A beloved Peale family home is ready for new owners and new life
Posted in , May 4, 2015
We began the task early in 2009, about a year after my Grandma Peale passed away. There were rooms upon rooms to go through, closets beyond closets, drawers galore, endless cupboards, an attic, two basements. There were treasures, trinkets, books, clothing and kitchenware. We knew a lot of time and care and sorting and packing and distributing lay ahead for us family members.
Grandma and Grandpa Peale had an apartment in New York City and a house 75 miles upstate, in Pawling. They purchased their Pawling home, The Hill Farm, in 1964, and it is where Grandpa died in December 1993 and where Grandma died in February 2008.
Grandma and Grandpa loved The Hill Farm and spent weekends and holidays there. They took long walks and read. They took in the natural beauty of their property and the Hudson Valley beyond. They wrote and prayed. And they brought family together.
The Hill Farm was where we members of the extended family enjoyed meals, time in the pool, playing hide and seek, and picnicking on the stone tables around the property. Memories were made both inside and outside of Grandma and Grandpa’s Pawling home.
In a mere few weeks The Hill Farm will belong to another family. Getting every last item out of The Hill Farm, and the other buildings on the property, has been an adventure. There were times, when I was packing up boxes or just driving by, that my stomach clenched at the thought that this rare and beautiful home will no longer be our family’s to visit and enjoy.
But it is time to let go and welcome what the new owners will bring to The Hill Farm. As author Juan Nakamori wrote, “If you have been grasping onto something, try to let it go. Your empty hands will be ready to receive a new gift.” I am not sure what this new gift will be. Perhaps the pleasure in seeing more lights in the windows, activity on the property, and even getting to know the new residents.
I will hold on to the memories made at The Hill Farm and will continue to share them with my children. I will keep the images and sensations I experienced there tucked away in a place where I can easily retrieve them. And now I will let go, moving on and away from The Hill Farm. May it be filled with love again, and with new gifts to be shared by the family who will call it home.