125 – happy insomniac

Up at 4 a.m. this morning. Promised Corey I’d never say 4:13 again. He finds that kind of precision funny. I would say I don’t know why… but I do, ’cause I find it funny when other people do it, but only when they add vague qualifiers to it, like “almost 4:13.” We are weirdly alike for two people that on the surface are not so much… But that’s probably what makes us work as a couple. At any rate, woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I figured I’d rattle off a few paragraphs.

Not a lot of plans for the weekend, other than to get into town in time to check the mail, pick up some ranch stuff, pick up some grocery stuff… get back home and work on the craft project that I’m up in the middle of–it’s a gift, so my lips are sealed. Am taking pictures.

My only other ambition is to get our van up and listed on a couple of websites. If you know anyone who might be in the market for an extended body 2002 Ford Econoline E350 cargo van, with a 7.3L diesel engine, let us know. It’s in good shape, two brand new tires and two good ones, just passed inspection a few months back. It’s very clean inside because we’re clean freaks. We stripped it down to the metal inside, repainted the inside floor and put it back together again. It does have a ladder rack for the top. The picture below is not a picture of THE van, it’s a picture of A van, same year model, same body type, frame, etc. I’ll replace it when I get a moment to get out and take pictures, if it’s not raining once the sun’s up this morning.

We had planned to kit it out as a weekend camping van, and it has room enough for a 2002-ford-econoline-cargo-van-058-p3queen-size bed in it, but we are just too busy to get it done… and enjoy just exploring the ranch on the rare weekend where we have time to just enjoy the weekend together. Plus, we like sleeping in our own bed now that we’re older. Camping, bluntly, kinda sucks.

But, I digress.

We’ll be listing the van for $6,500. Someone will want it just for the engine, according to my mechanically expert husband, who says it has 3/4 of a million miles of run-time left on it. Don’t know the mileage offhand, but I gather these engines run for decades. I know jack about engines, but know Corey wanted the van because of the engine, with eventual intent to tow a bumper-pull trailer, use the van for extra storage and the trailer for living space.

All I know is, rather than let it sit, someone who can use it ought to be using it. So if you know someone who might be interested, flag me down and let me know.

109 – love this old house

Moved from one house to another here on the ranch the week before Thanksgiving, and I’m not sure it’s possible to get much happier.

It’s a more spacious house than the converted bunkhouse we lived in before, and it’s a hugely more spacious yard for Daysie Dog, but that’s not why I love it.

As hard as we tried, we never really truly made the bunkhouse into ours. I honestly don’t know why.

Maybe it was easier in this place just because the kids got here the same week we moved in, and even helped us move the last bits and pieces and put the pictures up. Putting pictures up usually takes me months. This time they were up in the first week.

Honestly, I feel so at home that I almost feel guilty. We’ve spent a huge number of our spare hours for the last six months looking for what we hoped would be our “forever home,” the place where we will go when we retire, whenever that may be. Even took a week’s vacation to search this last summer. Got really close to putting an offer in on a place. Withdrew it. Too much work, too far away, too, too… whatever. It wasn’t right, so we didn’t do it.13-Living Room from Dining Room

Found another place in nearby Sanderson, and we were really intrigued. Well, “nearby” in Texas terms, about 45 minutes away. It had so many things we really wanted, but again, got spooked for a number of reasons and withdrew the offer.

Now I’m fully aware that the place we now live in, no matter how much I love it, will never be ours. It’s owned lock, stock and barrel by Corey’s employers. They supply housing for us in order to have him here, where they need him, day or night, weekend or weekday, not an hour away in town.

We do not own this house. We never will. This cannot be our “forever home.” (Talking to myself here, can you tell?)

So why does it make me feel so happy and so settled?

I honestly don’t know.

I do, however, have my suspicions.

I think part of it is that the bunkhouse was built to house the unrelated men who worked the ranch. This place, on the other hand, was built to be a home for a family.  There is history here, and it simply feels like a home and not a building.

I think another reason is because there was so much attention to detail in building this place. The beautiful stone tile floors you see in the picture above are throughout the house, except for the bedrooms, where there is carpet the same color as the caliche dust. Caliche dust is just part of the deal when you live on a ranch. It’s also open plan, very much like the house we someday had dreamed of building for ourselves.

It’s possible that another part of it is that I know, by the ranch owners moving us in here, how much they think of Corey and the work he does for them. It’s a big vote of confidence, this house–and well-deserved. He’s an amazing man, and he both thrives and excels in this work and home environment.

It may be that it’s because there’s a separate office, with a door, where I can walk away from my virtual job and keep it separate in ways that were just impossible in the bunkhouse.

It may be because there’s a dishwasher. Which does, indeed, make me just as happy as I thought it would.

It’s also vaguely possible that I just have an itch to move every so often, and this scratched the itch. Good Lord, I hope that’s not it.

Whatever the reason, I feel truly at home for the first time in a long, long time.

Let’s see… Corey’s 45 this year, if he works until 72, we could live here for, oh, 27 years.  I can see that.

I just went back and counted. I’ve moved 27 times since the year I entered kindergarten in Black Eagle, Montana. I was married for 27 years to my ex-husband before I bolted… Coincidence?

Well, yeah. But still… kinda cool!