Now that I’ve had a few days and nights in this new house, I’ve really come to appreciate why they sited it where they did. It’s actually perfect. The rising sun comes through the front bank of windows and is perfect for morning work. The kitchen window faces the sunrise and it’s better than a cup of coffee for waking up.
The driveway is perfectly sited at the bottom of the hill for maximum privacy, yet, at the same time, one can glance out any of the front windows and see someone enter it. The top photo shows the drive from the house and then a telephoto shot.
The back of the house faces southwest and is perfect for relaxing and watching the sun set over the tree line. Some of the trees have started to turn colors already and the way the setting sun plays off the shadows and light is spectacular. Laying on the bed in the master bedroom, I can clearly see the garage, the guest house way up on the hill, and the whole west countryside – again, perfectly sited.
I had the builder for the barn here Tuesday and like the inspector, his comments were along the lines of, “someone knew what they were doing when they did this duct work” and “this is really a top-notch state-of-the-art system” (with reference to the radiant heating/on-demand hot water system) and “this is sure built solid, look at that framework” (I look, and nod happily).
Sooooo, it’s safe to say that my buyer’s remorse (which was really just despair over dirt and weeds) has been replaced by buyer’s delight. There are several things we want to do inside the house but the bones are solid and of great quality.
This past weekend I drove down to Lansing to go to my friend Shelley’s 50th birthday party on Saturday (she’s waaayyyyyy older than me, for the record) and then my department chair at MSU’s memorial service. The puppies and I stayed at my dear friend Bridget’s home and Coco got introduced to her sheep and goats. Of course, because everyone loves Coco, Bridget and her husband Joedy now want (and need!) a boerboel. This is how wonderful it is to stay at Bridget’s house – she used a special bedspread so the babies could sleep on the bed with me if I wanted and she had a bag of doggy toys for when we had to leave them home alone. The dogs settled right in and seemed to enjoy their first stay at the Happy Goat Lucky Ewe fiber farm. Thank you Bridget and Joedy for your hospitality!!
Regarding my department chair (yes, I’m still faculty if you can believe it, albeit adjunct now!), Dr. Chuck Atkin died unexpectedly in his sleep two weeks ago – it was/is a huge shock for everyone and it was fantastic reconnecting with some people in the Communication Arts & Sciences building at MSU. Seems like a completely other life to me (my life as a professor). I guess it is since it’s even under a different name.
Chuck was the quirkiest person I’ve ever known and a fantastic department chair. It’s hard “supervising” faculty because we’re all a bossy bunch who want our own way all of the time. Chuck did a good job of giving us what we all wanted so we all were/are an incredibly productive group. My main memory of him is him walking down the hall with little scraps of paper where he had tallied up the ways in which our department was #1. “Did you know that MSU faculty and grads hold the majority of positions on editorial boards?” “I just calculated that MSU faculty published the most in the top three journals over the past three years.” “You’ll be happy to know that MSU’s graduate students presented the most papers at ICA [the International Communication Association] this past year.” You get the picture. Some of us doubted his numeration skills but just nodded and smiled when he announced a new way in which our department was #1. I have such a soft spot in my heart for Chuck and am grateful for everything he’s done for me and MSU. Same goes for his wife, Dr. Sandi Smith, who is one of the truly, truly good people in the world. Love to both and prayers and support to Sandi as she learns to live without Chuck.
Today I meet the zoning administrator for the siting of our barn and tomorrow I’m off to Lafayette, Louisiana, for my soon-to-be daughter-in-love’s bridal shower!