Archives » November 17th, 2005

November 17, 2005

Our New Old House

Well, we finally did it. After years of talking about it, and months of working on getting a mortgage, we finally bought a house. And not just any house, but the same house I’ve lived in for the last 20 years.

I was nine years old when I moved here with my parents. And, except for eight months away at college, I’ve been here ever since. Of course it’s gone through some changes. My parents moved out several years ago, and I and some roommates started renting it from them. Then Viola and I got married, and she moved in. Then we had a baby, so there’s a family in the house once again. And, like any house this age, it needs some work. We’ve already redone both the bathrooms and most of the floors. And now that we own it, we need to put on a new roof, install windows that will actually keep the cold out, get new doors, and have our Carter-era furnace replaced.

Then we’ve got to tackle the landscaping. You can see in the picture that we haven’t got the best yard around. I’ve been trying to tell myself that we’ve been leaving it in its natural state in order to minimize the impact of man on nature, but that explanation doesn’t fly too well. And I’m sure a professional xeriscaper can do really creative stuff with sagebrush and rabbitbrush, but when you let them grow wild, they just become weeds. So we’ve got to rip it all out, go right down to the dirt, and start fresh. Grass would be nice, and an automatic sprinkler system so we’re not left with the responsibility of killing it.

This house is really just an investment, though, a stepping stone in our plan to move up to the Seattle area. Northern Nevada is siphoning the fumes off the California housing boom, because someone who just sold a house in the Bay Area for over a million wouldn’t even blink at buying a place like this for $300,000. And this is where they’re all coming. Everyone buying houses in Nevada these days is doing it with California money. So after a few more years of living here and fixing up the house, we’re going to cash in, grab some of that California money for ourselves, and take it up North. Up where the weeds are green, not brown.

Hawk

Here’s a picture I never could have gotten with my old camera, a hawk in flight.

The state built perches all along Hwy 395 through the Carson Valley so the hawks can watch for mice in the fields. The last few days I’ve been trying to get a picture of one of these guys sitting on the perch, but there haven’t been any. Then today I finally see one, and as I’m getting the camera ready, it flies away. Little bugger. So I grasp the camera, swiveling to follow him, zoom in and snap a picture, not thinking it would turn out. What a shock to see that it actually did!

And not only did the picture turn out, but down in the corner of the same frame I found his little friend.