Mike tried several times to cancel this trip. The thought of the long car ride from California to the east coast was intimidating for him; but ever since the attacks on the twin towers, he refused to take a plane anywhere. This was an obligation he finally decided. To prove his dedication to the project not only to his agent but also to the publisher, who gave him a pretty hefty advancement on the book, he knew he had to do whatever they asked. If nothing else, Anna will have a nice getaway, despite the 3-day car ride. Three days he could have been writing at home.
As they pulled into the stone driveway of their 1850’s farmhouse on the river, Mike was impressed with the dulled barn red color of the old wooden house. This house had character, which surprised the author. Maybe after all these years, his agent did understand him. The front of the house was lined with 4 large picture windows and a light green wooden door, perfectly spaced in the middle. An old stone chimney ran up the left side of his new home for the next few months and the matching stone foundation was just beautiful.
“I love it,” Anna said, opening the passenger’s side door causing the car radio to turn off. She pulled her black framed glasses from atop her head down to her face, tilting her face up to look through her bifocals. Mike reached out for her hand that she had wrapped around the leather handle of her old brown purse.
“I’m sure we are going to have a great time here.” Mike carefully looked around the property at all the color changing leaves on the trees. He felt the jolt of inspiration from this picturesque homestead. There was an old barn sitting in the back of the property line, with a stack of firewood next to it under a tin roof. Being drawn to the greying colored wood, he knew the barn was going to be the first place he investigated. He wondered what treasures or antiques could be found behind the sliding wooden door. An uneven stone walkway trailed off into the woods on the right side of the house. Mike assumed this path led to the river.
“Oh no, Mister Sharpe,” Anna said, pulling her hand away. “I see that adventurous look in your eye. You’re here to work, remember that.”
“Don’t be silly. They can’t expect me to work on the first day of arriving. We have to get to know our cabin and the town.” He opened his car door and pushed himself out. Mike’s legs were stiff and tingling, so he rubbed and shook them, hoping life would come back. Taking a deep breath, Mike finally agreed that this was a good idea. He stretched his arms to the sides, letting out a big bear growl to help awaken his muscles. A devilish feeling of adventure filled the middle-aged man.
“Let’s get the car unloaded quickly. My stomach is reminding me that it’s dinner time.” He smiled at his wife as he opened the over packed trunk to their belongings. Anna pulled out the 2 travel cases and carried them to the front door with the keys. Leaning over to watch her open the front door, Mike juggled the rest of the luggage to ensure he only had to make one trip.