The Safety of Home

No matter how lovely the weather is this time of the year, there is always the possibility of a storm. When a bad storm is approaching, your first thought usually turns towards the safety of home. Hurricane “Irene” made us temporally close our summer cottage and head to our home in New Hampshire.

We were lucky that “Irene” was just a tropical storm by the time it reached us. We felt that our home was safe and we had the comfort of having a generator when the power went out. Now that the sun is shining and we have returned to normal, I thought I would welcome you to our New Hampshire home, Orchard Hill Farm and give you a little tour.

Orchard Hill Farm

Our house and barn are some of the oldest buildings in our little town.

The house was built in 1730 and has been lovingly restored. During the restoration, we found this original color of yellow. It is cheerful color for those grey days in winter when the landscape looks like a black and white photo.

Our Home Was Built In 1730

We have an orchard that has over 300 apple trees. Most of the trees are considered antique varieties. We even have a variety that Thomas Jefferson grew at Monticello. All of the trees were planted by a previous owner for making hard cider. They give cider a richer taste and more character than apples that are normally found in most orchards.

The Earliest Apples Are Almost Ready To Pick

The earliest varieties of apples are just about ready to start picking. Other varieties won’t be ready for several more weeks. In the fall, we invite friends to come for a harvest weekend. We pick bushels of apples, make gallons of cider and a lot of apple pies. Needless to say, we all have a good time and our friends go home with lots of goodies. You know that we will be cooking a lot of food that will go nicely with fresh picked apples. Of course, I will be sharing the recipes with you.

Macoun Apples

We have lost a lot of apples but as you can see there are plenty more. The ones on the ground will certainly make the deer that graze in our orchard happy. They are not going to have to work so hard to steal the apples.

Apple Crop Downed By "Hurricane Irene"

I have a little rock garden in the orchard that was full of lilies earlier in the season. I have placed a lovely antique angel in the center.ย I thought that she was the perfect choice to end my tour of the orchard.


With the threat of a bad storm approaching, we looked to the comfort and safety of home as so many people have for generations. We were blessed that we didn’t have any damage. We can all be thankful that hurricane “Irene” was not a stronger storm in our area. To all the people who were not as lucky as us and have suffered because of the storm, you are in our prayers.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

41 thoughts on “The Safety of Home

    1. Hi Phyllis, We are very thankful that Irene was a tropical storm by the time it got here. I’m glad you liked the tour. The house has given us clues to its history during the restoration work. When I have more time this fall, I’ll do a little tour of the inside of the house.

  1. Your ..this just as lovely as the other in a totally different way~
    Beautiful..the colors..the’s name,..the apples..the angel:)

    Just lovely.

  2. Glad to hear you are safe, Karen. I thought of you this weekend when I heard Irene was hitting New England so hard. What a lovely farm you have…such an idyllic life! Those apples looks like some great pies, cider, jelly and apple butter in the making.

  3. Beautiful home–they had such a flair for design back in the day. Seems so many of the homes today are “un-balanced’—here a window, there a door. Love the color you chose!

    1. Hi Susan, Design was great back then…so very orderly. The house started out as a two over two, with a center chimney. Then it was added on to become what they call a four over four with chimneys on each side. The history of the house suggests that it served as a tavern in its very early years. I love the color…I had to use it once we found out that was its first color.

  4. What a beautiful home you have there! Thank you for sharing it with us. Those apples must taste incredible. They certainly are gorgeous. I love the way that they smell. It’s good to hear that you didn’t have any damage at your home. Some of our neighbors were not so fortunate and they are indeed in our prayers. Blessings, Candace

  5. Awwww, K, it is all so pretty! I am dying to tour “inside” your house–I would love to see what you have done to it. Your house has 100 years on mine—I find these old homesteads fascinating. xxBliss

  6. Karen,
    So glad to her that you and your husband are safe and that your home survived Irene unscathed. Must be interesting to discover historic information about a home as old as yours. The apples are beautiful; making cider and apple pies sounds like lots of fun and delicious. With all the fruit on the ground, the deer must be in “deer” heaven. (as opposed to “hog” heaven).

  7. Thank you for sharing this story and beautiful photos. It must be so hard when you are not on this property.

    Glad to hear that you folks are safe and your damage was not too great.

  8. What a lovely home! I’m glad you were safe from the storm! I’d love to – one day if you are willing – to see your kitchen in your beautiful home! The apples on the tree are an absolute picture and I had no idea there were antique varieties….it makes sense, tho…it’s not like our generation invented them!

    1. Hi Ann, Thank you for your nice comment. I will be happy to do a tour of our kitchen in the near future. Our apple orchard has almost a hundred different varieties. When you think about it, the antique apple varieties are like the heirloom tomatoes that I grow.

  9. Hello, Other Karen. (I can’t help mentioning that I saw in your comment at Rufus’ that you grew up in Texas. Me, too!)

    I love old homes. It must be so interesting to live in one and think about all the things that may have happened there over the years. You are very lucky!

  10. Thanks for sharing… I’m very glad everything was okay for you. Otherwise how would we get our awesome recipes and delicious-looking photos? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Roger, My husband and I absolutely love the old house. It has so much character and history. Thank you as always for your kind comment. I try to make my posts interesting…I’m glad you like them.

  11. Beautiful home… I hope you do make cider with the apples, although that’s a *lot* of work each year! Good to hear that you didn’t suffer any serious damage from the hurricane. I’m lucky that I live in a “calm” area of the world. No earthquakes, no hurricanes, no volcanoes. I can’t imagine the heartbreak of having even something minor like having your plants destroyed by the wind after you’ve spent months raising them.

  12. So glad to hear that you and yours were left pretty much unscathed by Irene. And what a lovely spot you have in New Hampshire. I bet the orchard’s breathtaking when the trees bloom each Spring. Thanks for giving us a look into your lives.

    1. Hi John, Thank you for your kind comment. I’m happy that you enjoyed seeing a little part of our lives. Spring is absolutely beautiful in the orchard. Neighbors that drive past the orchard in the spring comment on the lovely aroma from the blossoms.

  13. Glad all is well after Irene. What a beautiful home you have – living in a piece of history. I once lived in a house in a little English village which was built in 1723 – I do miss it for its quirkiness sometimes! And as for your apples – amazing! Do you still make cider or are all the apples sold?

    1. Hi Tanya, Happy that all is well. It is fun living with history. You can not help but wonder about all the people who went up and down the stairs, wearing their path into the treads over the years. We do still make cider when friends are visiting. Everyone takes turns at the manuel apple press. It is work but we make a lot of fun out of the process.

  14. I am so glad you were not harmed by the storm! My friends in Connecticut were for circa two days without electricity!!! I may have repetitive but I have to: you have such a fabulous taste! I love the house and I envy those apples!! Excellent post (as usual)!!!!

    1. Sorry to hear about your friends. Our area has so many large trees that cause the power to go out often. We had a whole house generator put in just for that reason. It is one thing to have no power this time of the year but in the winter it is dangerous. Thank you for your kind comment about our house. We really think it is special because of its history.

  15. I can’t believe you LEAVE this house during the summer, it’s gorgeous! You have a lovely home and orchard and a charming summer house in Maine. It looks like you have been blessed with a little slice of paradise, at least in my eyes.

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. We go with mixed feelings when we leave our home to go to the cottage. The same thing happens when we leave the cottage and head home. We are very blessed to have such a wonderful live.

  16. Hi Karen
    I am happy to have found your blog!
    Your home is so beautiful. I live in an old house too, especially by California standards, though not nearly as old as yours. I also have apple trees, including rescued and replanted espaliered trees. I don’t know if they will ever grow together again, but they are producing tons of apples so I will look forward to your upcoming recipes!

    Slim Paley

  17. Wow – LOTS of apples! I was especially excited to see the “macoun” featured as that is my favorite apple of them all! My mom loves a honeycrisp (relatively new I think) and dad always liked a red delicious (he was a west-coaster originally so…) My brother..hmm… I will have to ask!!! We grew up going to Mack’s in Londonderry for apples! (still do!)
    Glad your homes made it through Irene- my mom in southern NH did great, as I did in the boston area. But I have many friends and family STILL w/o power – I am offering hot showers!

  18. How nice of you to share your home, what a fun virtual trip to New Hampshire! I so miss picking apples in the fall! I too would come home with bushels for making apple pies and freezing some for Thanksgiving and giving most away! I’m so impressed you made cider! Looking forward to all you apple recipes!!

    1. I wish all my blogging friends were neighbors. We could have a great harvest weekend…picking apples and making cider. I think fall in New England is everyones favorite season. Happy to hear that you enjoyed the tour of the orchard.

  19. I thought of you as the storm went up the coast. It is nice to hear all is well! You take me back many years to when I lived in New England. I have always wanted to move back. Your home is lovely and the apple trees… we too have apple trees and do a press of cider when we have friends come by, it tastes so good! I have told several friends of your site and your black furniture, they laugh and say we should get along fine! They tease me for having black furniture… I think we feel the same and I cannot wait to see your restoration on the inside, I would have a blast at the holiday timeโ€ฆ.RaeDi

  20. So glad to hear that you’re safe and all is OK. Great tour, too. I’m kind of obsessed with your house. All about the yellow paint. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s too cool it was built in 1730…definitely gives it a lot of character!

  21. Karen, I’m originally from upstate New York, and I have a passion for colonial America. Your tour just took me back to all the places I had the benefit of visiting back east growing up. Thanks!

  22. Oh My! What a lovely home and property! It makes me yearn for autumn even more so! I can smell the apple cider now! What fun for your friends! I usually head up over the hill into Placerville, CA area (Apple Hill) sometime in October and visit all the orchards there.

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