Arrival at Ten Acres
Mark and I walked through the door of Ten Acres Lodge on November 2nd last year with dreams, hopes, a plan (of sorts) and a healthy dose of fear. We had spent the summer scheming and planning as we waited to sell our property. We arrived fresh from the closing armed with a couple of bags and a bottle of champagne to find a group of our dearest friends clutching mops and dusters singing Abba’s “Money, Money, Money” – at least it wasn’t Patsy Cline singing “Crazy”! Intuitively both Mark and I realized that the jubilant support hid a genuine concern for our personal, financial and mental well-being. It was clear to all, us included, that we had just had the biggest mid life crises Stowe had seen for quite some time.
We gave our friends the 25 cent tour, outlined our vision and tried to vindicate ourselves. This tour involved room after room of clutter and mess in the private section, guest rooms resplendent with 70s wallpaper, plastic flowers and more “treasures” (aka junk) than you could shake a stick at. Between the glances of fear and concern we received stoic reassurance that if anyone could do it, we could! The words “what the F…” were written all over their faces, God love them. When we took them to the 2 cottages and the Hill House most were amazed that the property was so large. It also began to dawn on us just how much work we had ahead of us.
The first spanner in the work appeared within half an hour of our arrival - we had no oil for heating and hot water at 4pm on a cold Friday in November. As a long term customer of Pyrofax in Morrisville, I hoped they would come to our aid – unfortunately we were relegated to “new customer” status and could not get a fuel delivery until we had passed the credit check and set up an account – not much use on said cold Friday evening. The friends rallied with space heaters and Mark, true to form, built a roaring fire in the lounge. We ate take out with the kids and reassured them it was going to be GREAT!! [Mental note - kids don’t have the adventurous spirit we think they do!]
We dispatched them to their new rooms – an odd feature of buying an Inn is that all the rooms were ready to go, complete with folded towels, shampoo and a “do not disturb sign”. There is also a Bible in every drawer you open! Previous home moves have involved sleeping bags, making beds, etc – not this time, we were ready to “check in”. Hamish (our 10 year old) decided he would prefer to sleep in his older brothers room that night. In true 14 year old fashion, Harry initially forbid it but eventually relented after $$ changed hands.
Mark and I sat downstairs, stared at each other and, just when we were about to give into the fear, our dearest friends Marcy and Spence arrived at the door with Malbec for me and Whiskey for Mark. They were life savers! They stayed for a couple and gave us the kind of support we needed that night. Without them it would have been a cold and scary evening for Mark and I. One day we hope to be able to repay the support. We ended the evening in our new (small) bed, listening to the alarm chirp periodically due to lack of phone connection, reassuring each other that we would “figure it out”. This has since become our family motto! The clean up would begin first thing next morning!