When we first moved here in 1999, the forest grew almost up to our house. There was a little bit of yard, but not too much. It had never been taken care of as a lawn. This was a hunting camp, so no need to do that. In the summer, the owners did not use it that often. It was a mess. None of the hunters over the years who had owned it, cared about it enough to take of it. Once we moved in my husband made a lot of changes around here. One of the first was to remove the brush and blackberry bushes that surrounded the back yard. Then he built an outside campfire area with benches, for us to have outside fires in the evenings.
Hollie Sunshine with her baby, Angel Sunshine
One of my favorite memories was when my stepdaughter, Hollie and her baby, Angel, would spend a few days with us. We'd spend most of the evening out at the campfire talking, cooking food and roasting marshmallows. My husband would start playing his guitar, while he and Hollie sang songs he had written, and some that he hadn't. Hollie knew all the words to his songs, and had a beautiful voice. She was his biggest fan! Her and my husband were a lot alike in many ways.
My son, Jeff was living with us here at that time too. One morning, we were all sitting out there cooking breakfast on the campfire. We were drinking coffee and talking, when our friends, Jim and Jessica, arrived for a visit. It was such a nice morning, because there we all were outside. Nikita was still a puppy and Angel, my husband's granddaughter was still a baby. Nikita would watch her if Hollie went inside for anything, by sitting close to her and not moving. Guarding her!
Peaceful Forest in earlier years
We offered them coffee and sat around talking. It always gives me a good feeling remembering times like that, because most people sit around inside their houses when visitors arrive. Hollie loved our house as much as we did. She loved the idea of living in the forest. She tried her best to buy a trailer, to move out on a piece of property nearby. Unfortunately, she was never able to attain that dream she had. She got the trailer, but never got to buy the property, to move it to. She had too many obstacles in her way. I think if she had, she may have found a new direction to take her life, and would still be with us.
Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole