In the middle of August, I finally got the momentum I had been waiting for to kick-start my life and end the long period of stagnation I’d been stuck in since last November. I had seven days to pack up and ship my entire apartment and clear out of my job. A coworker of mine was getting ready to leave about a week before me, but she waited for me to wrap up my business and we drove from central California to the heart of the Midwest to move on to the next chapter of our lives.
Three days after we set out on the road, we snuck up on my husband late at night – he was watching Red Dawn and drinking some beers at our friend’s apartment. He took me to get my first look at the house we bought. It was tough to see in the dark, but I knew we had picked a beautiful new home. It is quiet, secluded, peaceful, and most importantly a gorgeous vintage treasure.
The single, solitary drawback to this house is that the previous owners were a bit overzealous and under-knowledgeable in the home and garden improvement department. Tons of half-rigged DIY projects plus the recent drought has left us with a lot of improvements to make in the coming months. The work will be tough, but rewarding.
The previous owner spent quite a bit of time removing trees from the yard as they started drying out and dying, but never took any interest in burning them to warm the house. So, we’ve got piles and piles of wood around the perimeter of our property to split and keep our home warm for free this winter.
One of the coolest parts of the house is the gorgeous three story chimney, connected to one fireplace on the main floor and another in the basement. It’s a beautiful work of 1930′s stone masonry, with a bunch of pieces of petrified wood from Yosemite. Both fireplaces also still have their original wrought iron pot hooks and grate, though the cast iron kettle I saw hanging in one older photo of the house seems to have disappeared – I am keeping my eyes peeled for a good replacement.
There is also a brick and mortar outdoor grill/barbecue/oven type thing, with a small sink and prep counter. I’m not exactly sure how or when we will end up using this, because the iron grate and fire box are super rusty.
I’m now coming to the end of my fourth week here. Most of our household goods have been delivered, and we’ve made a few big depletions from our home improvement savings in the name of appliances and comfy furniture. I know it will be awhile before we get everything organized and all the scrubbing and sweeping settles down, but around the corner lies preparing our land for working in the spring, splitting wood to keep us warm through the winter, repairs and remodeling, planning and planting, and thus the never-ending cycle of home maintenance has begun for us. For now, I’m happy to explore my new hometown, chase new opportunities, and relax in the easy comfort of reunion with my best friend.