9 February 2018 04:20PM
There’s a certain storyline that goes like this: A big city heroine, with a fast-paced career filled with wealth and success, feels her life has lost its charm. So she chucks it all away, and, in an attempt to recapture simplicity, pursues happiness in some bucolic, Old World setting. In some stories, the protagonist finds herself in Tuscany, in others on a Greek island, and in many it’s a tiny French village where she goes to reclaim her joie de vivre. Whatever the setting, there’s always a lovely old farmhouse, rich with history but often in need of restoration; there’s a garden that needs tending; and there’s a historic village where life is slow and the locals may be quirky, but always have something to teach. Somewhere in the course of the story the hero slows down. Somewhere along the way of restoring the old farmhouse, rediscovering the earth, and lingering over good meals shared with new friends, the hero gives up her endless pursuit of happiness, and pauses long enough to savor the moment.
The twist on this tale, for author Jamie Cat Callan and her husband Dr. Bill Thompson, was that the life of simple pleasures and the lovely, old farmhouse in the historic village with lots of character wasn’t found abroad, but right in the Hudson Valley hamlet of Valatie.