Set back off the road on a gentle hill dotted with maples, an acre or so in upstate New York, not a huge amount of land, just enough for our family of five to call home. Most of the trees have names, given to them by our two oldest children as they became acquainted with them when we first moved here. There's Branches, a maple, standing tall and having many sturdy climbing limbs, most of which have been thoroughly tested, dad only having to preform a rescue operation every now and again (mom is afraid of heights). The Circus tree, another maple, bursting with many limbs, all thick with leaves, standing beautiful and tall, its lower limbs bending close to the ground, perfect for climbing under to discover the secret inside, a big wide open interior, the outside foliage so thick and lush the area inside opens wide like a huge natural tent, the perfect spot for spending a long afternoon. The "Winnie the Pooh" tree, so named because its low wide spread branches look like something straight out of the hundred acre wood. More trees, more names, three smiling children and two large dogs all here at our "Maple Hill".
Not a huge house, and not perfect by far, many home improvement projects clutter our "to do" lists, maybe even a bigger garden out back and some berry bushes next spring. The older kids will return to school in September after a few years spent homeschooling, leaving me at home with our youngest (an by far our most challenging), to home preschool and just enjoy some one on one time together. What we will do with all our free time? I think we will meander, a bit of this, a bit of that, just enough to keep us busy through the afternoons and then maybe we'll cozy up under that beautiful maple in the yard and read a good book.