Well, it’s been really quiet around here for a long time. A full-time, grown-up job (that I love) at a start-up working long hours has left little time for writing and updates. Things have been pretty much in a steady holding pattern on the homefront (work, walk Zeus, Buffy reruns, nachos, sleep, work, lol)… that is, until now. The farm is moving again, but this time under the best possible circumstances (other than it being late-January in Chicago).
I bought a house! I closed on Tuesday after 6 months of back and forth and reams of paperwork… all worth it. The farm, and Zeus & I, finally have a real home to call our own (ok, the bank will actually be letting us borrow it for the indefinite future, but those are details, and not for long I hope- it was a really great deal).
It’s about 130 years old, and I’m the third owner (the elderly previous owner bought it as a rental from the two Bohemian sisters whose Czech family built the original house, and the Depression-era addition). He let them live there until they had to move into a nursing home, then rented it out until he grew old, and with an ill-wife, decided to sell it. Then they were gracious enough to wait while I patiently wrangled a loan which took FOREVER, and I’m so grateful for their patience. Other than a few updates (kitchen, bathrooms, wiring, thankfully) and laminate floors and painted trim, it’s pretty much original- trim, windows, layout, radiant heat, which is exactly what I wanted. I walked in and knew that it was going to be home if I could make it happen (and I’ve looked at hundreds of buildings over the years… none felt so right).
Here’s the dining room and kitchen with built-in, and (oh stars) there’s a little library off the living room with the cutest glass door.
I can’t wait to show it off, and stretch out and settle in… finally unpack all of these boxes once and for all and shape a space and soil that will be mine for I hope a very long time. And dinner parties! Oh, how I’ve missed them, and you all!
And it has an adorable little in-law apartment downstairs, so I will finally have that B&B I’ve dreamed of for years! I’ll be listing the space on AIRBNB and will hopefully meet and share my little slice of the map with lots of interesting strangers (and help pay down the mortgage, #blessed).
And because the universe has a funny way of testing you and testing you and then sometimes showering you with gifts, I’m also finally closing on the lots I started buying in a tax sale years ago, down the street from the cabin. Since so much has happened, and life had other plans than my own, I’ll be selling those and hopefully, hopefully, buying the lot next door to my new house. *fingers crossed* The dream hasn’t died, it just looks different. And from here, baby, it looks pretty damn good!
Here’s what the yard looked like when I first saw the place back in September and put in an offer… not much now but so much potential (and a pheasant’s-back/driad’s saddle: Cerioporus squamosus).
The lot to the south is vacant and for sale… dream a little dream for me, willya? Need to time the sale of my EGP lots to buy this one before someone puts a condo on it and blocks all the sun to my yard. Plus, it’s the only way I’ll get alley access to get truckloads of mulch delivered, and have room for a south-facing attached greenhouse, and all (ok, some) of the fruit trees I want, and enough garden beds with full-sun to can things to feed us all year, and a parking spot for guests, and room for a brick or clay oven, a fish-pond and a hop-trellis patio and maybe a little pool or a hot tub and big compost bins and enough rain tanks to divert all the roof water, and maybe a tiny house or a yurt for guests and more AIRBNB space and and and and… ok. Maybe not room for ALL that, but we’ll see, if it happens).
For now though, this is all mine, and it’s pretty much a blank slate! Can’t wait to fill it with veggie beds, a chicken coop, beehive, fruit trees & bright native flowers, a little firepit for warmth and magic, and room for friends to gather and fill this place with love.