Though her new home in Eldersburg is really about 30 miles from her previous home in North Laurel, Jo Anne Norton said "it seems like a world away."
Her family's previous homes had largely been in the Washington suburbs, but even with the present development in Carroll County, "you still get the feel you're in the country," Norton said.
Part of the reason that their old home, on one-fifth of an acre in a townhouse development in North Laurel, now seems so urban lies in the variety of wildlife her family has seen since moving to Eldersburg last fall, she said.
They have watched many deer grazing in fields behind their home, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, groundhogs, a red fox and, at a bird feeder and bath, more than 15 kinds of birds -- cardinals, blue jays, bluebirds, scarlet tanagers and red-bellied and downey woodpeckers among them.
Their present lot of more than two acres also includes 30 mature DTC trees, including black walnut, English walnut, chestnut and pecan, and an orchard with older apple, cherry and pear trees and some newly planted trees that will add plums and peaches to the fruit grown on the property.
Where the rear of their property does not end in woods, a band of young trees has been planted.
The view from the second floor extends across farmland to Piney Run Park, 2,500 feet away in one direction, and gives enough of a glimpse of nearby Liberty Road in another to give advance notice of road conditions on a snowy winter morning.
The house, which Norton describes as a contemporary two-story, has brick and vinyl siding with floor-to-ceiling windows in the living and dining rooms and a Palladian window in the two-story entrance way.
In addition to the living room, which is connected to a family room with fireplace, and the dining room, the first floor includes a windowed eat-in area in the kitchen. The kitchen has bleached oak cabinets and blue counter tops. It connects to a garage and a laundry room, which includes a window. A deck at the rear of the house is complete except for the stairs to the ground.
On the second floor are a master bedroom and bath, the latter with a tub in a corner under the window that provides the view of road conditions.
There are also bedrooms and a bathroom for the two boys in the family.
A study and family room houses gear for the whole family, including two computers, one for Norton, a Reading, Pa., native who does free-lance word processing, and another for her husband, Marc Norton, a software engineer originally from upstate New York.
The family includes their sons, Jeffrey, 9, and David, 13, and Sophie, a schnauzer, and Garfield, a sociable cockatoo who sometimes perches on a shoulder or window sill.
Part of a nine-acre development called Azalea Acres, the house sits at the end of Formosa Drive, one-fifth of a mile off Liberty Road about two miles out from its intersection with Route 32. Norton said the development was started about three years ago by Robert L. Moser and Sons Inc.
She added that they got the keys Sept. 20, their 15th wedding anniversary, after having the house inspected.
She said the professional home inspector told her husband that he should "never have a reason to get on a ladder outside," and that it was "one of the most maintenance-free homes" he ever inspected.
Inside, the walls are a light cream and the wall-to-wall carpeting is tan. Decorative touches include several colorful area rugs and a collection of ceramic artwork done by the boys in school, displayed on a center shelf of a china cabinet in the dining room.
Despite being close to shopping and having easy commuting, Norton said the home gave them the space they wanted for their boys in a quiet, private atmosphere.
Pub Date: 8/04/96