Paradise North Carolina

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DSC03631I get it… I totally get it.  Silver Fox Farm is a pastoral paradise!  Hubby and I have been renovating a large ranch in North Carolina.  The original part was built by  his parents when they retired… a perfect escape from the hectic hustle and bustle of New York, where they had lived for decades.

The Asheville foothills of southwestern North Carolina captured Dad’s fancy when he was working on the road here.  He built the hilltop cottage overlooking the rolling pastures, lush forests, and mountains in the mid-1980’s.  He did it right.  A walk-out basement, hardwood floors, a fireplace, a master bedroom en suite.

DSC06059 kitchen addition from shedThey’d later added a massive screened in porch over a 2-car garage, along with an enormous addition with a living room, laundry room, and a new master bedroom wing.  Oh, yes, plus two more bedrooms and another bathroom were added upstairs.  Okayyyy… this is a country retirement retreat.  4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms might seem to be a bit much.  But they loved their Carolina home.

 

DSC05942 mtIt’s virtually impossible to argue with the splendor of the views, regardless of the season of the year.  The mountains and forests are stunning all year long and remind  me daily of how blessed we are to experience this gorgeous part of the country.  Gently sloping pastures are gallantly fenced for both good looks the traditional horse fencing offers AND the dream of actually seeing horses grazing in these lush meadows.   Expansive lawns are lusciously green most of the year, but they also capture my heart when draped in a dash of winter snow.

DSC07719 side yard east in winterSnow is particularly fun here.  Perhaps it strikes me so because it doesn’t last very long.  Typically, I better get up early if it snowed overnight, because it will likely melt away before lunch!  Like the first snowfall every year in the north country, we like to ooh and ahh at the lovely aura a fresh snowfall creates.  Of course, here in North Carolina, every snowfall seems much like the first one of the year.

DSC07233 barn in early winterOne of Dad’s goals was to have horses, so they also built a lovely barn with wrought iron-trimmed stalls plus a full upstairs.  Oh… and another bath and powder room, too.  (I sense a trend here.)  All gorgeous hardwood.  Built right.  And it’s never yet had a horse in residence!  Sounds crazy.   Unfortunately, Dad’s declining health prevented the ranch from developing its full potential.

DSC04150 from deckBut he made the most of what he could.  He loved walking throughout the four dozen acres, the upper and lower pastures, the beautiful rolling woodlands, absorbing Nature’s finest.  He showed me his favorite hideaway on a big, secluded rock on a mountain stream that flows through the property.  And Dad proudly fed herds of deer every single day at dusk… without fail… for years.  His haven was their haven, too.

DSC04901 KitchenMom always missed the excitement of New York.  She loved entertaining and hosting parties.  We hope she has watched our renovations with great glee, as we’ve now added a large gourmet kitchen and cedar decking along the full length of the house, complete with gracious stadium stairs.  Oh, the entertaining she could do!

Every room gets a great view.  I love simply sitting at the kitchen table or on the back deck and reveling in the pastoral splendor through the horse fence.  Every direction I look is lovely.

DSC05367 Crape Myrtle by driveDad took great pride in his landscaping.  We’ve tried to supplement it all in ways that would make him proud.   I particularly love the abundant, stunningly soft pink crape myrtle flanking the driveway and giving me a beautiful view out the front door.  Butterfly bushes, holly, Rose of Sharon, azaleas, and mature magnolias also flourish among the many plantings.   The carefully curved driveway is lined with pink and white dogwood, too.  Silver Fox Farm, to me, is true country elegance… Paradise in North Carolina.

The frolicking of various wildlife makes me feel a bit like Snow White….deer, fox, rabbits, owls, and countless small birds, from blue birds and cardinals to robins, wrens, and purple martens.  (If they suddenly broke into Disney songs, I doubt I’d be too surprised!)

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About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 14 books, and counting! As a lifelong corporate communications geek, I enjoy a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with my husband, I have passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun.
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