Conservation

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Ida and her daughter have bought some wooded land outside the village. Farms on that road never prospered; the families moved away after a generation or two. When Ida was a child, sixty years ago, there were blueberries, and cellarholes with lilacs and daylilies, but the spruce and cedar were gaining ground. The two women have cleared out a frog pond, placed some stones to step on where the path was muddy, set out some wildflowers where they ought to thrive. They're slowly piling back a scattered old stone wall, cutting brush and the trash trees, giving the good trees elbow room. They found a square of stones, two granite doorsteps, all that's left of the old schoolhouse. Ida's father went there. ``I'm getting pretty handy with an ax, for my age,'' Ida wrote. ``We go out Saturdays soon as it's light, and sometimes stay till dark. We won't build a camp. It's just the land we like.'' She said, ``You'll think we're crazy, buying that land, doing all that work. But we do enjoy it. I always wanted to own a piece of land up home.''

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