Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Included in the Rent

Our apartment occupies most of the bottom floor of a house built in 1903. The rent is low and the landlord easy-going. (Sometimes too easy-going when it comes to painting, repairs and screening potential tenants for the upstairs apartment, but I guess it's a case of getting what we pay for.)

The house has all the age-related problems you might expect - sloping floors, cracks in the plaster, plumbing and wiring oddities, poor insulation. But there are compensations: high-ceilinged rooms, all the original woodwork and doors ...

... hardwood flooring - great for allergy-prone me - lots of south-facing windows, and a lovely large yard which we enjoy as much as we can.

There are trees all around the house. Big and small, old and young, they include oak, ash, maple, pine, catalpa, black walnut, and mulberry - the fruit of which we're enjoying right now.

There's a nice little copse at the back, which a fastidious next-door neighbour condemns as "too messy". I think it's refreshing to the eyes.

Wild black raspberries grow there, bearing luscious fruit every July. (Half of these were plowed under last year by the landlord's short-sighted son-in-law - grrr - but I have hopes they'll come back next year.)

A clump of daylilies hides around back.

The lawn here is full of violets in the spring, and the north side of the house is entirely lined with lily-of-the-valley which give off a lovely scent every June.

The little copse is home to all kinds of birds, rabbits and squirrels. I even saw a Cooper's hawk there one day, although I think he was just visiting (probably to check out the birds, rabbits and squirrels). Lest it sound too idyllic, I will add that the copse also produces plenty of nettles and burdock and mosquitoes. But there are fireflies at night.

I suppose we could live somewhere newer and nicer, paying more for the privilege of pristine plaster and paint and plumbing (can I possibly work another "p" word in here? Nope, I've run out of alliteration), a more controlled environment, and carefully manicured grounds. We've had those things in the past.

But we rather like it here. So until our ship comes in, or a better deal comes along, we'll stay where we are and enjoy the perks.

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  1. Hello! Discovered your bracelets on Ravelry and then found out you are also a small-town-Wisconsin old-house person!

    We have mulberries and black raspberries too. The mulberries make a lovely mulberry cordial. (Mulberries, sugar, vodka -- steep for a couple of months, strain.) Add a little to a glass of white wine, stir well, and call the Mazo Beach Blush. (I live in Mazomanie.)

  2. Those are my kind of perks! Well, except for the mosquitoes...

    The best things in life come when we live simply and simply enjoy to live. I've thought you grasp that concept brilliantly ever since my first visit here. :)

  3. You have an idyllic place there. I was confused by your black Raspberries, the picture you show looks the same as the Blackberries (or Brambles) that we have here. I envy you the Mulberries.

  4. Thanks all!

    Bungalow Barbara - welcome and thanks for commenting! The recipe sounds intriguing.

  5. P.S. to Toffeeapple - the black raspberries are smaller and rounder than true blackberries and taste a bit different - a sort of mild "dark" raspberry flavour.


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