Serenity in Bucks County

A report from peaceful Bucks County, Pennsylvania.


| November/December 1983



Victorian House

I received a call from a realtor friend who claimed to have found the perfect place for us. It was, he said, an old Victorian house set on five acres of land, complete with a stream, a barn, and a workshop!


PHOTO: BARBARA H. HOFSTAEDTER

As Dorothy soon discovered in the Land of Oz: "There's no place like home!"

When I was a little girl, I spent countless hours leafing through the family photograph album, mesmerized by the prints of my grandmother's huge Victorian house. I daydreamed many a rainy afternoon away, lost in a secret vision that — one day — I'd be living and raising a family of my own in just such a serene and secure setting.

And now, more than 25 years later, my family and I are actually settled in a lovely historic stone house on several hilly acres of farmland in the middle of peaceful Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Of course, it took us a while to get there. After all, my husband Frank and I are both products of suburbia, and when we married we were a long way from living in the country. In fact, "life's little realities" made us feel very fortunate to have a small split-level in a modern development outside of Pittsburgh.

From Town Mouse to Country Cousin 

As the years passed, and our three boys grew out of toddler hood and started to explore "playgrounds" beyond the limits of our backyard (those game areas included our neighbor's flowerbed and the busy street in front of our house!), I began to realize that we'd outgrown the suburbs: It was time to make a radical change in our lifestyle.

So, during the afternoons, while my husband was at work and my two oldest sons (Frankie and Chris) were in school, I'd put Danny (my youngest) beside me in the car and drive off in search of my long dreamed-of big house surrounded by rolling acres. Two years of such casual exploring went by, and nothing promising turned up. Then I received a call from a realtor friend who claimed to have found the perfect place for us. It was, he said, an old Victorian house set on five acres of land, complete with a stream, a barn, and a workshop!

Unable to resist the vision conjured up by the realtor's words, I grabbed Danny and met my friend at the farm that very day . . . and was delighted to discover that the house was everything he'd said it would be, and that it was quite close to the agricultural college where my husband teaches. I felt that I'd found my ideal home at last!





dairy goat

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Aug. 5-6, 2017
Albany, Ore.

Discover a dazzling array of workshops and lectures designed to get you further down the path to independence and self-reliance.

LEARN MORE