Tuesday, November 17, 2015

House on the Prairie

We moved to Kansas... well, not really, but it feels like this new place is WAY out there on the prairie. Now, in reality, it only takes me about 5 minutes longer to get to work than it took me at the last place, but the difference in perception is staggering. As you go east of the major road on the east side of town, the world flattens out and opens up to large prairie spaces. This flat expanse makes everything seem much further away than it is. This landscape is about the direct opposite of the last house, with the mountains and the trees. Here, it is exceedingly flat, and while there are a number of trees on this 5-acre property, they are spread out and planted as landscaping instead of naturally occurring. It is the very essence of prairie, down to the open field of cows behind the property line.

The house itself is enormous. It's a ranch, and the entire thing is built not much more than one room wide, with rooms lined up next to each other. The basement could easily have a single lane bowling alley in it from end to end. The house needs a number of cosmetic updates, which the homeowner, who we have met briefly, is aware of (because he mentioned it), but structurally, this place is sound.

Which also means that the two of us can yell and not hear each other from one end of the house to the other. Attention serial killers, do not take this an invitation, because when we can't find each other by hollering, we go looking for the other. Also, I have a much bigger fight response than flight response, and I don't fight fair.

Ok, back to the house... yea for vinyl windows, and just at the right time! The house keeps in heat well, and on top of that is big enough that it has not one, but two furnaces and water heaters. Come visit! We have hot showers! We also have a lot of toilets. As in, there are 5 toilets in the house. They are placed in, shall we say, interesting and not-exclusively traditional arrangements in the house. Of course, there is the master bedroom bathroom and the bathroom for  the other bedrooms... but then there is a toilet that you can get to by walking through the laundry room, which features a utility tub instead of a sink, and the side-by-side bathrooms in the basement, one full and one half bath. The full bath has a 90 degree angle you have to take to get to the toilet, which, if I have my house-geography right, means that it is, wall not withstanding, back-to-back with the toilet from the half bath.

There are also a lot of mirrors in this house. Large mirrors. Enough mirrors that you could take a selfie from every conceivable angle. There are the large, fairly standard mirrors in the bathrooms, of course. There are also mirrored medicine cabinets in more than one bathroom. There is also a mirrored medicine cabinet in the master bedroom water closet (aka "tiny room with only a toilet"). There is also an 8 foot by 6 foot mirror in the living room. A duplicate mirror is also found in the one bedroom in the basement, which had been fashioned into a workout room. Lastly, there are mirrored doors in the master bedroom bathroom which leads to the closet, and the basement full bath, which cover a linen closet. After being here for just a couple of weeks, I can definitely tell you that stepping out of the shower is not the time you want to see yourself full-frontal...

Lastly, there is carpet in a couple of bathrooms and, strangely enough, the laundry room (which makes cleaning with bleach an exercise in extreme care so as not to drip). Carpet in places that get wet is perhaps a pet peeve of mine (as in, the very first thing that we did when we bought on Dawson Creek was rip out the carpet in the bathroom!) and I insisted that Eric employ his very excellent skills in manipulating our carpet clearer to as soon as we moved in. However, this is a manageable proposition for a new homeowner. The house needs a makeover, true. However, 5 acres, large house, multiple garages and a separate large barn? Add in our more modern furniture and the fact that we took down the early 90's southwestern pastel canvases as soon as we arrived and hid the late 80's ceramic floor lamp in a closet?

I haven't fully unpacked (e.g. summer clothes are still in suitcases under the bed and we aren't using a toaster right now), and I'm not going to. I can't imagine we'll be here that long.

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