We went to see the house (linked in the previous entry) this afternoon.
It was farther than we thought it would be. We drove past Toyota, where Tyler works, and kept driving down the state highway out in the country. We finally got to the tiny town and drove through it, then we still had to go five more miles. Two on the same state highway, and three and a half more miles on another road.
We finally got to the turn off road and it was tiny. There was a sign noting that we’d arrived in a new “town”.
It was called Oddville. (Seriously!)
I don’t know how to explain the topography of Kentucky easily. It’s like rolling hills that give way to small steep hills known as “the knobs” because they resemble knobs jutting up out of the ground. The knobs give way to mountains. Well this house’s land didn’t appear to be knobby on the google map and in the real estate pictures, but it was. The upper ridge of the knobs was where this tiny road ran across. On both sides were gorgeous hills and fields with cattle, all laid out like green patchwork as far as the eye could see. Kentucky is really a beautiful place!
The road was so tiny and curvy for those 3.5 miles. I could feel my hopes about this house working out sinking quickly. It’s scary to drive down a tiny road high up on the hill ridge in winter weather, or in heavy rain, or in the dark at night. There are no street lights or sidewalks, or even lines on the road of course.
Finally we got to the driveway of the house. As soon as I saw the driveway I knew this property was not something we would purchase. My stomach sank. Disappointment, yet again.
This is it? Tyler exclaimed. I am not driving down there. We won’t make it. Let’s just turn around and go home. We can go to the Chinese food buffet…
We’ve come this far, I told him. We have to drive down it. Just do it. If we get stuck we can call AAA.
I insisted on it. Curiosity killed the cat and everything, you know.
He gave me an exasperated look, but he carefully started driving down.
This was our view. The house is that little white square in the middle. The driveway was very long, 1,500 feet according to the real estate website. “Very private country home” indeed. The steepness does not convey in the Instagram picture. It was a bit daunting in person.
I wish I’d have made a video of not only the steep winding driveway down into the valley, but also of the hilarious things Tyler was saying. He thought we were going to die. You might have noticed this, but in our relationship we’re a case of opposites attract. He is a bit more cautious than I am when it comes to these sorts of things.
The driveway was practically a vertical twisting descent down the huge hill. It was gravel and partially washed out in spots from recent rains, leaving holes of thick Kentucky clay mud. I said a little prayer that we wouldn’t actually get stuck. Tyler would never let me live that down.
Ada woke up screaming during the five minutes it took us to get down that driveway. She was hanging forward in her car seat as we bumped and slid down the driveway road. Tyler was semi-cursing, Rosie was gripping the car with white knuckles, and I was laughing hysterically.
We reached the bottom without major incident, thankfully. Tyler said that we weren’t going to get out of the car, we would just look from the driveway.
(Yes, I know, it’s like he’s never met me or something.)
We got out of the car and Tyler said we could just look from the yard.
I looked from the yard.
The cool wind whipped against our faces while we stood outside in silence for a few moments.
Me, imagination and tingly senses running wild. Tyler, perhaps in stunned silence.
It felt happy. I could immediately tell that despite the eerie appearance of the house it was once a place where a family was happy.
In addition to that, and this will sound weird I am aware, I also sensed a lonely man. I don’t know why, just a hint of loss as if time had moved on and he remained as the only person who cared about this place. Happy memories, but sadness that his prime (and the house’s prime also) had passed.
I don’t think it was just imagination, it was just…a matter of fact feeling. Plain and clear as anything.
I went up on the front porch and Tyler entered a state of mild panic as I swung the front door open. How could I just stand in the yard and not explore the inside?
Not possible. Not possible at all.
I had to go in and see every detail. I had to take a moment to imagine who used to live there, what their lives were like. Wonder where they were now. Then imagine what it would be like if we lived there…
Tyler begged me not to step inside. What if an alarm goes off? What if the police come racing down here? What if the neighbors or owners shoot us for trespassing?
This is an abandoned house Tyler, what part of this house looks like it has a functioning alarm system? If the police magically appear from thenearest town 45 minutes away and race down that horrible driveway it would be the best video I’ve ever made.
And I highly doubt anyone would shoot us, I comforted him. Most people don’t shoot at pseudo terrifying dads driving bad ass mini vans with their kids in tow. The worst they can do is ask us to leave. We’ll say we were considering buying the place and wanted to scope it out, you’ll apologize, and I’ll laugh and bat my eye lashes. No big deal.
He sighed, so I took that as permission to step inside without further admonishment.
I pushed the front door the rest of the way open and stepped inside.
There were rooms to the right and left, and immediately in front of us was a set of stairs leading up.
I think even Tyler, who is oblivious to most minor details, felt that the house was a happy place. Once inside he walked around without any more anxiety.
There was an incessant beeping coming from the room to the left, so I walked in. On the mantel there was a smoke detector laying face down, next to a face down carbon monoxide detector. Neither had batteries. Over on the wall there was a thermostat flashing scrambled lettering. That was the beeping noise. Not an alarm system, Tyler! But a sign that the electricity must be turned on. A sign of life. It wasn’t totally abandoned.
To the right was a living room. Pleasant, small. Dirty and old, but with a little imagination…
The floors were original hardwood. Clearly very old, broken and chipped badly, smashed in some spots.
Straight ahead through that doorway next to the fireplace was a dining room, perhaps. Through that was the kitchen.
The kitchen took my breath away.
It was quaint. Oh the imagination!
It was also kind of horrible, if I was going to actually consider living there.
There was nothing else in the kitchen aside from a space for a dining room table directly behind me.
See that tree stump on the floor in front of the sink? That had come through the window, maybe in a storm? The window was broken, but mysteriously there was no glass on the floor.
To the left there was a bedroom, and the bathroom. Surprisingly the bathroom was semi-new with a new plastic tub/shower combo, newer tile flooring, and a weird tiny toilet that was filled with something very disgusting and molded. It looked like molded vomit, so I ran away without taking any pictures of the bathroom.
I went upstairs next. The stairs had a small landing at the top. To the left and right were bedrooms.
One room was painted dark red.
It had a door in it that led to an attic room in the eaves. Pretty awesome! (Someone even cared enough to insulate it.)
I heard Rosie scream and I quickly rushed to her in the second bedroom.
She was screaming because it was perfect. She loved it. She wanted to live in it right this second and never leave it.
It was clearly a little girl’s room, with the floor painted light green and the baseboards light purple. The walls were bright white.
The floor had this cute design around the edges.
Happy. This house was full of happy feelings, I’m telling you.
Tyler was ready to leave at this point, but I hadn’t had a chance to look around outside.
There still remained the unresolved mystery of what that weird little building built into the hillside could be.
A spring house? A root cellar? Or…?
Don’t open that door, Tyler weakly commanded. Amy….
I flung the door open in anticipation. It was my turn to scream.
IT WAS A CHICKEN COOP.
It even had freaking sky lights build into it. A billion nest boxes lined the walls.
It was perfect and I wanted to live there now. Right this second.
Built into the hillside it would be cool in the summer and insulated in the winter, and safe from digging predators.
Who built this? Where were they now? I loved them. I mean really, this was perfect for my chickens!
There was a big barn too, you can see it behind the chicken coop. It was a giant three sided run in shed to be specific.
The land was fenced with an electric fence. I tested it with a long blade of grass–no little buzz, it wasn’t charged. I slipped through and peeked in the barn. Perfect, more perfect.
If only it wasn’t so far away. If only the driveway wasn’t so terrifying–I think we’d have to park at the top and ride ATV’s down to the house if we lived there. A vehicle couldn’t make it up or down that steep hill in any kind of weather but sunny….and even barely then.
If only there was more flat or gently rolling land. There was no place to build a new house, or even a place to put the girls’ swing set. The hills were all too steep and knobby.
Disappointing, because while this place was awesome it was clearly not someplace we could live. There was nothing practical about it except for the fact that it cost $50,000…and after looking at it I don’t even think the land is worth $50,000.
The house was definitely not worth $50,000.
Oh but I loved it. The remote location, the beautiful hills, the charming house. It was fenced and it had a chicken coop and a barn. It felt like a happy place.
Tyler rolled his eyes at me while I frolicked for a minute, running up and down a hill.
Then he made us get in the car.
and we ascended the driveway of doom, once again saying a little prayer we wouldn’t get stuck in the mud on the incline.
I said goodbye because I know I can’t have it. It’s not practical. It’s not practical. It’s not practical.
But it sure is pretty.