Souls Ease – The House
Somewhere in the latter part of June will be the one year anniversary of my taking up residence at Souls Ease. People who have read the Thomas Covenant series by Stephen Donaldson may recognize the source of the name.
DonnaW and I found this house the second day we looked in Seneca. The rooms are huge; I later found out the man who built it was in the Navy and was *not* going to be cramped like he was on-board ship. The bedrooms are 16×16 and 16×14 respectively, while the living room is 20×15. I was quite surprised to be able to keep all of my furniture.
Before move-in there was a frantic rush of remodeling. We exchanged a double set of LR windows for French doors, opened the LR to the DR and installed a larger kitchen window. All of these changes greatly improved the amount of natural light on the north end of the house. The (vivid!) royal blue carpet was removed and the original floors in the bedrooms and LR refinished. They turned out to be cedar and look quite nice with the reddish and blonde hues.
This is my first domicile without any carpet. I had childhood memories of using a floor buffer on the seemingly endless hardwood in our home. It took the dogs a couple of weeks to quit barking every time I tapped my feet or dropped something. LOL, much less they lose traction and spinout when chasing each other around the house. I have come to prefer it to carpet, just for ease of cleanup.
My top priority was getting a portion of the back yard fenced for a dog run. I have 2 mini schnauzers and occasionally serve as a foster mom for rescued schnauzers. The highway in front has a lot of truck traffic , as it is a direct shot to I85. It took several iterations to escape proof the fenced back yard and the porch door. The gate in the back is wired shut while the porch door has a gate latch on it and a very strong spring to assure that it fully closes and latches.
I gave away 5 bookcases and a ton of books before the move. In my previous home I had had one room for fiction and another for nonfiction, with a full set of bookcases in each. In retirement I find that I use my library card a lot more than I ever did previously.
As the remodeling progressed, we discovered that the almost 70 year old house was concrete block, with a stone veneer. Not only were the walls thick, concrete had been poured in the openings in the block. My handyman was muttering and threatening to never work on the house again, because of the effort required to demolish parts of 3 walls. Hanging pictures has proved interesting as well. An upside is that I am not in the least worried about any tornado level winds we might have.
This has proven to be the only place in the South where my winter heating bill is higher than the summer air-conditioning – quite a turnaround. The 2012 winter was mild here; Zone 9 temps instead of Zone 7. If the house was that cold during a mild winter, I should not care to go through a regular one with these un-insulated walls and floors. Insulating the attic better, and adding under floor insulation should help tremendously, as will replacing the windows. One of these years I should like to install a ventless gas fireplace – all in good time.
I didn’t really start to feel comfortable here until we got some COLOR on the walls. The entire house had been recently painted with a supposed light gold. It was OK in daylight, but night was a different story. Do you remember the politically incorrect Crayola crayon called “flesh?” Bleeh.
I am quite comfortable here now. I still need to get around to some window coverings, but I have been quite busy re-doing the grounds to support my gardening passion.