My New Home in Wisconsin

See? It's not so bad.

See? It's not so bad.

First blog post from my new home in beautiful, freezing cold Wisconsin.

I saw the constellation Orion for the first time in I don’t know how long the other night. While walking Mickey down the middle of a quiet, snow-covered street, our breath puffing out like steam engines in the brilliantly crisp, sub-zero temperature air, I looked up at the sky—and saw stars! Orion stood low in the southern sky like he always does this time of year, arm pulled back taught on his bow, his belt hanging at a jaunty angle. I felt like a little kid who couldn’t wait to run home and tell mom about this amazing discovery. Instead, I smiled, yelled at Mickey to get out of the neighbor’s garbage, and hurried to get back to the house before my face fell off. Note to self: Find scarf—and get long underwear. B-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r.

Riley's hidey hole. Can you see him peeking out?

Riley's hidey hole. Can you see him peeking out?

Shabby, But Habitable
Our new home is shabby, but habitable. The lights, heat, and plumbing all work, and I get to park my car 10 feet from the back door (which made unloading it a breeze). The refrigerator is old, dirty, and not level, a couple of baseboards are missing from under the mostly crooked kitchen cabinets, and there’s a wide open space between the dishwasher (don’t ask about the dishwasher—it’s definitely a job for duct tape) and a wall that looks like a small set of drawers should reside. My cat Riley immediately claimed the space behind the dishwasher as his new hidey hole.

Although the neighborhood is crisp and clean and everybody had snow-blown or shoveled their sidewalks (except for my house), once inside I felt like I’d landed in the low-rent district of a college town. How a drunken college kid managed to punch a hole in the wall just outside the bathroom at knee level I will never know.

Almost Would Have Settled for a Shack
Nevertheless, when we first pulled in Saturday night after a harrowing drive through an ice storm, I was so happy to be ANYWHERE at that point I would have been grateful for a hovel with an outhouse. Although my little two-bedroom house is several notches above a hovel, it’s a long shot from anyone’s idea of a dream home. The former tenant, who is selling me her washer & dryer for $50, made a valiant effort to clean the place and make it look presentable.

Considering that I rented this place sight unseen from a Craigslist ad, I suppose it could’ve been a lot worse. It will do for now as I get my bearings in this new foreign land of ice fishing and snowmobiles.

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8 Responses to “My New Home in Wisconsin”


  1. 1 St. Fairsted Farm January 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Congratulations on your new abode! It was very brave of you to rent the house sight unseen.

  2. 2 gardening with confidence January 6, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Very cute. I like the x on urban!

  3. 3 Phoebe King January 6, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    It’s also why I insisted on a month-to-month lease. 😉

  4. 4 Phoebe King January 6, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Thanks! It’s a stop-gap measure until I set down more permanent roots. Then I’ll have to come up with a more permanent tagline. Always open to suggestions.

  5. 5 Elizabeth Eckert January 6, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    WOO HOO! You made it! I’ve been hoping your trip went relatively ok. I hope you love your new home in Wisconsin. Yeah, well things are a little chilly all over right now. 😉

  6. 6 DougGreen January 7, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Hey – goodferyou! It can be a rundown place or funky place – your call. 🙂 Personally – we’re also working on funky.

  7. 7 Phoebe King January 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Funky, it is then! Thanks, Doug! I’ll tell you what: having a working washer/dryer that I don’t have to walk down 3 long flights of stairs and across a icy courtyard with a full laundry basket and a pocket full of quarters to get to more than offsets my new home’s “quirks.” 😉

  8. 8 Krys January 13, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Phoebe-WOW talk about your life changes! Congratulations on taking a huge step. And so good to see your furry friends, I’m sure they will love being out of the big city. Take care!


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