Not too long ago, Smarty Pants bought a new house. It wasn’t the sort of house I thought he might buy for his family, but it was certainly gorgeous. It was in a small community, on the side of a hill, and there were trees and the grass was green and the back yard was HUGE. But I’ll tell you more about the back yard later.
Arnisador and Neo were out at Smarty Pants’ house not long after the purchase, and there were all sorts of shenanigans going on…but again, I’m getting ahead of myself here.
The basement of Smarty Pants’ new house was an odd place. Primarily because parts of it were dark and draughty, and there were boxes all over the place. Also, it was strange because it was the house that His Nibs and I had purchased to live in with our family. Normally, I would never consider purchasing the basement of someone else’s house as my own primary dwelling, but sometimes these things defy explanation.
Upstairs, in the Smarty Pantses’ house, the ceiling launched itself above the ground; two gigantic raw timbers forming a soaring A-frame, inside of which the walls were cedar planks and the floors were rough-hewn floorboards. Windows formed the south-east facing wall, the one that looked out over the lake. The north wall was taken up nearly entirely by a huge fireplace, and on the other side of the fireplace was a dining room, so you could share the roaring fire in two rooms at once. The kitchen was long and well-lit, tiled in white with stainless steel countertops. It ran along the south wall parallel to the dining room. In behind the dining room was a den with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a heavy desk for Smarty Pants to work at, and a window set high above the desk so that light filtered in but didn’t glare. A couple of large leather armchairs faced each other at angles, and there was a humidor by the door where Smarty Pants kept his cigars (the den had its own air circulation system, so he could smoke WHATEVER HE WANTED in there.
Continuing on, there was a playroom/craft room across from the den full of toys and Mrs. Smarty Pants’ stuff, and at the back of the main floor, a large guest room with an en-suite two piece bathroom. The guest room opened on to the patio. And across the wide hall from the guest room was a huge mudroom with the laundry room and a three-piece bathroom. The garage was on this side of the house also, so the Pantses could pull in to the garage, get nekkit, toss their clothes in the laundry, and shower, all before taking off their boots.
Well, it’d be tough to get nekkit and shower without taking off your boots, but you get the point.
Upstairs (the stairs themselves being thick cedar planks suspended from the ceiling by and anchored to each other by thick iron rods) were the master bedroom (which faced southeast as well, being part of a loft overlooking the great room below with the two-storey windows; the master bedroom also had a fireplace in the north wall) with a full four-piece bathroom (one of those showers with a bazillion different showerheads, a jet tub, and the rest of your standard bathroom equipment…complete with skylights and in-floor heating). Across a wide hallway were three smaller bedrooms and a three-piece bathroom. A deck off the upstairs bathrooms opened out on to the back yard, and a locking gate led to a set of outdoor stairs opening onto the patio, which hosted a HUGE BBQ.
There was a small garden shed in the landscaped yard, and at the back of the yard, a rock wall. I mean, a wall made for rock-climbing. Not *made* so much as *perfectly naturally developed for*. It rose up above the house, and was on level with a kind of driveway for guests (they got there by taking the windy gravel road around back, not by driving up the rock wall).
Now, see, *our house*, being kind of in their basement…but not really their basement…kind of down and to the left of their house….was small and dingy and very third-year-University looking. His Nibs’ parents did NOT like to visit us there. They did visit us, though, for a couple of days, and then they left. Rather precipitously.
So His Nibs and the monsters and I went to visit the Smarty Pantses upstairs. Which is where we met up with Arnisador and Neo as well. The four of us (Smarty Pants, Neo, Arnisador, and Yours Truly) were all out in the back yard. I was watching Arnisador beat the crap out of Smarty Pants and Neo with a couple of sticks. It was terribly entertaining. Then I decided to go rock climbing.
I have never been rock climbing. For a very good reason. I don’t know how. And, it’s been so long since I’ve done anything athletic that I’d probably kill myself. But this was different. I shimmied up a few rocks, then Arnisador taught me how to get the rest of the way up. And you know what? **UP** is really easy. IT’s the getting down part that’s troublesome.