Willow watched as her new home came into view. She had to admit it was gorgeous as her emerald eyes took in the welcoming charm of her new home. A remodeled two story farmhouse complete with a wrap-around porch, porch swing and apparently a farm dog that reminded her of Old Yeller.
"Here we are. 1776 Meadow Run."
Green eyes quickly scanned the landscape. The place looked just like it did the last time she visited. Wild flowers growing every where. Mature trees shading the house. Her uncle's love for the home place dotted the yard everywhere. There were birdhouses hanging from trees with an accompanying birdbath. Several manicured rose bushes stood tall against the cedar house. A small smile spread across her face as her thoughts were filled with what awaited in t he backyard. "Hmmm... apple trees."
She quickly paid her cab fare, grabbed her backpack and scrambled out into the crisp Ohio air stretching her Levi clad legs.
<Ohhh... that feels good.>
She barely noticed the cab leaving the long drive. Her attention having been grabbed by the yellow dog now approaching her.
"Nice doggie... good doggie..."
Willow placed her backpack on the ground.
"Please don't bite me..."
The dog walked up to the red head slowly. She bent over and reached out her hand. After getting a good sniff of Willowhand the dog quickly determined the small stranger to be no threat.
"Yay... no biting. And that is a good thing..."
She glanced to the dog's collar and smiled as she read its name.
The dog's ears twitched and Willow smiled as Dusty turned and headed back to his resting spot on the porch.
Ohio was a far cry from Sunnydale and the late September air served as a brisk reminder. Willow pulled her thin jacket together as she grabbed her backpack and headed for the front door.
Her thoughts momentarily filled with her late uncle as she stopped just outside the door. He had stepped over this threshold countless time during his life. His passing wasn't a surprise. He had been ill for quite sometime. However, the fact that he left his estate to Willow had been a surprise.
She reached out and twisted the doorknob making a silent vow to try and love this place half as much as her uncle had.
"Welcome home me."
The living room seemed to welcome Willow with open arms. Against the far wall stood a massive stone fireplace. It looked as though it had been poured through the ceiling and every stone had landed perfectly in place.
"Oh... fire place... fire... equals warmth... equals no more cold Willow."
The house definitely reflected her uncle's love of nature. Everything was so rustic. Willow had to admit she loved the old west feel of the place, especially the Navajo rugs that were draped over the open balcony.
After lighting the gas fireplace, Willow walked on through to the kitchen.
She had always dreamed that her home would have a large kitchen with a center island and here it was.
"Not that I'm gonna cook a bunch of gourmet meals... but if the mood strikes..."
She walked on through and entered the dining room. The large bay window looked out to what Willow dreaded the most: the stables.
"It just had to be horses..."
Her uncle's estate had consisted of the house, 300 hundred acres of fenced in pasture with several ponds and at the present time 18 horses. If she remember correctly only three belonged to her uncle, the rest were being fostered and awaiting adoption. However, she bubbled over with gratitude knowing that he entrusted her with his beloved home and animals. Not to mention the handlers who had agreed to stay on after his death.
"Handlers... thus the handling of horses will be left to them... not me..."
Willow glanced at her watch will a smile on her face. According to her calculations, and assuming there were no catastrophes along the way, the movers would be arriving some time soon with the rest of her things. She decided in the meantime to walk out back and check out the apple trees.
Living in Ohio would take some getting used to but Willow was ready for the change. The slamming screen door seemed a thousand miles away as Willow focused on the apple trees in front of her.
She knew she would be able to continue working from home with only the occasional business trip here and there. And she knew Buffy and the gang would fly out and visit her.
Willow snatched an apple from a weighted down limb and took a bite. "Mmmmmm... sweet."
She just hoped she would be able to make some new friends in this strange and chilly and apple friendly new place.