Single copies can be purchased at many Barnes & Noble and Books A Million stores.

Click here to find a store near you.

Are You the Next Keeper of this New England Hilltop Retreat?

Our charming New England getaway is looking for a new family to take care of it.  We have lived on this hill in Pelham, Massachusetts for five years, but it is time to move, and we want to leave our home in good hands.  We are looking for a renter.

Life in Pelham

The house is located in Pelham, Massachusetts, which is a beautiful community that includes the Quabbin Reservoir, amongst other areas to hike, bike, play, or simply take in the gorgeous setting.

It also is home to one of the best schools in the state. But even more than that, the culture of Pelham school is something that you couldn't buy, no matter what kind of private school you paid for. 

Most of the staff love working there so much that they stay for a long time. -My son's teacher has been teaching Pelham kids for 30 years! It is an idyllic setting combined with a supportive environment of kindness and academic excellence.  It is so valuable that kids from other towns use "school choice" to go to Pelham School, and their parents drive them to Pelham each morning, just to give them the opportunity of being part of this community.

Amherst

Harkness Road is unique to the area in that it is split between the towns of Amherst and Pelham.  The house is on a septic system, but shares water service with Amherst. We also are within minutes of downtown Amherst, the gorgeous campuses of the University of Massachusetts and Amherst College. Harkness Road also is the site of the old Harkness family farm, and we are lucky to enjoy "Lilacland" every spring - acres of lilac trees that our neighbor opens up as a park for everyone to enjoy hikes, picnics and even an art gallery in his barn. 

Life on the Hill

One of the best kept secrets about this house is that it sits on a hill. Okay, that isn't a secret, exactly.  Anyone who drives by can see that the driveway is steep, and the house is at the end of that climb.  Here is the secret to it: we have found that being on the hill gives us a private retreat none of our neighbors has.  The house is a raised ranch, which means that the living room picture windows look right out into the trees.  And how do we manage in winter?  We do the same thing as many people - we have a great snow plow expert who plows the hill, sands it and makes sure we can get up and down, even after some of the biggest New England winter storms.  The fact is, he has been plowing our driveway much longer than we have lived here, so I guess you could say that he "came with the house." 

The Land

With almost an acre of land, our kids have enjoyed being able to hike through trails in the woods.  We  also have developed a gorgeous perennial garden that frames our patio and fire pit.  For three seasons, most of our evenings are spent on the patio, either sitting by the fire roasting marshmallows or drinking a glass of wine and watching what the garden brings us for each season. The wonderful thing about a perennial garden is that it requires very little upkeep and it becomes more robust each year.  It includes many well known flowers such as gooseneck loosestrife, dianthus, sedum, bee balm, honeysuckle, and hostas to name a few, but it also has some real gems, such as European ginger and giant jack-in-the pulpits. The kids love the sandbox, swing set and the parking pad that gives them a space for bikes and scooters. 

The House

This 2,000 square foot house has served our family well.  It is a three-bedroom, two bathroom raised ranch style house, set into the hill.  When we arrived, the basement was a storage area, and we have since transformed it into 800 square feet of open living space. It is a great play room and office; we all make use of it, and because it is a raised ranch, there is a door directly out to the driveway - so in the winter, we come and go from the downstairs, keeping all of the snow and gear out of site. 

On the main floor, most of the hardwood floors have been refinished, and the kitchen appliances and floor have been updated.  Both bathrooms also have been completely updated.  There is a fireplace on each floor.  The house has  an airy, open feel that is augmented by the wonderful view of the trees and garden.

Monthly rent: $1,900, and we'll take care of the town water bill.  Contact me, Marcia Young at 413-222-0720 or editor@fiberartnow.net.

If you think this could be the right spot for someone you know, please pass on this link to them! ( http://valleyfiberlife.squarespace.com/charminglife/)

Here are a few more pictures: