You know that already, or you wouldn’t be here. Can you believe that “megandjosh” was already taken as a blog name with WordPress? I can’t believe it, I had all these cute ideas for a blog called Meg and Josh, wherein I’d say that the names are ordered that way because Josh always puts me first. Aww. Can you believe “joshandmeg” was taken also? I can’t decide whether I’m charmed or affronted at the obvious, undeniable existence of other Josh and Meg couples, and I feel as though I ought to visit their blogs. I intend to confront them, to demand that they recognize our undeniable kinship and solidarity, to force them to be friends with us on no basis other than an awkward, grudging recognition that we all have the same names.
Nah just kidding.
Tiny Tiny House, as our luxurious homestead shall henceforth be named, came to us in an act of serendipity.
The TTH came to us while I was working Skittles, which is a sentence that makes sense to very few people who aren’t me. Skittles is a border collie, and the work we were doing involved the educational inconveniencing of sheep, and this all took place at a ranch bordered by mountains and farm fields slowly falling to the increasing creep of relentless suburbia. But for now it’s pleasantly rural, despite being close to modern necessities like the freeway and Target. I go out to the ranch most days that it’s possible to do so, commuting about 30 minutes at the time, and one of the things I did there was… working Skittles.
Skittles is a client dog who belongs to neither me nor my boss Robin, but who for various reasons we’re keeping in-house at the ranch where we work and where Robin lives, training her in the art of herding sheep without being an ass about it. The natural inclination of all dogs herding sheep is to, initially, be an ass about it. Thus on the fateful day of TTH discovery I was alone in the work arena with 5 sheep and a dog being an ass, enjoying the sun gently setting over the surrounding mountains and the peace that comes at sunset. Rural peace is a special kind of peace, when all the world is quiet except for summer crickets, night birds, sheep baaa’ing because they’re pissed they haven’t been fed yet, and me yelling SKITTLES, KNOCK IT OFF, USE YOUR HEAD, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, COME IN HERE NICE OR DON’T COME IN AT ALL GOD DAMMIT SKITTLES HERE THESE HERE THESE.*
My pleasant bucolic solitude was suddenly disrupted by the realization that there were people here. People. Watching me. People I do not know. STRANGER DANGER!
In order to get to the ranch, and particularly the sheep arena, you have to really want to get there. Some people can’t get there even though they do want to get there. It’s like a hidden treasure in the back of the property, where the prize at the end of the trail is sheep poop and dogs filthier than any which may be encountered in normal civilian life. Also humans in the same state. There are also two horses corralled next to the arena, however, and it was these horses that my visitors seemed attracted to; a man and three girls on bicycles, petting and talking to the horses while I worked. I had no idea who they were. Because the only people worse at recognizing faces than I am are legally blind or have rare brain disorders, I started worriedly running through the people I know, wondering if I should know these folks but don’t. Clients? No, too late in the day and they have no dog. Tenants? No, all the ranch tenants are bachelor dudes, Robin, or kids which aren’t those kids. So I did what any normal, friendly person would do, which is keep working Skittles and hope they go away so I don’t have to deal with them.
They didn’t. Skittles needed a break. “My brain is melting,” she said to me, which she expressed via, “I will run around stupid and not listen to you anymore.” So I leashed her up and led her away and steeled myself for the greeting of Strangers Who Probably Shouldn’t Be Here.
“Hi,” I said, preparing myself for any number of other things I might have to say, such as, Are you looking for Robin? or Are you lost? or Are you a four person semi-juvenile ranch gang, please don’t hurt me, however you can take Skittles if you want?
“We’re glad we ran into you!” the man in the group beamed. “We live nearby and we like to come pet the horses, and we were hoping we could find someone to ask if it’s okay to feed them carrots.”
We got to chatting, and at one point I threw in, “Oh, since you live in the area, maybe you can let me know if you know of anywhere for rent, I’m looking for a place.”
“Actually,” said the man, “Our neighbors are moving out this weekend. Why don’t you come and see?”
“That sounds great,” I said out loud. OH MY GOD I COULD LIVE BY THE RANCH OH MY GOD IT’S RIGHT HERE I COULD OWN CHICKENS OH MY GOD, I said internally.
Friendly dude and his family proceeded to then lead me three minutes down the dirt road outside the ranch, and I had my very first look at Tiny Tiny House, one of several little properties nestled together in a clump of trees surrounded by fields. It was and is perfect, and I fell in love instantly. So much in love, in fact, that I hung around having paroxysms of joy, taking pictures, and meeting the neighbors long after I should have gone home to rescue Josh from my parents and an impromptu barbecue in which he had to meet my cousins. To make up for this, I called him on the way home.
“JOSH,” I said.
“What?” He replied, because my California-required hands-free cell phone device has terrible reception.
“JOSH I FOUND A HOUSE IT’S BY THE RANCH IT’S PERFECT WE CAN HAVE CHICKENS,” I said.
“What?” said Josh.
“CHICKENS,” I made the important points clear.
Once he could understand me, Josh felt from the very first moment that TTH was meant to be ours, that this place was special. Throughout a few following weeks of stress and drama in trying to secure the place, Josh never had a doubt we’d live there, and that it’d be perfect.
Now, two weeks in, we live here. And it is perfect.
Pictures to follow. 🙂
* “Here these” is a herding term used to call the dog back to the sheep, or to draw the dog’s attention to a particular group of sheep when there’s more than one to pick from. It gets used with Skittles frequently because Skittles is a poutypants who likes to run away.