On The Market Next Week
I want to share some news with you about my life. Next week Bedlam Farm, my previous home in upstate New York, the place where I wrote eight books, is going on the market once more. We haven't determined a price yet. Bedlam Farm is in West Hebron, it consists of an 1861 farmhouse, four barns and some outbuildings, two fenced pastures and a 40 plus acre in the woods. All of the buildings have been restored.
I loved Bedlam Farm, but we had to move to our new home for a number of reasons. Maria and I wanted our own place, with all of the changes in publishing we wanted a cheaper home to maintain, and for a number of very personal reasons it was time for me to leave there.
For the past year, Bedlam Farm has been rented to good and responsible tenants, but the financial realities of maintaining two homes are too much for us to bear. We really have no choice but to stop.
Many wonderful things happened to me at Bedlam Farm – I met Maria there, I wrote so many books there, I had Orson, Rose and Izzy there, I learned how to live on a farm there, my books took off there and I became somewhat famous there, they made a movie about me there. And many awful things happened there – the end to a 35-year-old marriage – a nervous breakdown, loneliness and isolation, I spent almost all of my money restoring the farmhouse and the farm – each of the barns was rebuilt with new foundations – and I gave the rest away to people I was trying arrogantly to save.
What a great adventure Bedlam Farm was – blizzards, lambing, coyotes, ice storms, so much beauty, the main stop on my hero journey, where I fell into darkness and came out into the light, guided along the way by magical helpers, human and animal.
I came to life there, found love there, grew up there, was lost and saved there. And as I got older, it also became more of a struggle for me to be there. I want to be honest with you, I have always tried to be, we can no longer afford to maintain two properties. This is the major reason the farm is going up for sale again next week. It had been on the market for nearly three years and while there was a steady stream of people wanting to see it – mostly readers of my books – no one really was serious about wanting to buy it.
This is a painful thing for me in many ways, I won't pretend otherwise. It is such a beautiful place, it means so much to me, and I must confess I don't understand why it has not sold, life is wondrous and mysterious that way. Some of it is just beyond our reach or comprehension. There is the recession, the peculiar market in this part of New York state, I hear all of the reasons, it is blah-blah to me, I have given up trying to understand it, I just work at accepting it.
We have begun meetings with the bank, they are trying to work with me (us) but I really don't know for certain what it going to happen down the road. It could be a challenging end to a challenging year. The first step is to put it on the market at the most reasonable price and see what happens. Our faithful realtor, Kristin Preble of Preble Realty, is handling the sale once again, she has walked up that hill and on that path one hundred times.
I am determined to face this issue in a forthright and honorable way. I think I must face this directly and come to terms with it. Maria is right beside me, as always, but I bought the place, it is my name on the lease. I have to deal with it. Maria can take care of herself, but I will not leave her with any of my debts that she cannot afford to pay. I will do whatever is necessary and legal to avoid that.
I want to be clear about something. I guess I need to say to the many generous spirits out there that I am not seeking financial help and will not accept any. I accept payment for my work, not my life. This is something I need to deal with, it is important to me for many reasons. The house will be listed next week.
I love Bedlam Farm, it has very special meaning for me and for many others. I hope and someone will find it and love it as I did, as Maria did also. Either way, I have to face the reality of the world and let it go. Next week I will begin that process.
Sometimes, we are swept up in storms we did not foresee, and that is the nature of the world. At Bedlam Farm, I was caught in many. Crisis and mystery, just around every corner. I will never regret buying Bedlam Farm, I do not regret leaving it. I put it proudly up for sale once more.