Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Our Dream Home

Our 5 year plan (10 years ago) was to get out of the city and move to the country.  You know, more gardening, maybe a horse or two, and possibly some chickens.  Take our (then) future kids to small town public schools that would be way better than inner city ones.  Reconnect with the land.

Well, sure enough.  Scott's Aunt Alana and Uncle Mike had done some housesitting for Harry and Margie while they went traveling.  They hosted family gatherings at the farm, and we fell in love with it.  So imagine how ecstatic we were to find out that Harry had decided to put the farm on the market.  He'd been meticulous about keeping it organic, plus there are some well established crops, plus outbuildings, pasture and a creek.  AND IT'S CHEAP!!!  WAY less than we expected to have to pay.  (Still just on the outer edge of the budget, but THIS PLACE!!)  We had to have it!

So, we came out to take the official tour.  Harry and Margie explained just about everything to the extent that we thought our brains would pop, but we thought we could handle it.  Harry seemed to go out of his way to say "As Is" at every opportunity.  AS IF we would have had it any other way!  Yeah, the master bath isn't finished (still isn't but I have the stuff to do it.  If the weather would turn nasty, I'd get started).  No, there is no central heat (we have a ducted woodburning furnace in the basement, and Scott cuts and splits all our wood himself).  The bank didn't even want to do the loan since there wasn't a "thermostatically controlled heating unit" but we got around that with the propane space heater that will keep the pipes from freezing.  There was no AC.  Most of the time, it's comfy, but after this record-breaking summer, we installed heat pumps in the bedrooms so we could sleep.  The barn is seriously in need of major repair, but those supports are holding up.  Ditto the coop, but it's working so far.  Sure it floods, but at least not into the house.  About the fanciest gadget we have (besides the heat pumps) is a heat lamp in one bathroom.

Well, it's been quite an adventure so far.  Installing a microwave on a cement wall.  Smoke billowing out of the vents on one of the coldest days of the year because the chimney needed to be cleaned.  Using the dishwasher as a drain board and washing by hand.  Most of the doors don't shut like they should.  There's a huge hump in the hardwood floor in the bathroom that I use in the middle of the night.  Cooking on a gas stove (I've always been used to electric, but gotta say, I like gas), and hauling wood in.  Finding out that a snake got in the basement.  Keeping chickens in the screen porch, and a kitten in the mud room.  Getting the outdoor shower fixed but forgetting to use it.  But this should help you understand why we love it:

View from the dining room through the sun room into the living room

Even on the coldest days, this passive solar really works.  Sometimes, I admit, I have wondered if Harry was right in the head.  He kept EVERYTHING.  EVERY LAST LITTLE THING.  Other days, I bless his name for just that.  We've found so many useful treasures in the stuff they left in the barns that otherwise would have cost more than I want to or can spend.  The modifications he made to the house all make sense now.  I felt bad at first when we moved in--our house sold and closed so quickly that, even though we'd let them know we put it on the market, I think they were surprised too.  They had so much invested in this land--time, money, and love, and it showed.  I was so glad to hear that they're doing well where they moved, and they're happy. 

And, in the meantime, we have our dream home that holds plenty of family, and we're investing our own love into it.  We're not doing it the same way Harry and Margie did, but dang if I don't feel warm and welcome in this home.  Seems like everyone does, even visitors.  Are the walls talking to me?  Maybe.  Goodness knows they've kept us safe and warm so far, with every sign of doing so for the next 100 years. 

The kids miss our old house sometimes, but it's got good new owners who will take care of it.  We have this dream home that will help take care of us.  We'll take good care of it and our land, and be better for it.  Our kids will be better for it.  May you all find your dream home someday.  May you be wise enough to know when you do.  And may you both take care of each other.

and it seems to be working.

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