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Our Land, Past & Present: Meeting the Bonettis

by Tyler

We just wanted to say hello. We are the ones that you bought the property from. We have been following your web site to see what you are doing with it. We noticed that you are working on the land now.

We hope that you are enjoying the property. We thought we might come up sometime to meet you and see your progress. We hope that you will be very happy there.

Talk to you soon,

Ray & Sheila

It was an awesome day. This morning, the couple we bought our land from came to visit us—all the way from their home in Connecticut! It was about ten o'clock when they arrived, bearing doughnuts, coffee, and a penchant for story telling. We hit it off immediately, and spent the next several hours walking the land, getting to know one-another, and learning loads of interesting things about our property.

Over sips of coffee and bites of donut in the shade, Sheila told us of the time they spent here, of stargazing and flower gardening, and of their teeny little dog, Piccina, who loved to bark at frogs in the pond. She also told us about the other property they used to own in Vermont, and how these days, they're much more excited about heading south to Florida than they are about roughing it in the woods.

Sheila Bonetti Piccina the Tiny Dog Dunkin' Donuts

Meanwhile, Renato, a full-blooded Italian who moved to the US when he was ten, delighted us with story after story, punctuated with stereotypically Italian gesticulations and facial expressions. Thoroughly amused by his dramatic tales, we were especially excited to learn that we cycled through his home town when we were in Italy (but neither of us can remember the name).

Ray Bonetti Ray Bonetti Ray Bonetti

Through their stories, it became clear how much time and effort Sheila and Renato had poured into the land. We're both filled with gratitude for all the work they did. Now that we have a taste for what site work entails, we can hardly thank them enough for roughing in the road, making a clearing, carving paths through the woods, and having a well drilled.

The most exciting thing we learned about the land was brief a history of the pond, which was was once little more than a puddle at the edge of our woods. When Sheila and Renato noticed that it never dried up, they brought in an excavator to dig a hole around it, exposing the spring below. They built a dock, and then a few months later, the hole had filled up—and the rest is history!

Our Pond?

One of the first things I did this Spring was jump into the pond. When I told Renato how I was crestfallen to discover it was little more than a wading depth, he smiled broadly and set the record straight. It's easily six feet deep—they would've gone further but they hit ledge. It seems we just need to dredge it out and clean it up. Maybe we'll have a swimming hole on our land after all!

Eventually, it was time for Ray and Sheila to carry on, but before they departed, they left us with an unexpected and fantastic gift: a small collection of movies they filmed during the time they owned the property. As avid documentarians, we were thrilled with the present, and could hardly wait to watch it! With their permission, we've added the footage to our journal here:

Sheila and Renato, it was such a joy to meet you both—please come back and visit again!

Ray & Sheila Bonetti
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    This is so neat! We got to meet and chat with the person we bought our house from - a 93 year old woman who had lived in the home since she was 20! It was an amazing opportunity and we hope to get to talk to her more as more as we discover more things about the house and land.

    I also saw you got caught in the storm a week ago... it was very intense on our side of the state. Tons of cloud to ground lightning and wind and we lost power for several hours. Today we were out for a walk and found a maple in a yard nearby with a huge hole burned out of it - apparently one of the trees the lightning hit.
    Posted by Charlie Inyo on June 9th, 2013 at 8:17 PM
    That's awesome. I bet she had tons of interesting stories to share. 73 years is a long time to get to know a place.

    Those storms were intense. This weekend we discovered they knocked over at least two small trees in our woods. Yeesh.
    Posted by Tyler on June 10th, 2013 at 11:30 AM
    That is so cool that they dropped by!

    We have a source-fed lake/pond too at my dad's - let me know if you'd like his trick to get the algae out naturally & easily!
    Posted by Magalie on June 16th, 2013 at 2:06 PM