Tag Archives: gardening

Major Miller’s House

This New England house was built around 1750 by Major Jacob Miller of Holliston, MA. Jacob fought in the revolutionary war with Paul Revere, who most certainly was in this house. They fought together at what is now castle island and Jacob was at the battle of Lexington, too. During the war, Jacob gifted Rever land at the bottom of the hill we live on – Miller Hill – to hide his family out during the war. And John Adams’ family had a house around the corner on Adams Street. The place is storied.

This house has a spirit of its own. It was home to the family that built it for over 100 years and to several families since. Now, I live here with my children, partner of 7 years, and our two dogs and cat. The energy of the place has a way of welcoming people and making them feel safe. Many have remarked on it when they’ve visited.

I dare say the house hasn’t changed much from when Jacob built it. It retains its old beams, its old horsehair walls, its old floors, the revolutionary irons in the fireplace, the old chimney stack…

The old kitchen, called “the keep,” has a great old mantle and parson’s cabinet – a hidden panel that concealed a shelf for liquor, in case the parson turn up – liquor was strictly forbidden in colonial times, apparently. I am thinking of using it to hide my booze from my teenagers.

We’ve been here for almost four years, now. We reinforced the floors, adding columns in the old fieldstone cellar to support the sagging old wood beams, swapping wallpaper for colonial color paints, and trying generally to keep up with repairs and updates to plumbing and electricity. The previous owners did a beautiful renovation, replacing 12 over 12 windows and generally updating electricity, fixtures, siding, etc… and the grounds. There are 3.5 acres of land previous owners have grazed their horses on and, rumor has it the Millers grew hemp. We’ve saved 2 of 3 giant old ash trees and my boyfriend has learned a lot about John Deere tractor maintenance.

We’ve made a kind of project of the place, creating a reasonably large vegetable garden and I’m creating a kitchen herb garden, too. I prepare food from our garden, we keep chickens, and I cook with and make tea with the herbs I grow. And it seems to me that all of this effort on such an historic property deserves to be shared, so I’ll be posting updates and stories about the house here. I may even change the title of this blog if this sticks.

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The Appeal of Red

Proving that the apprehension of even the mundane is fluid – birds see color varieties that we don’t, seeking in each other the appeal of colors unknown to us.

And so the boy birds and the frogs – prey for birds – have adapted.  Boys become bright to attract feminine attention, frogs to warn that they are poisonous.  I once had a boyfriend like that.  So shiny and colorful I knew he must be dangerous.  And he was.

If the world is for each of us what we perceive, a subjective reality, then it must be an infinity of realities made sweet or sour by the tastes each of us give it, expect of it, believe to be real, and have the capacity to perceive.  And so a million realities exist around us but we see and create realities unique to ourselves.

We are dreamers diving into the swirl of our days, abandoning ourselves to the past, what we’re instructed to believe, what we can accept.   Endlessly dancing with these lovers, until something or someone trips us, jars us awake, rips us from the fabric of our diligently woven lives.  If we are lucky.

Waking from a dream of myself or perhaps nudged by some nascent desire, I have begun to weave red into a tapestry that has before been a kind of grotto of earth colors.  Here, indulged desire – oh, yes – where my careful heart would never have dared.  There the fiery red of a creative flame allowed to burn.  Consequences?  Perhaps, but you have to live.

This love-child could become a blaze, burning away old perceptions that have outlived their power to be potent; or a long, warm summer day of lovemaking in the forest, bent over a tree.   Or maybe it will become a garden, velvety flowers springing from alongside the path of my days, meandering through cool archways overgrown with trailing ivy.  No telling, yet.  But hopefully it will involve my share of red and an enhanced perception of color.

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Grapes ripening on a little vine in the backyard hang in indiscreet bunches, decorative baubles, playful and teasing,

not plump yet, turning a sugary shade of magenta from frosted green – perky, still firm, the color of spring.

Promising.  Not the kind you want to pluck, yet.

I contemplate readiness.  And time.  Desire, Impatience, and the satisfaction of ripeness.  The kind that you’ve waited a season for.  The kind that fills your mouth with so much pleasure you forget your name

and makes you glad you waited.

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