It’s the things you don’t expect that’ll run you down. Not the stuff you worry about. When I moved to the farmhouse back in April I worried about issues that are laughable now. Mice. I was sure I’d be fighting endless families of mice. After the removal of one fat mouse – the one that kept coming back for the same peanut butter trap again and again – pfft, gone. No more mice.
The bugs that were so everywhere during the years the house stood abandoned – not a problem. We redirected the ants and sealed away (most of) the box elder beetles.
Isis – such an issue initially! Now we have a vacuum for the hairs he leaves behind and a motion sensor to tell us when he wants to come in (nearly every evening). He doesn’t really enjoy sharing a bed and so when he overnights, after a while, he’ll retreat to the couch. He used to retreat to the guest bedroom, to spread out on the double bed there, but a closed door and a shake of my head put a stop to that. Really Isis. People who sleep there could be allergic to cats. Stay away from there.
Commuting has been made better by the palate of choices: biking to work when I have the time and weather on my side, Rosie when I have weather on my side, and the red hot lover (the car, people, the car!) when I have neither.
Winter is the remaining unknown mystery. The roads, the ice, the shoveling – we’ve yet to work that out. But the joy of farmhouse living is absolutely in place. Bring on the snow, I say. I’m soon to have a Farm & Fleet shovel.
My mother, herself elderly, throws in an occasional tsk tsk as she wonders out loud how an older woman (and I will be that, in case I'm not there yet) could manage alone in a farmhouse. So maybe I should worry, but I don’t. There's Ed. Or, in the alternative, maybe I'll be like the old Mrs Larson who once grew up in this farmhouse but now lives alone across the road. Maybe she has a cat or dog in her lap and a TV turned up loud. You’ll need to drive! -- I’m warned. Okay, so I’ll drive with both hands on the wheel peering over my spectacles, going just under the speed limit and occasionally forgetting to turn off the turn signal. And besides, by then, this area will be developed. We are way too close to Madison to imagine that there’ll always be farm fields to the side. There'll be buses and/or trolley cars. Or something.
So I’m set. Maybe. Unless a bird falls from the sky, hits overhead wires in the wrong way and causes the place to go up in flames (I read a case with this exact fact pattern today!). You never know.
In other news, I want to highlight the flowers that are stubbornly hanging in there...
And I want to remember another thing: the way the sunlight still streams into the café as we sit there late in the day, waiting for it to close.
After this week-end, we’ll be leaving when it’s dark.
Finally, I also want to remember that the fields that I pass in the morning are entirely differently toned after sunset. It’s one of the most unexpected pleasure of living at the farmhouse: each vista, each vignette present itself differently at each hour of the day.