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All "campers" but no tent

This fall the Oaks shine
It's official.  The locals refer to us as "The Campers".   We went to dinner at our favorite restaurant (A Tavola) which has unfortunately become very popular due to a 3 page article in the Hudson Vally Magazine.  Bonny and Nathan deserve all the publicity and success they get.  Their food is spectacular and even though we go there every week, sometimes several times a week, we never tire of the seasonal menu.  The last time we went there we got the check and printed on the bill, where it usually says "party of two" or something like that, it referred to us as "The Campers".  They probably didn't know our name when we first went there because we never made a reservation.  Also,  since we told them tales of staying in our tent with the cats while the house was being restored, the name probably stuck.   If anyone who reads this blog goes to A Tavola, please tell them "The Campers" sent you.  

But, alas the days of the tent are over for now.  Thankfully, we moved the tent a couple of days before hurricane Irene.  Since then our camping has been under the hand hewn beams of DeJoux House.   This fall has not had the most spectacular foliage due to the very wet weather.  Most of the Maples lost their leaves early without much color but it has been a fantastic year for the Oaks.  Not as showy as the Maple, the majestic, earthy browns of the Oaks gives this year's fall a vintage feel.


Slowly the flood waters and the accompanying mud receded and the fall weather starts to brighten up.  The last couple of weekends have been wonderful up at the house.  A lot of time has been spent getting the fire place and the wood burning stove working.   The stove was a lot of work.  It had been in the shed for two years and had become very rusty.   The screw holding the flue had become rusted in place and the door gasket had rotted away.   A little elbow grease, steel wool, glove and some stove blacking and the stove came back to it's former beauty.  Though I say so myself, I think it's cleaned up rather well.

The old stove left by June Finer, cleaned up and on the hearth
As well as cleaning up the stove, I have spent a lot of time chopping wood.   There is no heating in the house and so I've been waking up in the early hours and chopping wood and lighting the fires to keep the house warm.  The little stove will stay warm all night as long as the vent is closed.  The main fireplace needs firing up in the morning.    While you might think that getting up early and chopping wood, clearing ashes and lighting a fire might sound like a bummer, it is surprisingly rewarding.   It's hard work chopping wood and carrying it back to the house from the Garage.  A 30-minute morning work-out... with a point! 
The walk from the garage to the house carrying chopped wood

The amazing side effect of this early morning activity is that you get to see the sun rise.  DeJoux house faces perfectly into the morning sun, maximizing the light and the warming rays.   Step outside the front door and this is what you see:

Red sky in Morning...sailors warning

The crack of dawn
Mist on the field and the lake

or just purple craziness

When the sun has risen above the trees the light washes through the windows that have seen a million sunrises...actually nearly 100, 000 sunrises but who's counting!   When the light shines through the old glass, the effect is spectacular...you can't capture it...you can only approximate it with a photograph.

Morning sun through old glass
Some mornings when a little smoke escapes the fire place -  because I'm impatient and fan the flames too vigorously -  you can literally see the light filling the room.  I've never really been a morning person but the mornings in the house are magical.

An angel at the window?


We may be sitting on garden furniture and sleeping on an air bed but still this house delights in it's crazy little ways.
Still a building site but adorable

It will be finished one day
Michael Clinton (The painter/window bloke) has started on the windows and they are coming along really well.  Years of paint stripped off and sanded down and then primed.  He's done a great job and only one old pane of glass broken in the process.  We also stripped the front door back to the original wood.  The bottom of the door has been repaired in the past but it looks fantastic.  We removed the newer transom above the door, back to the original format.  The whole balance of the door is restored.   You have to agree it looks fantastic - thanks Michael, nice work!

Restored front door.

No contractor progress... incredible frustration.

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DeJoux House to be published

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Paradox farm

If you wander along Springtown Road, past DeJoux House, you will see our mailbox opposite the front door.  It's not especially distinguishable except it is rather large and sits on an old tree stump.  It's a rusty old thing but it seems to have survived the snow plows and drunk drivers of Springtown Road.

It has always bothered me that on the side of the mail box you can see the vague outline of the words "Paradox Farm" which was clearly a name that DeJoux House was more recently referred to.  Occasionally when wondering the fields I would stumble across some incongruity and wonder if that was indeed the "paradox" that the farm was named after.

Yesterday morning, for some unknown reason, I decided it was time to resolve the paradox.  I sent a quick email to the previous owner June Finer to see if she knew anything of the Paradox Farm ghost on the side of the mailbox.

This was her reply:

once upon a time we, (myself and russell gilmore---my ex), met a rather …

The story of three Marias

For the first time in a long time I have had a few hours to spare to investigate the relationship between Maria Deyo, the story of the murders on Springtown Road in 1800, DeJoux House and the Deyo family -  especially now I have both the complete family tree and ownership of the house.   

My investigation started with the facts that we knew so far.

1) The document from the Library of congress that documents the murders and the names of the husband (Josiah) and the wife (Maria).   In this news DOCUMENT she is described as killing two children from a previous marriage. Also an infant daughter of 9 months old. (presumably the daughter of Josiah)

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