Friday, April 6, 2012

New House

This week we were finally able to move into our cute little rental house. It is even better than I remembered from a quick walk-through when it was still littered with the belongings and trash of the previous occupants.

The house is square with mocha-colored siding and white trim. The front door is in the middle with windows on each side. The driveway goes to the right straight up alongside the house and ends in a garage and walkway to the back door and yard.

You walk into the front door via a walkway and when you step inside there is a large room. Cute alcoves are set into the walls, two short and one tall one. Directly in front of you is an archway leading to the back of the house where bedrooms are. If you walk through that, there is a very deep coat closet to your right and a bedroom right in front of you. When the door is open you can see straight into it from the front door, so this room is Maryann's. There is a short hall then, with the bathroom being the next door down, and then there is the end of the hall with cupboards built into it. The bottom right is probably meant to be a hamper, but we put the pet food into it, then to the side of that all the way up are the two deep cupboards, and there is one above the pet food.

To either side are the doors leading to the other two bedrooms. Ours is on the left (front of the house) and Mike's is to the right. Our closets take up the rest of the space where the hallway ends. The rooms each have closets with two sliding wooden panel doors. On one end there is a shoe rack with three slanted shelves built right in. Shoes without heels won't hook onto the little heel ledge, though. I might have to attach a front panel or hammocky thing so those types of shoes won't just slide off. The rooms are brightly lit most of the day because they are at the corner of the house, with windows in each outside wall. Maryann's room has a pretty double window. The sun angles off to the south now that we are farther north than Florida, so she gets lots of sunshine also.

From the front door you could also go to the right, where there is another archway. As you step through that, you are looking at the kitchen and dining area. I think of it as a breakfast nook rather than dining room. It is small and cheerful at the front of the house. There is a strange grate in the wall that might have been a heater, and before the wall ends at the kitchen counters and cupboards there is an ironing board built into it. The kitchen wall on that side has two cupboards separated by the window over the sink. There are cabinet doors at the sink under the counter with pretty X design cutouts. Two sets of drawers on the right of that, with the top two being shallow. There is a pull-out section above the stack of drawers closest to the sink. On the other side of the sink is another cupboard into the corner, and below that a stack of drawers and then one cabinet door.
The kitchen then turns the corner of the L and finishes with cabinets and cupboards to a doorway. That leads to the utility/laundry room. The refrigerator stands sort of lonely-looking in the corner on the left of the doorway, with it's front facing the sink so now we're looking at the wall leading back to where you are standing. The fridge looks lonely because there is bare space between it and the stove, which sits just on the other side of the nook where your archway has led you. When you step forward, you could walk straight to the laundry room because that wall with the refrigerator and stove is inset. Between the stove and fridge, like a strange bridge between them, is a wire shelf like you might find in a closet, set level with the top of the fridge. We set our light appliances up there, like the hand mixer. All the cupboards and the countertop and cabinet under it are comfortably deep, it seems like plenty of space, even though I can't reach anything above the first two cupboard shelves. I can't even see things on the third shelf, hehe.

Stepping to the doorway of the laundry room, you can see the water heater strapped to the wall on your left, inset like the stove was. Next to that continuing along the short wall is a built-in closet with the same sliding doors, but this one is filled with shelves. Above the water heater is also a cupboard, with a circular section under it. I'm assuming so that if you hung a curtain, it would not touch the cylindrical heater? I keep my bike helmet and water bottle on a shelf at shoulder level so that I can easy put on those things and walk outside to my bike. The right side of the laundry room has space for the washer and dryer.

Opening the back door, there are two big steps down and you are looking at the corner of the garage. You could go right out a gate (or where there used to be a gate, rather) into the driveway, or straight ahead. Straight, you can see the door to the other house section behind ours- the sidewalk goes right to it with a metal gate separating us. Set into the side of the garage right at the corner is a door leading into it. It's a bit of a stunt to be able to walk Zoomie in or out around that corner of garage door, back door and driveway gate without having to pick up the back and re-position her.

The back yard doesn't really seem small, but it is definitely not large. Just the right size if you don't need space to do anything out there, like defend a fort or swing on a swing set. There is a wire fence separating our half from the other half, but we have been promised a privacy fence sometime in the near future.

My only complaint about this little house might be the heater, but isn't. The heater is a pillar in the livingroom to the left of that first archway, kind of an eyesore to the whole cute charming aspect, if you ask me. It spits out really hot air from the bottom in the front, and through a vent in the wall behind it into the hall by the bedrooms. That's it. The bedrooms stay noticeably colder than the rest of the house, while the living room is much warmer. The kitchen area seems to be in the middle. Jamie's mom and I both have significant others to cuddle with during the night for warmth (plus animals!) while Mike is by himself in his room, so we gave him the space heater that we used on chilly night in the little camper when we first came to Oregon.

No, my complaint is actually outside the house, and it is that there are no gutters. I would really like a gutter at the back door mostly to catch the drips of melting snow so that I can actually step outside without getting big fat splotches of cold water on me. Other than that, I like our new little house. We are all camped out on the floors to sleep, the television is set on a rubber bin holding DVDs, and we have no furniture to sit on. Our computers are in cute little piles with keyboards stuffed under monitors which are set on the brains. But we can cook our own meals, and shop for the stuff to make them, and we have the space to be ourselves and do what we like. At least our floors are carpeted! I like our temporary little coffee-colored house (the entire inside is an off-white very-creamed coffee color, brown marble carpet).

I started work again after spending the first night in our new place. It turns out that I'm actually traveling an extra mile each way, which is a small comfort. After an entire week of not biking anywhere, I got back on Zoomie to find that I was a bit slower and it seemed slightly easier to get winded. At least it isn't just because of the time off!

Instead of the curves and small up-down rolls of Harlan Drive, I'm instead going straight down Washburn Way, a busy two-lane road that goes past Walmart 2 miles south of us, with a bike lane most of the way. At Walmart I take the right turn lane instead of trying to merge across the traffic lanes to turn left. I get through the little curve and then do a U-turn to take my place at the light to cross. Then I ride on easy residential streets past an elementary school to Summers Lane. This is the road leading to work, and I actually turn onto it almost at the same place that I used to.  On the way home, I take Summers straight until nearly the end, where the bike path crosses it atop a hill. I use that to cut through to Washburn again.

I don't take the path when I'm going to work for the same reason  don't try to turn left down by Walmart- I don't want to have to worry about merging into and across traffic. It's just easier. I could also take the bike path that's actually at the end of Summers lane, but I found it to be uncomfortably bumpy, with a car-length section entirely missing. I don't fancy trying to navigate all that in the dark (even if the sky is much lighter now in the morning when I leave), or going through that much bone-jarring torture just to take the designated path instead of a perfectly good roadway. The path I do take is much smoother, with a nice little imperceptible  but much-appreciated downhill slope to reward me for making the climb up the hill to get to the path.

So now I'm traveling four miles each way to work- 16 miles a day! I also am only three miles away from the movie theater now, and four miles away from Tig's house, where we were staying before. I'm now centrally located! This is awesome for bikey possibilities, so I'm pretty happy with where we ended up.

Still, it's hard not to be impatient for next summer, when we (at least Jamie and I) will be leaving Oregon's small town to try living in Colorado. I like love the people here, but at the same time I'm excited about a new place with new people too. I don't want to leave, but then again I do. I'll just have to enjoy myself while I'm here, and then do the same out there, I guess.

Happy Friday, everybody.