Sunday, March 30, 2008

So you think you want to live in the country...

So about two years ago I gave up on city life. Kaput. Was done. Couldn't stand condo living any longer. I had the grand idea that I would buy a farm (which is not at all the same as buying THE farm). Actually, what really brought it all about was a job change into the Perfect Job and the need to move closer to work. But... a girl can multi-task, and so I went about searching for the Perfect Farm. Given that the Perfect Job came with a pay cut, I knew the Perfect Farm would be a tiny one. Thankfully, I have a fondness for old houses. I really prefer them to be just a step up from condemned (or so it would seem looking at the houses I had been eyeing for years). What I wanted was a beat-up old farmhouse with character. Realtors love that, by the way. "I want a mostly falling down, very inexpensive, old farmhouse with character, please". Clearly you will be making tons of money off me, Mr. Realtor.
My realtor (who shall remain un-named as he turned out to be a weinie), was a bit apprehensive when I showed him the house I had found online (I love realtracs.com!). But he very dutifully drove me out to the middle of nowhere to show me the farmhouse I had chosen. I believe his first words upon driving up were, "Huh. It doesn't look near as bad as the pictures." HaHaHa. Clearly the man has no vision when it comes to beat up farmhouses. I was intrigued (not in love just yet, but with the beginning stages of serious like).
The house was (and is) great. It's a basic four square farmhouse with a kitchen and indoor bathroom added after the fact. Rumor has it that the first part was built in 1937. A neighbor (who must be a zillion years old) remembers when the outhouse was torn down and indoor plumbing installed. Clearly this is a high class establishment with all the modern comforts and amenities.
The big selling point though was the secret staircase. I love secret staircases. It's like playing Clue or reading the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. Every cool story had a secret staircase. Well, now I have one too. It's more fun that you can even imagine. You should be green with envy because it is every bit as cool as you always thought it would be. Granted, mine leads to a rather mundane attic, but still... the possibilities of a secret staircase are endless. The secret stair was a leading factor in why I actually bought the house. (And no, I won't tell you where it is. You will have to discover it for your very own self.)
To make a long story somewhat shorter, I did buy the house and its accompanying acre and a half. Not quite the ten acres I longed for, but one makes do. Thankfully my pitiful little acre and a half is surrounded by a zillion acres of pasture. The nearest house is a football field away. I am surrounded by cows and sheep and whatnot and I don't have to maintain any of it. It's like having a farm condo. The last two years have been filled with lots of remodeling work and my ongoing adaptation to country and small town life. For a city girl, it's been quite the revelation.