Our house is absolutely fantastic. Sure, the newness will eventually wear off as we inevitably battle leaky facets and such, but for now we are in the honeymoon phase. We are located 5 miles outside of Iowa City in the country. The upstairs area of the house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, the kitchen, the living room, the dining room, and a deck. The downstairs area has a rec room, two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a laundry room. The house is attached to a two-car garage with remote controlled doors, which will make winter much more bearable.
We sit on a five-acre parcel of land; half of which consists of grass. So part of the rental agreement is to keep the lawn mowed. Since this would take an infinite amount of hours every week with a traditional lawn mower, we saved up to buy a used riding mower. The landlord has encouraged us to create a garden as large as our hearts desire, and we’re excited to grow things that would normally struggle in the northwest, like red bell peppers. Just down from the proposed garden area sits our landlord’s horse stable, so we’ve been offered as much horse manure as we can use. Apparently this is the best type of manure, so perhaps it will counter-balance our novice gardening skills.
The back half of the property also adjoins with our landlord’s/neighbor’s land. The area is comprised of thick forest, some of which dips down into a deep ravine. A path leads you down to a pond full of frogs and toads. And the area is full of deer, including little fawns, and wild turkeys. Our landlord, like me, is also an animal lover and refers to this area as her animal sanctuary. Sim, on the other hand, immediately salivates at the thought of bow hunting in the backyard. Nonetheless, we are under strict rules to only shoot pictures. Sim was completely agitated about this conundrum until learning about the many local hunting opportunities that Iowa City has to offer. This area is also ripe with coyotes, so thankfully we have fenced the front yard in such a manner that we can see the dogs from each window at all times. So really the concern is the sound of coyotes howling; it is going to scare the dogs and undoubtedly send them into their own howling frenzy. But that’s country life for you.
The front of our house faces a three-story white farmhouse built around the turn of the century. Beside it sits a large red barn on the far side of a corn field. The corn field then meets up with a long span of tall and lush green trees. My home office looks out at this with a large maple tree that sits in our front yard. It is surprisingly beautiful and charming.
At night the countryside begins to sing with crickets, croak with toads, and glow with fireflies. The moonlight shines down so you can barely see the silhouette of the forest and the corn fields. And the sky gleams with bright stars. The air is warm and sultry, and goes hand in hand with a cold mojito. I now see why so many people adore the Midwest – it is absolutely magical.