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Blog :: 04-2020

The Place of Art in Your Home

By Linda Aird

Art is such a personal thing. It does not need to be a painting. It's the stuff you put on your wall or place on your coffee table. It can take many forms. It can be a piece of memorabilia, reminding you of a past activity, somewhere you've been or someone you've known. It can be a painting, print or poster whose colors or subject matter speak to you.

PICTURED HERE:  My latest art installation, by Rachelle Miller, a potter from Wisconsin. The landing at the top of my steps needed something. I had been planning on a series of small photographs in sienna (those brown tones of old photographs), but hadn't gotten around to it. The walls in my house are neutral and I thought this would be a good choice. After a couple of years (yup, it took that long), I started to think that a pop of color would be nice, and saw these in a catalogue. 

For me, the environment I find myself in every day, my home, is so important.

It affects how I feel. I tell my clients when we are looking at possible homes to buy that, in addition to the number of bedrooms, etc., there will be the AHHH factor. They'll know it when they feel it. It's the feeling that conveys "I can see myself being here."

Well, that is the beginning of a house becoming a home to you.

Art is the finishing touch, the icing on the cake. It makes our homes distinctly us. I have quite a range. I am not an art snob. I have what I like, what gives me pleasure, from a framed card purchased at a gift shop in Italy to a sculpture handmade to hang on the fireplace. I have items that came to me from other generations and those newly gained. I really believe that, as has been said, art is in the eye of the beholder, and is an evolving process.

So as I move about my house, these various and varied items come into focus, and I experience a sense of peace and calm. 

During this time, when we are feeling unsettled and we are spending far more time in our homes, those feelings of peace and calm are even more imperative.  

I wish you well and look forward to chatting more!

--Linda Aird

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Exploring the Hawley State Forest, Part 2: Hallockville Pond

To continue on from my previous little article about the Hawley State Forest (Kenneth M. Dubuque), we will go to the other side of the forest to another of my favorite places, Hallockville Pond, which is right off of Route 8A near the Plainfield/Hawley town line.

Building at Hallockville Pond

The pond once fed an extensive mill site that can be reached off the Mill Site Trail. Park by the big buildings that you will see as you enter. A lot of people think the Hallockville Pond is a private camp because of the camp buildings there. It was once a camp but recently has housed Americorps volunteers and other similar conservation groups. 

Trail Sign

The Pond is lovely and it is a wonderful place to have a picnic on the lawn or on the dam. It is fun to look down the first sluice way. If you walk back towards the drive behind the small cabin, you will find the beginning of the trail. Remember what I said about seeing myrtle or periwinkle in the woods? It is also an indication there was a house or human activity here. 

Very soon you will come to the much older dam which may just look like a stone wall at first but you will see the sluice gate there is actually more than one but the other is much smaller.

As you go down the trail you will see the foundations of the big mill and where the water wheel that turned the gearing for the mill was. 

Many old early mills were for cutting timber but some milled grain etc. There is some great stone work here. You will also see an enormous metal drum. Some of the old water wheel mills later converted to steam power and I wonder if this dates from that time period in the late 1800s verses the early 1800s when water wheel power was king.This area is fun to explore, but please use caution and don’t climb around on the stone work; A lot of it is not very stable.

Wooden Bridge

If you continue down the trail (headed down stream), you will come to a lovely wooden bridge. If you look up from the bridge, you can see there was yet another mill site with at least one water wheel between the stone walls.

The mill sites end after this and the trail ahead crosses Route 8A. If you want to keep walking at this point, I suggest that you go back up to the pond and take the lovely pond loop trail. 

Pond View

 

 

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