you should have been saved...

last week, when we should have turned right, we went left. 

i had been told about a hiking trail whose name was foreign to me, so when the weather begged us to come out and play last week, away we went. at a very dangerous "yield if you want to" three way corner, we should have veered right, but with the skewed signs holding names of roads that were just too similar to each other and hard to read, we veered left instead.

i'm pretty much a stickler for directions, having even written them down on paper before we left, but  i'm a sucker for backroads and always feel that if you're going to go off the beaten path, by choice or by  mistake, backroads are your roadmap to finding the beautiful things in life.

i'm not sure how to describe the amazing, abandoned property we came across, other than breathtaking. it was instantly obvious that back in "her" day, this house and her barn and all of the outbuildings surrounding her like children who never wanted to stray far from home, had been taken care of with hands who loved her and still love her and all that she has to offer. 

someone still shows up. someone still keeps the grounds as manicured as one can when land becomes nature instead of a lawn and is now filled with animals and rodents that have taken up residency in and around it. someone remembers what it was like to live here, or to visit here and someone still cares. 

funny. now that i think about it, maybe that's all there really is to life and all that we really need…someone who shows up and someone who cares...

anyhow, we did eventually find the hiking trail.

the mud, camouflaged by multicolored leaves lost when the winds blow in and make fall disappear into winter, made walking treacherous. other times, when my legs felt heavy with each step, i believed that this must be what quick sand feels like. had i been alone, the first slip of my foot or the sucking feeling the mud was enjoying, i would have turned around and headed straight for the car, but my hubby said, "we can do this" and after having not hiked for months, i had to agree. we could do this. 

finally at the top, the trail opened up and even though it was quiet and the sky felt like i could touch it and i could see for miles, mother nature was too late to impress me that day. the hands of humans had already done that.


  1. Oh those buildings are spectacular! How I would have loved going left with you and trespassing too. So glad you did it!

  2. How sweet that someone still shows up and cares. Were you able to get closer for photos of the detail?

  3. It really is a beauty, and how fortunate you were to be able to photograph it.

  4. What a fabulous property -- and yes, it should have been saved but at least someone still shows up. Sounds like an incredible walk. Love that old stone barn...

  5. It is truly beautiful. I'm glad you could see that someone still shows up and cares. That rockwork is fabulous!

  6. I just love old farms and old buildings. It always seems that if you cock your ear in just the right direction you should be able to hear the life that was there.

  7. hello, beth ~ i read your comment on Susannah C's blog and clicked over here to 'forever focusing.' The photos of the old house took my breath away, as they sparked memories of northern NJ, where historic old properties subsumed by the DWGNRA stand in silent reproach. Thank you for bringing me home for a time, shirley

  8. I sure am glad that you turned the wrong way, what an amazing find!

  9. *Tears* Thank you for this. (Are you familiar with a song by Miranda Lambert - The House That Built Me?)