Jenifer Beaudean

Seeker of Simplicity and Executive Coach



Two heads popped up from the edge of the air mattress.

“Good morning!” I said.

Our dear friends, Juan and Kate, were staying with us. This was our first foray into having house guests and we weren’t sure that the little house, with its 660 square feet, could accommodate more than two people overnight. But we definitely wanted to give it a shot.

“We’ve never done this before,” I mentioned to them when they arrived, “So please tell us if there’s something you need, or something that isn’t working.”

Because in our little fixer upper, four adults can be on top of each other in a New York minute. There is only one bathroom, which means waiting your turn. There are only 20 gallons of hot water, so again, you have to get in line. So, as awkward as it might sound, the next morning MyUPSGuy and I stood with our coffee in the kitchen while Juan and Kate extricated themselves from the air mattress and we all stood around the kitchen in our lounge wear with our coffee… and it was lovely.

The small amount of space didn’t seem to matter, which amazed me.

Actually, there have been countless other surprises. In fact, the surprises themselves have been a surprise!

An example? How much it doesn’t matter that the house doesn’t have a front door.

No, the little house does not have a front door.

Instead, a path winds around the left hand side of the house and the door is in the back. We don’t care and no one else seems to care, so it’s been “no big deal.” That was a nice surprise.

Another revelation?

Cattle in the field across from our driveway

How much we love the location. We hear the rooster crow at the working farm across the street, and there are often dozens of cattle grazing 30 feet from the driveway. It’s quiet. It’s idyllic. There is a country road just off the corner of our property that winds through the fields and is wonderful for walking. What essentially started as a gamble, buying a fixer upper “as is” and eventually moving into it has been full of both surprises and life lessons.

Of course, it’s only fair to share the negative shockers as well.

For example, I am now battling sugar ants in the kitchen. (At the moment, I am on the losing side).

And the lack of curb appeal bums me out in a way that surprises me. Repeatedly. The little house has no curb appeal whatsoever. Zero. It disheartens me at times when I pull in the drive. And there’s not much we can do about it except put in a picket fence to hide the substantial drainage system, and plant shrubs.

So as we come up on the anniversary of our purchase on May 18, there have been so many revelations, mostly good and a few not-so-good. But the biggest surprise is how happy we are in this unique, little house.

And now (thankfully) spring is upon us, and the garden surprise of this week was the enormous display of snowdrops all over the property. Scads and scads of them. Just beautiful.

What a pleasant surprise.

PS — I understand that Juan and Kate are not deterred by the air mattress and the small bathroom, and will in fact return. 🙂

Final postscript — Photos of the Snow drops follow.

Snow drops, Spring 2018



8 Replies to “Surprise.”

  1. Thanks for sharing your surprises, good and bad. It’s always nice to hear that others have surprises in their life as well. LOVE the photos of the flowers populating your yard. That looks really great. Hope the snow didn’t scare them away.

  2. The scads of snowdrops are SO fabulous a surprise! Hoping all the April showers bring you many May flowers to cheer your lack of curb appeal (so far).

    1. Hi Liz, thank you for your comment — I appreciate how you mention the curb appeal “so far.” I think you’re right … that my creativity is going to get flowing and we’ll find some way to cuten up the little house. All best wishes, Jenny

  3. Good to have another installment of life in the little house! I remember when our neighbors got some chickens and waking to the crow of the rooster. You just wait, though! Another surprise might be that same rooster crowing at 5:20 in the morning come June!

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