Apologies for not meeting our promise of a Thanksgiving post. Sometimes life just gets in the way and well, since things our going well, we’re not all that sorry. (insert grin) For more frequent updates please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/quietrefuge
Working to reclaim Quiet Refuge we’ve stirred up more activity than the place has probably seen in many decades. Countless footsteps have walked the floors during the past 130 plus years and depending on as many opinions, you will fall between skeptic and believer that the house reserves some sort of presence or energy that can be felt.
Part of being human is having an imagination and the need to rationalize the unexplained hence millennia of myth and legend. If there is a natural phenomenon we cannot yet explain or prove, our brains are compelled to find some way to make sense.
I often spend long hours alone in the house and contribute missing items or things found in random, illogical places to being busy. The buried, electromagnetic driveway alarm we installed must be sounding because it isn’t placed properly. Power is lost to different parts of the house because the brand new electric must be faulty.
Titillated at the idea of a haunting, of course I did the Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc., searches into the paranormal trying to rationalize what was going on. The primary thing I learned was to approach the project as a skeptic. I forced myself to look at situations objectively. I dug, organized, made lists and made a true effort to maintain. What happened to me a week before Thanksgiving still gives me chills and the hair on my arms and neck still stand up as I relate the story. Again, what you are about to read will have you falling between skeptic and believer. I’m not really sure where I fall along the continuum.
Alone at night, I was painting the trim between kitchen and foyer when I can only describe as the sounds above of feet touching the floor then distinct footsteps moving from room to room opening doors (no banging) as if to check on those sleeping. Initial panic subdued by absolute forced rational thinking of one, breathe and two, don’t hyperventilate or you’re useless. Frozen, I continued to listen for a full minute and a half (counting in my head like that 1 to 10 we’re taught before reacting when we get angry) and run every scenario through my head. At this point the house key was still in the hidden under the flowerpot stage. Perhaps there was a kid or vagrant inside thinking the silence of painting was a good time to move. Perhaps an animal climbed through one of the three chimneys, that small hole by the sun room door or a window left ajar.
My fellow rational humans, in situations like these we are faced with two primal decisions, fight or flight. Some don’t rationalize, they just react. Screwing up every ounce of courage, I forced myself to move, ascend the stairs, inspect every room then brave the attic. Nothing. There are only two closets in the entire house and since void of furniture, nowhere to hide. Finding nothing I forced myself to return to the first floor and continue painting trim. Within twenty minutes the distinct sound of footsteps above returned. The urge to leave the dirty brushes and flee was intense but I rationalized, “These brushes are EXPENSIVE!” Hence, with my heart in my throat I made a deliberate effort to thoroughly wash them carefully then made my exit.
Please check in soon for how I finally approached the perceived phenomenon because alas, I am out of space for this post.rc
We’re learning how to work web pages so this post may have become hidden from view. Here it is again.
Several people have approached me recently and asked what Quiet Refuge is “about.” When answering, I’m struck with similar questions, “What is the meaning of life,” and “What is the nature of the universe?” The answer in my mind tends to be, “It depends.” It depends on your perspective, goals, point of view, intentions, prejudices, preconceived notions, dreams, ideals, wishes… In other words, it is what it is and can be what you wish it to be.
I do know this, our property is screaming for love and attention. As we peel back layers of “what is” to discover “what was” we are challenged to combine the two with “what will be.” In this property we see something that is eager to emerge and show itself. The property is an old soul that is begging to have new life breathed into it. We are fortunate to have the energy of over 130 years of countless lives behind us. In order to move forward, we will need the energies of as many to make the property sing.
A few key terms/concepts seem to resonate (a few may overlap or be omitted):
SPACE: We have room for meetings, clubs, events, occasions, classes, lectures, gardening
DESTINATION: We think that given time, guests would be delighted to allow us to host weddings, receptions, garden parties, photo shoots, and a myriad of other events we haven’t begun to think of. EVERY visitor sees something different in the property’s potential.
Something that resonates again and again is the concept of Zero-Living. Today so much has been pre- cut, cooked, built, designed, sewn, orchestrated, etc.,… that we have lost what it takes to not only survive but thrive with what little we have, are given, and what we are capable of producing ourselves. We see QRxR as a place to reconnect with the way our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents lived; simply.
We hope that while visiting QRxR you will find an enclave where you can shut out if not everything, much of that outside “noise” that dominates our 21st century lives and for a brief respite have the opportunity to reconnect with the serenity and simplicity of pure existence.rc
As the spirits of the dead are given free reign to walk the earth, we are quietly enjoying our enclave. Today we can report that our first floor is nearly ready for occupancy for the living. Months upon months of careful planning, starts and stops leave us in a place where others can begin to imagine what we have seen from day one. Our next major post will be Thanksgiving when we give thanks for all of our blessings and the people who make life good. We hope you check back with us frequently.
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Quiet Refuge at the Crossroads is also known as the Thomas R. Layfield Farmhouse and Parker Farm. Quiet Refuge xR was built between 1880 and 1882 originally consisting of 104 acres of which only 1.60 remain as part of the property. Also found on the property is a 19th century barn. The essential Victorian features remain intact including a cross-gabled, turned post front porch with decorative sawn work. The shallow cross gable is finished with a stylized sunburst pattern of carved woodwork. The facade is topped off with a gothic style four-pane double-hung window on the third floor. Upon entering the foyer, visitors are greeted with the original Victorian staircase with turned newel post, turned balusters, closed stringer, and a molded handrail. The foyer also boasts original doors that retain their original abstract patterned oak that open to the parlor, dining room, kitchen and a small closet under the staircase. Victorian panels define spaces immediately beneath most window sills. Original hardwood floors can be found in the front rooms and foyer.
Purchased in the spring of 2014 our first goal was clearing the interior and exterior debris. Much effort was placed on removing vines that covered the house, barn, and small summer kitchen. New, 21st century septic tanks and drain fields replaced the former open cesspit. Interior work began in the small downstairs non-functional 1/2 bath/pump room transforming into a full bath and utility closet. Remodeled over the years, the only remaining original feature of the kitchen is part of the wainscoting running the perimeter of the room. Considering the lack of historic authenticity and the need to have kitchen facilities that are safe and functional; great debate, consideration and consultation preceded gutting of the non-historical features of the kitchen. Visitors to the kitchen will find a new, handcrafted, Shaws apron farmhouse sink as well as new cabinets, floors, fixtures, top-line appliances and faux copper ceiling and backsplash. Visitors to the kitchen will also find a small staircase that leads to a sitting/bedroom above.
Please check in often for updates on our progress. Our hope is to carve out a quiet refuge that will serve as an enclave for friends and family.rc