Tag Archives: living

The Coop

21 Aug

Remember when I told you that there were going to be some changes around here? When I introduced you to Oliver and asked you to sit tight, that I would explain all in due time?

Well, it’s time. And no, Annie, it’s not a baby. I’ll leave that to Ximena. But someone did guess correctly. Yep, Robin, you were right. Isaac and I bought a house. (Must be that you guessed right since you have real estate fever too!)

I’d like to introduce you to our new coop.

The Coop.

It’s a very, very old farmhouse, built into the side of a hill a few hours north of the city in the Hudson Valley. Hopefully, someday, we’ll be able to move there full-time, but for now, we’ll continue to rent an apartment in the City and go upstate on weekends and holidays.

Sun setting over the garden.

And it has land! Oh glorious land! The previous owner had a garden in which she grew mostly flowers. There’s little plastic markers for plants, like tomatoes and peppers, but the only evidence that she had a green thumb for anything other than nasturtiums and sunflowers is one very sad, very abused looking summer squash whose vines gave me a rash while I was attempting to rescue it.

Summer Squash.

There’s also endless acres of high-bush blackberries that are just beginning to develop into transcendental, inky, delicious love bombs of juice and sweetness (if the deer don’t eat them first that is).

Blackberries, all the way down.

And then there’s peace and solitude and privacy and quiet, and a big kitchen and two big decks facing the sunset and lots and lots of empty rooms. It’s going to be a bit of time before we can have guests up, but I can’t wait.

The view from the kitchen.

For many months now, Isaac and I have been quietly looking for a place to call our own. We didn’t expect to find anything for quite some time, but the minute I saw this place, I got goosebumps all over my arms and my heart felt tight, in a good way. I knew it was the right house.

Storm movin in

Storm movin' in.

Back in the car Isaac asked me if there was anything he should write on the salesheet, and I said, “Write down Ann *hearts* it.” It took a little time to convince him of its charms; the ceilings downstairs are very low, and it tends to be a little damp, what with being built into a hill and all, but we finally realized that it was just those sorts of quirks that can be overcome and that make a house worth loving.

There are morning glorys everywhere. I know theyre basically a weed, but I find them mesmerizing.

There are morning glorys everywhere. I know they're basically a weed, but I find them mesmerizing.

So we made an offer, which was accepted so quickly it made our heads spin. And then everything else happened lickety split, until it was time to schedule the closing. For some reason, that took forever. But, then it happened, and then, all of a sudden, the house was ours!

One of the trees in the front garden

One of the trees in the front garden.

And so, last weekend, we spent our first weekend there. We sat in the sun and pulled weeds and grilled burgers, drank champagne and ate the delicious chocolate cake our realtor baked us. Basically, we soaked it all in and enjoyed the hell out of padding about in something that’s actually ours.

Our first dinner: burgers, salad, champagne.

And this weekend I’ll go back up there, sadly alone though, as Isaac has gone to England for work for two weeks. It’s going to be a very strange experience, rambling about in a big, empty house, all alone, just me and the deer and the coyotes, but I’m looking forward to it.

This is what the garden looked like before.

I’m hoping to plant some perennials and to scout out farm stands, to eat corn on the cob while watching the sun set, and then sitting on the hand-me-down couch with a glass of wine and a pile of my mother’s old Organic Gardenings to plan next year’s garden.

One solitary raised bed of the garden, after.

But don’t worry. We’re not planning to spend every weekend up there. There will still be plenty of New York City ramblings and pictures and stories.

Nasturtium, Morning Glory, Dew.

So, I hope you’ll stick around for our next chapter, because I can’t wait to share it with you!