Time at Tanglewood and the Maker of Space

It’s time to admit we’ve named this place, this becoming hobby farm of ours.


It’s named for the woods that cover half our property, a name meant to summon the fairies that populate the books we read (Fablehaven, anyone?). Tanglewood rose to the top of our selection list, above Sugar Hill (turns out, we don’t have time in March for maple syruping) and Hunca Munca Acres (Maya’s still lobbying for that one). Plus, like anything else we do, it’s a bit nonsensical.

We burrowed a trail through the woods. Elle came behind an populated it with fairies.


These days, amid the dizzying pace of modern life, I strive for spaciousness. This seems to be my primary function as a parent and as a person.  If I can’t be a timelord, being a maker of space is the next best thing.

I make space on our calendar, using nothing more than a red pen, supreme stubbornness, and that unpopular little word “no.” Sorry, kids, you can’t join every club and take up every hobby all at once. Calendar space is critical. Without it, our opportunities to know and support and guide one another would be limited to van rides and bi-monthly family dinners. Free time is restorative, for all of us.

This little reading space hasn’t been vacant since I drug the chair up from our basement

I create physical spaces that inspire rest and play and imagination. Every so often, moving just a few small things opens the kids up to reading or frog hunting somewhere new. It requires no extra funds, just rearrange existing furniture for inside alterations. Outside, an axe, a garden rake, and some sturdy gloves lead us to a new path in these tangled woods. Even simply setting the binoculars and a microscope near the back door has inspired a whole new level of woods exploration.

Take a giggle-filled ride in the hammock or let your avian neighbors sing you to sleep.

And as a family, we orchestrate grand memories and moments to celebrate the little things together. Like delivering May Day baskets to our neighbors or hosting an impromptu, four generation May Day weekend.

Family around the fire pit. A tradition that survives the millennia.

I realize none of these space-making tactics is unique to our family.  Not in the least. But lately, I’ve been feeling more at ease with this role I play. This job of being space maker.

Finally, I’ve begun to feel at home here.  Really at home, with wide spaces and cozy shadows, traditions and memories, and the room to wander or run.


It fits. We fit. The move was worth it.

A book, a treat, and another favorite reading spot.

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