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We drove out of town on a two-lane road that quickly lost the center line and became a narrow, paved road. We drove over a bridge, an actual creek with water. A small white frame house sat beside the road just past the creek and we turned there, onto another narrow, paved road.

Signs posted on the corner warned “Not a Through Street”. 

They meant it.  A little further down the road a huge wooden barricade blocked the end of the street. Wide and tall, painted a bright yellow, black lettering proclaimed “CLOSED”. Thick groves of trees and brush spread off to each side.

I had been so focused on that sign I didn’t look to my right until Alice turned into another driveway.

I looked up and fell in love.

The house was perfect.

It was another wood frame house, larger than the one back at the corner, with a wide porch across the front. White painted rockers sat on each side of the steps leading to the front door.

Two stories, the roof over the porch formed a balcony, with lacy wooden railings. I could see the tops of a pair of French doors that must open onto that balcony.

Shaded by several great oak trees whose branches almost joined over the house, it looked like a Norman Rockwell painting.

Delicate woodwork scrolled across the front, framing the porch and behind that tall windows looked back at us, two on each side of the door.

I opened the car door and stepped outside, trying not to step on my bottom lip. Trees everywhere, bird song, and in the background, I could hear running water, real running water gurgled and splashed along.

“I’ll take it,” I said, having not even been inside. I opened the gate in the picket fence and walked right on up, taking the porch steps two at a time.

Alice laughed and followed me, pulling keys from her bag. “You haven’t even seen inside, Abigail. Really. It is older,” she said, pulling open the screen door and fitting a key in the lock. “It may be a little musty, hasn’t been shown in a while.”