The Anchorage of Blooming Prairie is just right for us. For a few years our family lived in shared quarters, then bought a ginormous old house two blocks from downtown in a city of about 25,000. The Anchorage house is smaller, but quite large enough for our needs at 1250+ sq.ft. With 3 br, 1 bath, unfinished basement space, open kitchen/dining area, living, and little mudroom entryway. Imagine the possibilities! I am quite blown away by them.
Well, our first projects are rightly the floors, walls, and ceilings. Before furniture and appliances are moved we may as well set these to rights. Pull up old carpet, pry up tacks, scrape linoleum, sand floors, refinish, PHEW! Then tear out a few enclosing walls and rewire, replace fixtures, drywall, mud, prime, paint, trim. Next up are replacing broken windows, doors, and perhaps some plumbing. Sundry details here and there.
Eventually we will move to tiling the mudroom laundry and bathroom. Installing a chimney for the woodstove. Lord willing an engineered beam and raised flooring for our basement office, storage, and entertainment room.
As for the outside, the possibilities are as limitless as our 3.52 acres. Tyvek and reside the house. Expand the porches. Plant a garden. Grow an orchard. Clear the brush-consumed pasture. Burn. Raze. Raise. (Rea’s!) Rebuild the garage. Reroof the stable. Pour a concrete pad in the machine shed. Chickenwire a coop. Decide if we could ever get a cow or two. Or a pony or pig or alpaca or goats as others have suggested. (Ha ha.)
In all of this big picture, I have left out my favorite part.
I want to make my home. I want to find rugs, chairs, shelves, art – to keep and share and give. I want to create a space that welcomes, warms, and whispers to every seeking soul. I am exquisitely stoked to keep house day-in-day-out while the sun rises and sets and the stars twinkle above windhewn plains. I want to hear the moaning currents wrap around weathered boards and rattle windowpanes; slide over mounds and through grassy channels and spin those turbine blades round and round; run out and feel it lick and lash my face and sweep me numb until my fingers prickle.
I wait with utter jubilation to mount my bell up by the doorframe and ring it long and loud at dinnertime. At dusk I’ll walk out to the road where I’ll hang a lantern on the signpost and carry back the mail and Steele County Times. Fireflies will follow me back up the lane, and our dog will trot along side as the moon shimmers up in the east. Garden produce, windwhipped linens, kindling, and a bedraggled bouquet of sunflowers gathered into baskets on the porch. Norah’s dusty bare feet and berry-smeared sunkissed face meet me at the door. And we go in.