Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Houses and Homes

I've had a rough time this weekend, which explains my absence of posts despite the fact that there is actually a lot to post about.  I don't want to get in to details, mostly because I'm just trying to move on from it and because it is too personal in nature for me to comfortably talk about publicly.  But, just to acknowledge it here, Marge had what we'll call a bit of a setback in terms of her interactions with my father.  Every one is fine, she did no wrong, it could have been much worse, and I'm probably harping on it more than any one else, but I guess that's the price to pay when you love an animal this much.

So I guess what I'll end with is this: dogs are animals, not people, and do not think like people or rationalize behaviors like people do; and, it's much better to catch flies with honey rather than vinegar (I think that's how the saying goes, anyway).

And, also, thank you to the wonderful people who I reached out to this weekend.  You helped more than you could ever know.  You know who you are.


Now that that's out of the way, I can share something a bit more interesting and upbeat (we'll skip Tuesday Training this week).  Saturday, just before the aforementioned situation arose, Louie, my sister, Marge and I took a very special hike.  Our destination?  Per Forgotten-NY.com:
"In the early 1800sa certain M. Heyerdahl built a stone house in Bucks Hollow, a long, long distance from the nearest large settlement in Richmondtown. It was his hope to establish wine vineyards and orchards, but Staten Island's rocky soil foiled his plans, and at length, he moved out, abandoning his house. Nature has been taking it over ever since."
My sister and I have been wanting to explore the Heyerdahl House for a long time, but I waited until  Louie was around for us to go (because he wanted to come, too, and because it's easily the most remote part of our woods and we had to travel off trail).

The woods grew quiet very quickly, much quieter than any other hike I've been on.  We didn't see any one for pretty much the entire duration of the hike. For a dog with issues, it was paradise, I'm sure.

A bird left behind a bright blue feather, which contrasted nicely with the brown forest floor.

After just a bit of confusion as to where we were supposed to go off trail and take an unmarked path up to the house, we found our way, and the remnants of the stone house stood before us.  The only house any where in sight, and a blast from the past.  It was hard to get a picture of the entire thing, since it was very much surrounded by plants and trees.  Here are the front steps:

And, the view looking outward from those same steps.  Almost makes me want to start piling some stones up and restore the dang house for myself.  Sheer nothingness.

A few more shots around the house.

We hung around for a good while, examining the structure of the house and wondering whether it had separate rooms, and a basement, etc.  It was pretty over grown right now, but I think that we might be able to get a better look at it in the winter when some of the plants (and THORNS!) die off.  We'll return in a few months to see what it's like.

We walked back to the trail, these trees to our right leaning permanently towards the house.  They do say that this hill is haunted by Heyerdahl.. I have my reservations about that idea, but this animated little grove was a little spooky, I'll admit.

The forest also took care to remind us that the seasons are beginning to change; this leaf was one of the more photogenic signs of the oncoming shift from summer to autumn.

You can barely even see the trail in this picture.  What a wonderfully secluded place to spend some time.

It was an overcast, slightly humid, but not too hot day.  I wonder if these trees are dead, for no leaves grew on them and they stood with their gnarled branches sticking up towards the sky.  If I didn't know better, I'd have thought it was winter based on this picture.

Trips like these should become more frequent in the coming weeks.  The most beautiful season is almost here, and if we don't take our fleeting chance to enjoy it, it will disappear for another year.


Kari in Alaska August 24, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

Oh wow. That looks like a beautiful part of the woods. I am sorry about the setback. We are here if you need anything.

Don't forget, we moved to http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

Anonymous August 24, 2010 at 6:29 PM  

Oh, what a Most Wonderful walk! I wish I coulda gone! I can't wait to see that house in the winter time.

I really need to gets my mom and dad on a trail sometime soon. They have been SO lazy this summer!

Wiggles & Wags,

Diana August 24, 2010 at 7:52 PM  

well, I hope things get better. The walk looks wonderful. Diana

Granite State Pet Sitting August 24, 2010 at 7:52 PM  

Look like you guys had a Wonderful Walk. Looks like a pretty interesting place to explore.

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ August 24, 2010 at 8:13 PM  

That sure looks like an interesting hike and house. We can't wait to see it again.

Sorry about the setback, we hope things improve.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

houndstooth August 24, 2010 at 8:22 PM  

How totally cool! If we had a place like that to hike to, we'd be on our way as soon as the weather would let us. I can't wait to see your pictures of it as the seasons change.

Chris and Ricky August 24, 2010 at 8:25 PM  

I'm sorry to hear Marge had a set back and I sure hope things get better for you guys.

That was an incredibly beautiful walk - I would love to go there and you're right - it would be paradise for a any dog!

The Army of Four August 24, 2010 at 8:37 PM  

What a beautiful place to explore! I wish I had been with you!
Sorry about your set-back, Marge! I know it's hard.
Play bows,

the teacher's pets August 24, 2010 at 8:44 PM  

Thank you for visiting my blog tonight and I'm sorry I haven't been too frequent in responding to your very well written blog posts lately! Your blog is amazing but it's hard to juggle so many "hats" in one day but I will do my best to stay on top of yours.
I am sorry you had a difficult weekend and I can only guess what the issues were but at least you have a blog to act as your diary and you have blog friends who can relate and help out in your time of need!

Amy / Layla the Malamute August 24, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

What a beautiful place to hike to. I love old architecture and buildings, so I especially love it. I hope in the winter/fall the leaves clear and you can see a little more into the house.

AC August 24, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

How cool those ruins are!! I always try to imagine what it would be like to live in that place, during that time. . .I always feel a little spooked when I'm in a thick forest/grove etc. Just too much I can't see!

I hope you go back once fall is in full swing. We don't get many fall colors here. I'd love to see yours!

Glad you and Marge are moving on.

jen August 24, 2010 at 11:16 PM  

Sorry to hear about your set back this weekend.
I know that I have sometimes forgotten that my dogs are animals. I think it's easy to do when you love them so much.

Beautiful pictures.

Lorenza August 24, 2010 at 11:28 PM  

I hope everyone is doing well at home!
That place sure is beautiful!
Glad you had a nice walkie!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! August 24, 2010 at 11:35 PM  

Sorry for whatever took place -

BUT all for more valuable lessons about life -

Marge's and yours -

Great hike pics too!

Life With Dogs August 24, 2010 at 11:54 PM  

Sorry to hear of your struggles, whatever they may be. Know that we all care for you and hope it turns out well.

Love that last pic BTW...

LauraK August 25, 2010 at 12:03 AM  

What a great hike- I bet that was really interesting and peaceful :)

I know where you're coming from about being frustrated with things- Riley recently got blamed for something that happened here (yet another one of those lets not talk about it kind of things :) and it really ticks me off how sometimes my family doesn't understand how dogs think and that they are NOT humans. Oh well, I guess we just have to press forward and try not to let it get to us too much. At least we have blogger friends that understand dogs the way we do :) Hang in there!

George The Lad August 25, 2010 at 5:30 AM  

Great post, This is one of the reasons I would not want to live by the sea, you don't get to see the changing of the trees which I love, and walking though them, and the cruching of the leaves.
Sorry your weekend was not to good, but I'm sure there are better weekends to come

Dexter August 25, 2010 at 6:32 AM  

It sure is fun to go exploring and try to imagine what things looked like back when they were built.

All my relentlessly huge thoughts to both of you that you can move on and that everybody is OK.


Sara August 25, 2010 at 6:32 AM  

Sorry to hear things haven't been going so well.

But, what a beautiful hike you went on. Walking in the forest is one of my favorite things to do.

Unknown August 25, 2010 at 7:59 AM  

What a great walk and a nice break, Im sure its just what you and Marge needed.

Your right... dogs are dogs not humans. Hang in there and we are always around to lend a ear or words.

KB August 25, 2010 at 9:12 AM  

What a lovely story. Isn't it fun exploring in the woods? I bet that Marge did think that it was bliss, with no one around to upset her equilibrium!

There's a stone foundation of a very old house that I pass frequently on my mountain bike. It was a miner's cabin but I don't know exactly when. Although little remains of the house, the plants that the owners grew still flourish. Big lilac bushes and other domesticated flowers that I can't identify. It's a beautiful spot, and I often stop briefly to imagine living there back before people had cars or electricity. Your story reminded me of that very strongly.

tula monstah August 25, 2010 at 9:48 AM  

nothing like a peaceful hike to take your mind off of things!.. yep, signs of fall are creeping in. although we LUV the fall!

shake off this week's events- Marge is doing wOOderful. there's always hiccups along the way.. we have them ALL the time!

tula & dee

Kathy Mocharnuk August 25, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

I dont know what it is about old deserted places that is just so fascinating...but it is. That looks like a very cool place, really great pictures.
So sorry about what ever is going on, ....please know that I will be sending good thoughts and hope it all works out soon. I find that with kids and animals and most people you have to sometimes remember behavior is behavior, it is not the person, animal, kid and with any forward motion there are going to be some back slides. just know we are thinking of you and Marge (((HUGS)))

Sue August 25, 2010 at 2:10 PM  

The old abandoned farm that backs up to our property is said to be haunted. It's now on the historical register so we know it won't be developed. We enjoy hearing the tales people tell us about the place.

Lauren M. Davis Folk Art! August 25, 2010 at 5:14 PM  

I hope that everything is going okay. I send you many hugs of comfort!

Wow those photos are wonderful thanks so much for sharing them, I love walking through forest and forest images, they are so special and magical. I look forward to seeing more of your photos!!! I hope your week is going well!!

Hugs, Lauren and the fuzzies

Gus, Louie and Callie August 25, 2010 at 5:15 PM  

OH what a beautiful place to go for a hike.. We hope you get back there in the Winter time so we can see more of it. Dad would love to use his metal stick there. He thinks he could dig up some treasures...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Carolyn August 27, 2010 at 12:00 AM  


Sorry you had a rough weekend. The good news is that you went for a killer hike! Yay!

Just remember, sometimes when things get bleak, it's life's way of pointing you towards an open door that you have yet to discover.

Hang in there. You've got a wonderful dog and you are doing great things!!



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