The quarry: adieu

Dateline: Mon 15 Sep 2008

Every time one makes a move, daughter Elizabeth reminded me yesterday, it is the equivalent of a fire: the loss, the chaos. Mainly, it's the loss. One loses items in the packing, never to turn up again.

But all that is lost this time, really, is the place -- 90 acres of woods, meadows and water, high bluffs, deep pits, deer, coons, coyotes, fish, frogs and fowl. One never really owned them anyhow, so how can they possibly truly be lost?

In this wretched real estate market -- I've seen so many foreclosures in Indy I think that's all that is left of the city -- we've been lucky enough. It only took two years to move this property.

The go-to agent we finally contracted with, the one who got the job done, told us at the beginning of the transaction: "I want to put a sign up -- DO NOT COME TO PUTNAM COUNTY. STAY OUT." She'd seen her share of "move-in's" (that's what we would always be here, move-in's) who quickly tired of rural life. They were then desperate to unload their land, to get back to the city, where there were no deer in the yard and CVS really is right around the corner instead of a 12-minute drive.

Oh, hell. That was never my problem. I did, however, buy the American dream, ala Scarlett O'Hara: the land will make you free, give you bliss, be the only real meaning in your life.

Not so. Many people write books about their successful country rebirths. They end up growing lavender, or raising goats, or opening a green camp -- they find fortune and enough fame to qualify for one magazine article or, if they are really talented, a memoir.

I intend to write the true story: eight years in the wilderness. It was a lot of fun and a hell of a ride, but it was not paradise, and it was not a cure-all.

In the meantime, back to the fire.

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