Our new home is beautiful. I love the traditional exterior, the gleaming stretches of hardwoods, the sunny windows, the glorious square feet of closet space. Unfortunately, these attributes are mostly disguised beneath forests of books-to-be-sorted, mountains of cardboard, and waving prairies of dust bunnies. In fact, we’ve discovered the secret to infinite sustainability. No matter how many boxes get unpacked, a new one always appears in its place. Now just to hammer out a few kinks so it works on edibles and we’ll commence feeding the entire third world.
Things are gradually coming together, but in the meantime it’s nice to focus on some of the exterior things I like about home-ownership, our yard, and setting up life in the South. Such as our peach tree. Hard green nodules are starting to gently yellow and sprout fuzz. The tree is a very untamed, but surely you can still coax jam or peach butter out of wild peaches?
When we moved in we discovered that the outlet for our dryer is not compatible with our dryer plug. Thanks to Encyclopedia Dad we learned that the current outlet is an old type without a ground wire. Our clothing rudely insists on piling up in dirty mounds even though the outlet is not yet fixed (so inconsiderate!), so it’s all drying on the line these days instead. On the bright side this:
1) Saves on electricity costs.
2) Gives a nice excuse to spend time outside away from the boxes.
3) Builds muscles.
One the down side it:
1) Takes a lot more work if you’re busy as it is. Work that mosquitoes like to keep you company in.
2) Induces slight panic every time you hear thunder.
3) Takes longer to dry since the only good spot to hang a line in our back yard is under a shady maple.
4) Results in the occasional sock/shirt that looks like it spent a weekend at the beach post-washing machine. The soil here is sandbox-sandy, so anything accidentally dropped is a goner.
Back to the bright side:
4) Pretty colors. Or at least half-pretty. The Army doesn’t design shirts to look pretty. They design them to look like dirt. Which works well when the tan ones get dropped in the sand when I’m hanging them out on the line:
We also have blueberry bushes, a whole line of them taller than my head on the south side of the house. We pick a cup or two off every few days and have them plain or in muffins or blueberry pancakes. Why is it so satisfying when you lift an extra branch and find a whole clump of fat heavy berries you hadn’t yet spotted? These are from our bushes, plus extras from the neighbors’ bushes. We’re “tending” (i.e. eating) their garden while they’re out of town. Pie? Cobbler? Crisp?
Finally on the “lets focus on the nice positive things outside instead of the post-hurricane wasteland inside” list there’s this:
When we were restationed from our apartment in Texas to here and bought our house we knew we wanted to avoid the “must spend money on furniture to fill the new house” mentality. However,we also knew the one thing we wanted to prioritize was finding a table and chairs so we can eat on the screened porch easily. I don’t get very excited by the traditional porch furniture look so we decided to look at used regular tables – something that can take a bit of sun and rain without us worrying about ruined furniture. Craigslist plus six used furniture/antique stores later we decided on this. Farmhouse table plus four chairs, rock solid, though in need of some touch up paint when I get around to it. Originally $100. Knocked down to $50 after a little negotiating. I love a good deal.
Back to the boxes.