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Reading Beekman

April 24, 2011

     My family and I went for a mini-vacation this week. A little cabin in the woods, near the lake. It was cold, it rained, we didn’t have running water, and the day before we left, our neighbor called to tell us that we might have been exposed to a stomach virus that their daughter had. Whee! Now that sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Risk takers that we are, we went anyways. I really needed to get away from computers and work and the house. I traded it all so I could lug wood and carry water from the lake, wash dishes with boiled water and basically lay low with the family, and 2 dogs.

I love to read and made sure I had a stack of reading material with me. I’ve been reading a book by a local author; Josh Kilmer-Purcell

The Bucolic Plague.

The book is a memoir about two guys who worked in Manhattan, found a 50+ acre mansion and farm in rural New York, and began a journey that neither one could have prepared themselves for.

I expected to read about the chores, and the work that is needed to keep a farm going, I lived on a 300+ acre farm as a young child, many of my friends came from farming background. It is not a glamorous life. It is a lot of work, huge commitment and good luck even thinking you can have a mini-vacation much less a day off. The animals must be taken care of and the land, barns, gardens need constant attention.

So, I was dubious about their ability to maintain the steady stream of work that is needed to keep a farm going. But they did. And not only do they keep the farm going, they’ve found their way onto a reality tv show, they’ve contributed to the economy of a small town (Sharon Springs) and I expect will continue to bring in all sorts of prosperity to the area.

I was proud of their accomplishments and brought right along with the author (Josh Kilmer-Purcell) through the struggles of their relationship, as this commitment they bought, this desire for everything to be picture perfect nearly destroys them as a couple.

Ever since we moved into our home, a beautiful 1885 Victorian, a quick 10 minutes from the Beekman Mansion, my husband and I would travel in each direction (N,S,E,W) to discover the neighbors around us. As we traveled to Sharon Springs, we would drive by the Beekman Mansion.   For years, I drooled and yearned and dreamed about owning it. The “For Sale” sign taunted me. I lurked on the realtors site, viewing the interior of the house over and and over again. I dreamed of holding parties with my family and friends there. Inviting people to tour the beautiful gardens and land. My husband’s artist loft would be in a building on the grounds with sweeping views of nature inspiring him. I would sit on that porch in the morning, watch the sun come up, listen to the songbirds, watch a deer wander out and write to my hearts content. The children would have hay bales to play in and animals to take care of. It was and still is a beautiful dream.

I was sad when I heard someone had bought the Beekman Mansion a few years ago. My dream, dashed. And when I heard it was a couple from NYC who had never owned a farm. I thought, well, that place is going to languish yet again.

And now, after watching both of them, Brent & Josh work harder than most people I know. Not only, do they commute from the city, they work on the farm the entire weekend.  They’ve supported other farmers (Farmer John), developed relationships with nearly every business owner in Sharon Springs, created a line of goat milk soaps, their Blaak Goat Cheese is already famous, (Martha and Rosie approved) and turned a quiet little town alive with their persistence, their creativity and their delightful personalities.  They’ve given home to goats, chickens, roosters, pigs, a cow, barn cats and now a very famous Llama (Polka Spot).  Yes, they might have fabulous parties, but they’ve garnered respect from a lot of hard working people in this sleepy rural community.

The memoir reminded me about my own dream, that perhaps my place won’t be the Beekman Mansion (oh, how could I ever top that?), but, they’ve shown, with a lot of hard work, determination and sadness, nearly losing everything that really mattered to them, if you keep your sights and wits about you, you might find exactly what you were looking for all along.

Like Dorothy Gale, from Kansas, searching for something over the rainbow, what she didn’t know and had to find out for herself, was that it was with her all along.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2011 1:32 pm

    I really enjoyed this post! As a fan of the Beekman Boys and all that they do it was very interesting to read the point of view from someone local. 🙂

    • Lori permalink
      April 25, 2011 3:08 pm

      Thank you Leah! (I have a sister with the same name). I’ve really enjoyed watching everything Josh & Brent have done at the farm, it’s inspiring to me.

  2. May 17, 2011 2:19 am

    Great post, LKK! I admire your writing and you now have me very curious about these Beekman Boys!

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