I have been stalking Craigslist. It is exhausting. The rents in our county have nearly doubled. Mention eight cats (let alone a dog, chickens, ducks, and goats…and self employment and bad credit) and it’s amazing how quickly someone else gets the house! Doug and I talked about what we wanted. Do we want to give up our farm animals and move closer to town? No. Do we want to pick up extra work so we can afford something more? No. So we started looking at towns 30-45 minutes away from where we are now. Really just a shot down a dirt road from here but they are not familiar to us so they felt very far. Even there, dilapidated trailers or houses in town that didn’t allow animals was all we could find.
I walked by the desk and quickly typed in the computer-memorized web address for Craigslist to take a quick look to see if there was anything new. A brief post had been listed an hour prior. It didn’t give very much information, nor did it mention animals, but I did not dilly dally by emailing, I called straight away. We hopped in the car and went to see it fifteen minutes later.
Even though I had not given the landlords a clear answer yet, they had turned down potential seekers after we came to see the place. The couple used to run cattle and there are pens and chicken coops on the property. They like honey bees. There is a large garden already fenced. There is a clothes line. There is a well. Hold onto your hats folks, there is a wood cook stove attached to a propane one in the kitchen! There is everything we could desire.
It is few miles due south of the sleepy town of Calhan. Not very far, about forty minutes from where we are now. I can still pick up the baby to watch her. I can afford the extra gas money because the rent is cheaper than the townhome I rented some sixteen years ago. Blessingly low rent. This could be a place that could stand out in the minds of our children and grandchildren as “Grammie and Papa’s house”. A fun retreat in the country. A place we can stay for a long time. I am so relieved (as Doug is) to set ourselves into a place and stay.
The owners of the property have their house on the land as well. His grandfather bought the old house we will be renting many years ago and the house itself whispers stories of its past and of joyous events. It sits on ten acres where on a clear day one can see from New Mexico to Denver. The mountains majestically framing the view. Mature trees surround the homestead. It is a peaceful place.
We are putting a bit of work into the house before we move in as the last tenants did not love it like I already do. Yesterday our interns, Ethan and Stephanie, went and helped us remove the carpet. Beneath it we found two layers of linoleum and beneath that lay in secret the original wood floor. I nearly cried. I will be painting the main rooms a creamy antique white with a slight gold undertone. This house longs for bright colors and exposed windows. There are seventeen feet of windows in the living room alone! I will share before and after photos as we go, but come along with me as I give you the initial tour!
There is a second bedroom but it is so dark with the wood paneling and the small window I could not get a good shot of it. It will be brightened up and turned into a guest bedroom and will hold all of our apothecary items.
Now come into the warmest part of the house…
Now come see the yard…