We picked up Cote and Eric along the way, and the six of us spent a laid-back three hours exploring the farm and the surrounding 40 acres (wooded trails and grassy meadows). We lingered over the painted originals hanging on the barn/studio walls, and drank hot apple cider while eating too many homemade buckeyes. We dared and dodged snowballs outside, using the trees and each other (and occasionally total strangers), as our protective shields. We laughed, and joked, and enjoyed our family, as we walked in wonder.
I have two favorite spots on this property......Nick's studio (especially the corner where his desk sits, with his paints, brushes, sketches all around), and the family's cabin which is nestled inside a cove of hefty pine trees, on the edge of a small frozen pond.
The studio inspires me to
pursue my own
passion.......writing. And the cabin inspires me to excavate and reveal and yes, even clutter up, my real life a bit.
The studio connection is easy to understand......seeing someone else use their God-given talents, and obviously loving what they do, encourages others to follow their own dreams.
But the cabin......this is a magical place that is almost too unique to describe in words. It is a one-room, rustic collage of a family's life lived out-loud.....rich with color, imagination, and no edge lines. They decorated the small space by their own rules, their own expectations, and the result is a place that vividly tells their story, without anyone having to utter a single word.....the cabin reads like a worn-out favorite book, of a family that has lived, breathed, and become in a tiny little space no bigger than most people's bathrooms.
|Inside the cabin|
If you ever get a chance to visit Hazel Ridge, go. Robbyn and Nick are warm and inviting, and as real as it gets. They host a Holiday Open House every year, usually the second weekend in December. The public is invited. But, I promise, you'll feel like family by the time you say goodbye.