I don’t know why I was annoyed that day, but I was. I needed to go to the health food store in Parker. Emily wanted to come along. She wanted her boyfriend, Bret, to come along too. However, he couldn’t get to our house. He was seven miles east of our town at his friend’s house. It was out of my way and he needed to be picked up.
Emily and Bret had been dating for months now. He was a really nice kid and they seemed to bring out the best in each other. They had a miscarriage and in that dreadful event, Emily seemed to snap back into my old Emily. They had grown closer through it and were now practically inseparable. I drove to Kiowa to pick him up. Muttering to myself the whole way. As we pulled out of the drive to the trailer park after picking him up, I saw it. A derelict yellow house. Empty. For rent. It sat on two lots. One of which held a compilation of dilapidated raised beds. I called the number and left a message.
I went home and looked at Craig’s List, again, to see if anything new was available and there in front of me was the derelict yellow house in Kiowa! I perused the pictures posted there, the claw foot bathtub, the nice open living room, the old bedrooms and fell in love. I called again. Turns out it was one of my customers, Mary, that was the go between for the landlords living in Oklahoma and us. She gave us a rave review and we were in. We met Mary at the house to be shown around. Doug had not yet seen it. We drove into the driveway next to the raised beds. Visions of fresh soil and multiple varieties of vegetables filled our heads. A two car garage stood bravely ahead. The doors didn’t open well and it was quite old. Our cars wouldn’t actually fit in there, but it was a nice space for…whatever! As we entered the fenced in area behind the house we caught sight of the very old chicken coop. Slightly crooked, but begging to house feathered friends again. The old well was covered. The history of the house whispered to us as we walked gently through the yard. The long clothes line had me smitten at first glance. The wooden swing that sat under the giant elm hemmed in my lilac bushes set my imagination awhirl as I envisioned morning coffee and writing on the swing taking in the intoxication of the lilacs in spring. The deck in the back was fine for entertaining. We both loved it, and we hadn’t even seen the house yet.
The two bedrooms and two baths would suit our purposes. The girls had to fight over who got the basement. Shyanne won.
Andrew was by then in an apartment in Denver going to college and pursuing his music career. My old Andy again. Shyanne had relaxed a bit too, becoming bored with being in trouble. She quickly found a job nearby and was consumed with school, work, and friends.
The old farmhouse kitchen was enchanting. Larger than the one we had before. I envisioned the farmgirls before me working swiftly around the kitchen in their aprons.
The house had been built in 1920 and was on highway 86 on the main drag before the devastating flood in the 1930’s where it presumably was moved or floated to its present location here.
It even had a front porch. And a crooked pine tree out front. My, we were in love. We could have a huge garden, herbs, and chickens. We backed to the fairgrounds so it seemed our property went on and on. Our neighbors were all friendly and they didn’t know a thing about us. Perfect.
We painted and two weeks later we moved in. Then the real journey began…