In 1984 we moved our three kids and dog from the concrete jungle of Long Island, New York, to an old 1880s tri-gable farmhouse on 15 acres. It sat atop a foothill of the Catskill Mountains in stunningly beautiful Schoharie County, New York. The interior was not as grand as our Long Island Victorian, but the quiet, pastoral setting more than made up for the home’s drafty windows and lousy heating system.

The property was gorgeous! It was broken up into two open fields that rose to a tree line in the very back. A creek and small pond separated the fields where our children spent long, happy hours.

Although the fields were cut for hay, we never kept animals. My husband commuted from his job on Long Island each weekend, while our four young kids and I stayed alone on the farm without a vehicle during the week. It wasn’t easy, but it was a five-year experience that I wouldn’t trade.