When we bought our little fixer upper and the acreage it sits on, we immediately focused on cleaning, trips to the dump and lots & lots of painting. As we busied ourselves with house and grounds improvement, the 2 ½ acre field that makes up half the property was growing… and growing. To the point where the grass, scrub and prickly bushes were waist high.
“I’m going to mow the field,” MyUPSGuy claimed in the driveway of the “little house.”
One of the things I’ve been thinking about since we closed on the “little house” in May and began this journey of downsizing is that I am certainly not the first person who has come up with the concept of minimizing. As a matter of fact there are numerous websites, all orchestrated and written by folks who are downsizing, small-ifying, removing clutter, living in a tiny house (have you seen that show – Tiny House Nation??), and in general trying to live life in a way that has less clutter, more sanity and works for them.
When we bought our fixer upper in May, the “little house” as I call it, we faced a tough cleaning and fixing reality that no one really wants to face. There was mold.
Mold is the kind of thing that harkens up panic, nausea, fear of death. And black mold? The stuff that horror films are made of. And we had plenty of it on the “little house,” specifically under the roof overhang in the back. Like… a lot of mold. To the point where our mortgage broker said to us, “I just don’t know if a lender will give you the mortgage with… y’know… the mold.”
To say that our new-to-us “little house” is remote is an understatement. And as my husband and I were engulfed in cleaning… and cleaning… in the weeks after we closed on the property, we stood in the little gravel driveway and heard cows, turkeys and a lone rooster. It was kind of wonderful.
The neighbor to our right has seven acres that abuts our 4.5, then the neighbor’s son lives to the right of him on a working farm, and the fellow next to them owns forty acres and an impressive log cabin. Across the street from our place is a huge farm with beautiful green fields, aforementioned cows and two enormous navy blue silos.
The first time I took my mother to see the “little house,” it was below freezing in Connecticut and there were about twenty feet of snow pushing up against the garage. We trekked through the drifts to the back door and stepped inside the kitchen of the 728 square foot dwelling.
I knew what was going to ensue. The look on my mother’s face was one of horror.
“You’re going to … live here,” she said in a statement of disbelief.
The house needed a lot of love, paint, mousetraps (for the fridge especially, since mice were building a fort in the freezer), curtains, sunshine, and electrical work, just to start. We barely got approval for the loan, as the banks were nervous about giving a mortgage to us, as it was being sold “as is.” And it was a far cry from the 3-bedroom condo that my husband and I occupy.