Saturday, October 19, 2019

The New House

We've lived in the new house closing on two months now. Everything is unpacked, all the books are on the shelves (though not yet back in order), and the cats have reconciled themselves to their fates. It is time for an update!

Good things about living in our new house:

(1) It's less than half a mile from the university, so when I'm done working for the day, I can walk home. (Previously, I had to hang around waiting for Dr. Skull to finish working and come pick me up, and on days when I had workshop at night, I had to stay all day and into the evening, which meant an exhausting 14 hour day.) This means I am able to write every day, instead of just on the weekends and sometimes on the days I don't teach.

(2) Because I'm walking home, I get more exercise. Also it's a beautiful walk.

(3) The house has lovely hardwood floors, and big windows with wide window sills. It also has a tiny screened back porch, which the French doors open onto. Now that fall has (finally) arrived, we have the windows and the French doors open most of the time. The cats love the little porch, and the dog loves sitting on the window sills grumbling at the squirrels in our little forest.

Jasper on the window sill

(4) As I think I mentioned previous, the house sits on about an acre of wooded land. This gives it a secluded feeling which really isn't legitimate -- we're right in the middle of the city, maybe two miles from the heart of downtown Fort Smith, and only a mile from the interstate. But all these trees create a sound barrier, and someone very close by has chickens, and a rooster, so it feels rural here.

(5) Also we have rabbits living in the hedgerow.

(6) Did I mention we have a hedgerow?

(7) The house is maybe sixty or seventy years old, and has all the features of an older house -- the doors are all solid wood, the doorknobs are all heavy brass, the floors are wooden, the windows are casement windows, sort of, vertical windows that crank outwards. There's a swinging door on the kitchen, and the only closet is in the master bedroom, and has clearly been added on. The garage is detached, and also had been clearly added on. There's a little dog run between it and the house. Also, it has a tin roof, which is proving to be interesting, now that the oak trees are shedding their acorns. In short, there are many adorable features. Did I mention the metal chairs under the fruit tree out back? I can't figure out what the fruit is. Maybe in the spring.

(8) A gas stove. I love gas stoves.

(9) A gas fireplace. It hasn't been cold enough to use this yet, but I am expecting to love it.

(10) Wonderful spaces in wonderful rooms. I wish I hadn't lost my phone, because I'd like to insert a picture here of the tiny area where I have my office. Maybe I will get the kid (the kid is home for his fall break -- he took the picture of the cat above) to take one for me later, and add it in. The front room, where we have most of the books, and also our work table, is also beautiful. That's where the fireplace is. Here's the view from Dr. Skull's office:

Also a view of our back acres

(11) A wonderful landlord. Seriously, not only has he fixed everything that we've asked him to fix, promptly and at once -- including a tree that went down the first week we moved in -- he has, of his own free will, bought a new air conditioning and heating system to replace the ancient heating system and window units that the house came with.

Things we don't like:

Really not much. The old house was within walking distance of a post office, a branch of the public library, and a wonderful little grocery store, and this house is within walking distance of nothing except the university, so we have to drive if we want to go buy anything. That's the one drawback, I guess.

Oh, and for the first three weeks we got mail only now and then, which caused us to miss paying some bills, which annoyed the electric company. But that's all straightened out now and we're getting mail regularly at last.

Thanks again to everyone who helped us move! We love it here so much!

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