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Home is where the chickens are?


We all know that saying, “Home is where the heart is.” Home is where the people we most love and care about are. Home is all about happy memories and warm fuzzies. 2020, however, has given us a slightly different perspective on what it means to call a place home.

In pre-pandemic times, home used to be where we would long to escape life’s trials and tribulations. After a rough day at work or school, we could look forward to a home-cooked meal with loved ones, or spending a quiet evening at home with a good book or movie. Ahhh…it’s good to be home sweet home.


With COVID living under lock down, we are now confined to our homes – spending time in our home offices while home-schooling our kids, eating mostly homemade meals day after day after day. We are homebound!


Jennifer and Jeremy Willey are no exception. When their family of five began looking for a new home last year with Madding Hill agent Pegi Cope, of course they had no idea what they would be in for this year. With Jeremy growing up in Montana and Jennifer being a veterinarian, acreage and plenty of space for animals to roam were top priorities on their wish list. Also of great importance was having enough room for parents to eventually move in.


The Willeys are third generation clients for Pegi. The business relationship that has evolved into a close family friendship began years ago when Pegi first assisted Jennifer’s mother, Peggy, and grandmother, Maxine, with the sale of a commercial building in downtown Portland. (Fun fact: Maxine’s building was completely transformed and used as the home base for a season of MTV’s reality television series The Real World back in the day).


It was a bit of a rocky road finding the Willey’s new home. They were originally in contract with a different property that ended up terminating. The house they finally purchased a little over a year ago had also been in contract with a different family. As it turned out, timing was everything, and thankfully for Jennifer and Jeremy, that transaction terminated as well, making way for them to purchase their dream home with river access on 10 acres. They moved in just a few months before the pandemic shut everything down. Talk about the perfect home to quarantine in!


Stuck at home on the range, the kids were told they could adopt some new family members to shelter in place with, so in moved the COVID chickens – 4 of them – Billie Bob Joe, Ivy, Minerva Louise and Sugarplum. Jennifer says the chickens follow them around like dogs and are with the kids every day!


Like most of us, the Willeys will be home for the holidays this year, but they’re probably OK with it. Words from the song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” will definitely have a slightly different meaning for all of us this year:


Christmas Eve will find me Where the love light gleams I’ll be home for Christmas If only in my dreams!


Merry Christmas from the Madding Hill Team!

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