as it is, this fox beret is definitely worth the money, and if foxes aren’t your thing, browse through all the berets she has to offer – there’s something for everyone! (this is not a sponsored, paid, or even requested review, I just love this beret!) You can see a few of my favorites below!