Now that we’ve had a few weeks to settle into our new house/town, I thought it was time to take a step back and assess how we’re feeling about it all. Or at least… how I’m feeling about it all.
And you know what?
The longer we’re here, the longer we’re likely to stay.
Our original plan was just to find a place in Idaho that could be a short-term house while we look for some property with a house we like and can afford or a place we could build. But now that we’re here, The Man and I both feel like we’ve moved to a little corner of paradise. This place feels almost too good to be true, and if it weren’t for the fact that we can see some of the rough edges now and then, I would think we had accidentally stumbled into a weird Pleasantville or Stepford kind of world. As it is, I feel like we accidentally moved to Mayberry.
As I talk to people back in Oregon or post updates on Facebook, I find myself constantly mentioning individual things I love about this place. I finally decided I should just list them, so here you go–the top ten things I love about our new home:
10) The wildlife. There are deer everywhere in this town. EVERYWHERE. We have deer scat in our front yard. We see them constantly. Just the other day, I saw twin babies–still with spots!–go scampering off into the woods while I was on my run. And we don’t have to drive far to see wild turkeys, swans, geese, and assorted ducks–not to mention the little ground birds I haven’t identified yet. People tell us that we only have to drive a bit out of town to find evidence of wolves, too. Personally, I would love to see a wolf or a wolf track–from a very safe distance, please!
9) The local pub. This town may not be foodie heaven, but it does not lack restaurants, food trucks, and bars. However, one particular gastropub has rapidly shot to number one as our favorite place to grab a bite to eat. The food menu is fairly small, but the food they do serve is absolutely perfect American pub food. Plus, there is a great selection of beer, cider, and hard seltzer on tap, and the taps rotate frequently.
8) My office. Have I mentioned that I finally have my own office? I have my own office. I love it. It’s finally coming together, too. I have my books, my desk, and plenty of space for the furry children to hang out with me all day. And I have a big window that’s perfect for that peculiar habit writers have of staring out into the distance “thinking.”
7) The scenery. Witness Exhibit A:
Honestly, I could do this all day… Every time I turn around, I see another view that takes my breath away a little bit.
6) The walkability. This is partly a function of the precise location of our house, because if we were just a bit out of town, walkability would be a little tougher. But we are in the perfect spot in the city. We are just one block up from the two major streets where most of the businesses are. I can be at the post office, the hospital, the library, the grocery store, the courthouse/public services, or any Main Street business within ten minutes on foot. Easily. Without even breaking a sweat. I love this feature.
5) Our front porch. Okay, the house needs a paint job, and we need some cuter front porch furniture, but I have found real joy in sitting outside on a pleasantly warm evening and reading while sipping a drink and watching kids play in the big parking lot across the street.
4) The quiet. I said in my first (and thus far only) video blog post that this town is so quiet it’s hard to sleep, and that is still true, even with summer traffic through the town. When they talk about quiet, sleepy little towns, this is the quiet they mean. The noises we do hear are charming, like the horn signaling the start of the morning shift at the lumbermill by the river, or the church clock that chimes at noon and six, or the distant live music in the park on Friday nights.
3) The weather. This climate is not too different from where we lived in Oregon, but in the ways that matter to me, it’s just different enough. It’s a bit drier and a bit cooler, mainly. The Man and I checked out the sunrise/sunset times compared to our old house yesterday, and the sun comes up about half an hour earlier and sets about twenty minutes earlier. This is definitely more of a four-season climate; I can already feel the very tentative edges of fall creeping in on some of the cooler mornings, and I’ve been driven to start knitting, because as God is my witness, I will NOT freeze this winter.
2) The library. I cannot tell you how much I love this little local library. They are friendly and helpful when I call or drop by. They have a basement full of used books for sale (25 cents for paperbacks, $1.00 for hardbacks). They run some delightful children’s events. And they are part of a larger North Idaho library system where I can reserve books.
1) The people. Everyone I have met so far has been delightfully friendly and welcoming, and they haven’t held it against me that I’m from Oregon. Several have said how glad they are to see that someone bought this house since it was vacant for a long time. My sister and her husband visited us a few weeks ago and stopped by the grocery store for some road food, and someone behind them randomly bought their groceries. This is the kind of place that runs on its own schedule for sure, but it’s also the kind of place where everyone has a good word and a helpful tip.
We’re still a long way from fully settled. We need more furniture, for one thing. I’m sort of in decorating limbo while I’m waiting for it. The house still needs a lot more work, but it’s mostly work that we can take one project at a time. We don’t have a furnace (again, this house is the same age as Bilbo Baggins at his final public birthday party), so we have to get a wood stove installed or we might freeze to death this winter (I’m knitting as fast as I can!). And we definitely need to meet more people, which is… challenging for this introvert…
And this is not to say that I don’t miss people back in Oregon. I definitely do. I left my best friend, one sister, parents, a son… I mean, that’s tough. And some part of me will always be an Oregonian, I think. That state helped shape who I am today.
I also think I’m now at a point where I can call this little town in Idaho “home.”
It feels good to be Idahome.