The Three Homes on the Hill Only Seemed the Same

On the outside, these three homes had similar characteristics. They were each intricately designed by nationally acclaimed teams, constructed by the finest local craftsman and decorated by interior design firms well suited for each style of home. Each of the estates was built by first generational wealth. The first was a working horse ranch; the second was a horse farm expressing the leisure pleasures of the owners, their children and friends; the third was used as a retreat for the family.

Home #1 was the pride and joy of its owners. The lady of the house had her prized horse stable and ranch on the vast rolling hill and green meadow property. She hired a general manager to oversee the ranch. He was awarded for his dedication by working for the lady of the house until her death.  He was responsible for the raising and selling of national champion horses.

The gentleman of the house was a very successful business man who spent most of his time near his business, four states away. He loved his work and the reputation he built with his very successful company and generous community engagements. 

They loved their four children, three girls and one boy and had staff to care for their children as they, the parents had very busy schedules with their passions or business. One daughter took after her mother and she too became a champion rider. Another daughter, the pretty one enjoyed her parties and standing in her social community. The youngest daughter, felt lost, unable to match her beautiful sister or her champion horse riding sister. She turned to alcohol while still a teenager. The son, who was groomed to take over the family business, died, his body never found, after a tragic helicopter crash in the jungles another country. 

Once their daughters got married, the gentleman and lady of the house took this opportunity to remove themselves further from the new lives of their children. After all, they didn’t want to meddle. This seemed like quite a natural thing to do quite frankly. After all, it was time for their adult children to build their own lives.

The lady of the house on the hill immersed herself in her horses. She became known internationally for her equestrian finesse as a driver.  She was the envy and the star of the carriage world for her driving skills-eight in hand-controlling eight horses with sixteen reins between her fingers. Her reputation even garnished an invitation to drive at the head of a presidential inauguration.  

The gentleman of the house spent most of his time in his townhome by his company. He was content near ‘the action’ and near one of his children’s family who he would occasionally invite to join him for lunch at the club.

Suddenly, however, while taking a break from his work, the gentleman of the home on the hill had a fatal heart attack. His family’s world began to change. His will left everything to his wife except for a generous amount that was put in trust for each of his fourteen grandchildren. That was fine. There was an understanding that his much younger brother would buy his interest out but no paperwork was ever signed. Instead the lady of the house inherited her husband’s business, four states and many interests away. As you may have already suspected, the family business was sold for pennies on the dollar to the gentleman’s brother. 

When the lady of the house passed on, her large estate and its goods were sold at an invitation only estate sale.  The family could bid with antique dealers and collectors on memories, stories and mementos of experiences they had with their grandmother. But they were just another bidder on her estate. The grandchildren had nothing to cultivate or understand their family story with. The thread of harmony and continuity for this family was now completely severed. It was as if their heritage and legacy had never existed. Family relationships had been tarnished or destroyed after the gentleman of the house’s passing.

This family is now like most families, living from generation to generation, reestablishing and defining itself one generation at a time, as if each generation is separate and segregate from ones preceding.  The past lives on only in the genealogical alcoves of lists and evidence. Although this is a common and seemingly ‘natural’ occurrence, it doesn’t have to be. A garden only needs to be tended for it not to return to its ‘natural’ state. A family need only put the systems in place and use the tools that cultivate a family’s legacy for it not to fall into its ‘natural’ state. 

And so it was for the home on the hill #1. Next time I will share with you the story of home on the hill #2.

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