Toby’s farmhouse was just as beautiful as the rest of the, “new rich” houses that had moved into the area in the past decade. His family had been handing the property down to generations of his kin since the 1600’s. There had been plenty of offers in recent years from the, “new rich” to purchase his land, but Toby was a stubborn man, a proud a man. This was his farm and he wasn’t giving it up to no one. He figured the reason they kept coming around was because he had no one, as of yet, to hand it down to.
Toby Matheson was still single and in his late forties. He was a simple man and this, combined with his stubbornness had been a large, contributing factor to his bachelorhood. The Matheson farm, which had run fallow over time, was place of sanctuary for him. He maintained the property enough to enjoy a somewhat solitary life with his best friend Lily, the golden Labrador retriever. In Toby’s mind Lilly was the only affection he needed. Her loyalty was his company. He didn’t have many friends and he liked it that way, and his “friends” were mostly acquaintances anyway. He was also grateful that the farm was a considerable distance away from the nearest neighbor. The property was large enough that he and Lilly could live their lives the way they wanted to without outsider distractions.
Summers in the Hudson Valley could get hot despite the idea that the cold season stubbornly hung on for as long as it could. In August it was down right hot and humid during the day and still and warm at night. Toby loved dusk in August on Matheson farm. He would sit outside on his porch with Lilly and watch the sun go down, beer in hand, listening the sound of the woods bordering the northern end of the front yard. Some nights the trees would sway in a gentle summer night’s breeze or just before a storm. The leaves would dance on their stems, flickering back and forth against the branches. It was a nightly ritual Toby held quite dear.
Tonight was one of the still nights, the woods ahead a silent fortress wall. Toby sat in his porch chair taking in the evening sipping his lager. The farmer’s simplicity came to a peak during these moments as he stared out into the growing dark with just about nothing on his mind, watching, listening to his world. Them, “new rich” folk would probably call this Zen or meditation. To Toby, it was just a nightcap. His eyes soon fell to his, almost, empty bottle and he let out a long, emotionally exhausted sigh. It sure was quiet tonight. Save for the crickets’ song, the stillness was impacting .