The ladies had such freedom in the Gousty woods. Coming and going as they pleased. Scratching and pecking for bugs in the mulch. Visiting us on the porch steps at lunchtime. Following Susie like loyal puppies, eager for compost.
It was a good life you had there in the lovely forest land, ladies.
Here we are, on the winding Gousty lanes, exploring with our dear friend Jill, traveling back in time together. There is a timeless quality to the lanes going up and down the hills, connecting old houses. Old houses like old friends talking, remembering, as we do, our shared history.
I love watching my girls as they observe the friendship between Susie and Jill, dear friends who spent years raising their children together. My girls love to hear them bantering stories back and forth – stories from when I was the age of my daughters. I see my girls imagining Grandmommy when she was my age, with little ones like I have now. Imagining me as little like them. Imagining me with Jill’s daughters and the worlds we created and the words we invented. And how those little worlds and those words live on in the stories our mothers tell all these years later. Walking together.
She is like another sister to him.
I told her that if she opened a preschool, it would immediately fill with the happiest toddlers in the neighborhood! These boys adore her and the endless games she invents for them. Today, they were her “Natural Boys,” following her around everywhere, listening to her every direction.
(Top photo by Aunt Kim!)
It’s puppy paradise around here. Aunt Kim and Cousin Cora brought home one of Theo’s sisters, Chole! The girls are certain that the two pups remember each other from their days as litter mates.
And cousin Frances has a puppy too! Humphrey came over for a puppy play date and the two little doodles wore themselves out with tumbling around and around all over Gousty.
Misty Gousty walks with James and Maia. Watching all the little leaves unfurl. Hens exploring the forest. Wallace maintaining order with a long metal rod. (Where did that come from?) Greenhouse full of baby plants. Rock wall sprouting lilies of the valley. Oh, spring. I love you.
Our little baby dog, Theo, is surrounded by so much love! I knew that the girls would adore him, but I did not anticipate how entirely they would devote themselves to him – waking up to take him out in the wee morning hours, feeding him, training him, brushing him, keeping track of all his puppy needs. Watching them nurture him is truly a joy. And Wallace says, “Good boy, Feo.”
So many places to explore!
We had a lovely tour of this tiny house on Sunday. Then on Monday, we went to visit our dear friends, the Lanhams, on their beautiful farmstead.
I am always overwhelmed with wonder when I go to visit the Lanhams. Their farm, Little Valley, is my dream home – and has been since I was 10 years old. It’s a dream that I cannot shake, no matter how far off the reality of owning over 200 acres in Leelanau County (and maintaining a collection of beautiful, old buildings) really is. But, when we visited on this particular day, the day after touring a tiny house just a few miles away, the contrast of the two homesteads was just so striking. I love the idea of so little to care for, on the one hand. And I love the idea of so much to care for, on the other hand. What is this all about? It’s such a paradox, isn’t it? Longing for so little. Longing for so much.
We are here for the month of May, and soaking up every moment of living in the beautiful Gousty woods.
(Shh . . . don’t tell Suzie that a bird tried to come inside while I was making dinner one night!)
This land will always be my home.
Squeezing in a little school work . . . and cousin time.