A couple of months ago, Moonie and I visited the Robert Frost Farm in New Hampshire.
Moonie insisted on buying his very own ticket for a tour of the house.
He then asked the guide, Bill Gleed, whether this was the biggest apple corer in the world.
He lost interest when he found out it wasn’t for apples, so he found a couple of fun-looking holes to check out instead. (“You don’t want to fall down there, buddy,” I whispered. “Why?” he whispered back. “It’s a long story,” I said, hoping he wouldn’t want to know all about latrines.)
Luckily, Moonie forgot about the fun holes when he spotted the very cool barn ceiling.
And this neato lantern on the dining room table.
And this fun rocking chair.
Even this bonnet placed on the headboard in the bedroom fascinated him. I wonder if he’s going to ask for his own little bonnet to try and contain his wild pink locks while he sleeps.
He found some cool games to check out.
And these attic quarters for the servants doesn’t seem too fun to live in – probably way too hot in the summer and way too cold in the winter – but Moonie thought it was a pretty cool space.
Robert Frost moved himself and his family to the farm in 1900, just after his toddler son Elliott died and when his infant daughter Lesley was about a year old. His grandfather had purchased the farm for Robert, and when he died the following year he left it to Robert, with the stipulation that Robert had to maintain it for ten years. Living on that farm provided Robert with his first New England farming experience, helped him recover from both physical and mental ailments he’d been suffering before moving there, and helped inspire much of his early poetry. Although he and his family lived in many other places over the ensuring years, he returned to the farm shortly before his death, was horrified at the state it had been in, and wanted to have it memorialized for him. It was purchased in 1965 by the State of New Hampshire and lovingly restored in 1974, guided in part by his daughter Lesley. Lots of care was put into restoring and acquiring reproductions of the furniture and even products that the Frost family owned while living there in the early 20th century.
Like these bonnets placed on each bed as if awaiting their owners.
And books and lanterns.
This lovely bannister. (There were also some lovely wood items carved by Frost’s father-in-law.)
Stoves ready to heat their occupants.
Books, of course. Any poet worth his salt would have books.
Frost appeared to be quite the naturalist.
(“What did they eat for dinner?” Moonie asked the ranger giving the tour, but instead of asking politely, he interrupted Mr. Gleed to demand an answer.
“Pink-haired trolls,” responded Ranger Gleed.
Moonie didn’t interrupt rudely again.)
We saw more stoves, which was cool.
But then the first typewriter got me.
(“Mama, are you drooling?” Moonie asked.
“Just a little,” I said, wiping my chin.)
There was also this wonderful vintage sewing machine, but it didn’t interest Moonie, who has no use for clothes.
He did, however, like this chair. It was in close proximity to dishes that would have contained food.
And he liked this typewriter, which we both stared at longingly – me, imagining the words it spun onto pages; Moonie, imagining dancing up and down on the keys with his little troll toes.
The kitchen stove was downright wonderful.
As was attention to detail around the kitchen.
I loved this clothes press.
(“Do those crackers make you smarter?” Moonie asked.
“Maybe,” I said.)
We got to see an old-fashioned coffee grinder. I can think of a few people who’d love to have this on their walls.
Moonie was bored again when we found the clothes washing implements.
But he did like the stove that had been made near my hometown.
(“Whee!” Moonie reported from the iron.
“If that stove was on right now, you’d have some hot little feet,” I told him.)
We admired the wood…
…and the crates for eggs.
Even before he lived on this, his first, farm, Frost had kept hens and chickens. Reports were that his landlady hadn’t been too pleased having them run around her property.
Bill Gleed had been a really knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide, so Moonie asked him if they could pose for a photo together. Ranger Gleed said yes and then made this face.
(After I snapped the photo, he furrowed his brow and said, “Did I look completely ridiculous in that picture?”
“Yes,” I confirmed after checking my camera.
“Great!” said Ranger Gleed.)
We enjoyed a nice view of the property from inside…
…and a nice view of the house from outside.
It had some pretty cool stuff in the basement, too.
Nearby, Moonie found a little stump that was just the right fit. “My throne!” he said. I tried not to have flashbacks of him happily playing on the latrine earlier.
It was a beautiful day, and the Frost Farm was a beautiful property.
The trees were just beginning to bud.
The property is 13 acres in all, so we’d have been crazy to leave without checking out the lovely lands. We set out on a nice woodsy path, enjoying the pleasant tapping of a woodpecker.
We quickly spotted a little bridge that reminded me of part of Frost’s poem, “West Running Brook”:
Our bridge across it, and the bridge shall be
Our arm thrown over it asleep beside it.
Look, look, it’s waving to us with a wave
To let us know it hears me.
Looking down at the brook it spanned, Moonie immediately spotted a frog. “Here, Froggy!” he kept shouting. “Come on, Froggy, come play with us.”
But the frog was busy chilling out and didn’t feel like playing with a pink-haired troll just then.
Moonie didn’t mind, though, as he immediately spotted some fiddleheads. He sure loves to hug fiddleheads.
He giggled with joy about his fiddleheads, and after we finally started walking again, I started giggling myself.
“What, Mama?” he asked.
“Look, Moonie, there’s a fork in the road! On Robert Frost’s land!”
He didn’t get it at first, so I recited,
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth…”
Moonie lay just before where the paths diverged and hooted with laughter, rolling on his sides and kicking his little feet. When I asked him which path he wanted to take, left or right, he said, “The one less traveled by!” with a glint in his amber eye.
So we did.
We came upon plenty of flowers on our walk.
Some of which Moonie shared with me.
At one point he disappeared and I looked around, finally spotting him halfway up a tree.
“Um, buddy?” I asked. “Tell me that’s not poison ivy you’re climbing all over.”
He wouldn’t admit it, but he seemed a little itchy after that.