DIY Wish List

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As I am trying to complete DIYs for two islands, bold type means I don’t have it on either game, regular type means I have it on one. I’m not including seasonal recipes that have not occurred yet (I don’t time travel), and I’ll list Celeste recipes following (not including zodiac items).

Furniture

  • Cherry-blossom bonsai (spring seasonal)
  • Cherry-blossom branches (spring seasonal)
  • Cherry-blossom clock (spring seasonal)
  • Cherry-blossom pond stone (spring seasonal)
  • Cherry-blossom petal pile (spring seasonal)
  • Iron hanger stand
  • Iron shelf
  • Mermaid Bed
  • Mermaid screen
  • Mermaid shelf
  • Natural garden chair
  • Street piano
  • Wooden table

All recipes: Celeste

  • Asteroid
  • Astronaut suit
  • Crescent moon chair
  • Crewed spaceship
  • Lunar Lander
  • Lunar Rover
  • Nova light
  • Satellite
  • space shuttle
  • Galaxy flooring
  • Lunar surface
  • Sci-fi flooring
  • Sci-fi wall
  • Cosmos wand
  • Golden wand
  • Hyacinth wand
  • Iron wand
  • Lily wand
  • Mums wand
  • Rose wand
  • Tree-branch wand
  • Tulip wand
  • Wand
  • Windflower wand
  • Star pochette
  • Star head

Door Decorations

  • Chic windflower wreath
  • Cool hyacinth wreath
  • Cool windflower wreath
  • Dark lily wreath
  • Dark tulip wreath
  • Fancy lily wreath
  • Fancy mum wreath
  • Fancy rose wreath
  • Hyacinth wreath
  • Natural mum wreath
  • Pansy wreath
  • Pretty cosmos wreath
  • Purple hyacinth wreath
  • Rose wreath
  • Snazzy pansy wreath
  • Tulip wreath
  • Windflower wreath

Wallpaper/Floor/Rugs

  • Cherry-blossom flooring (spring seasonal)
  • Sakura-wood flooring (spring seasonal)
  • Apple rug
  • Cherry-blossom trees wall (spring seasonal)
  • Mermaid wall
  • Modern wood wall
  • Sakura-wood wall (spring seasonal)
  • Stone wall

Clothing

  • Pear dress
  • Blue Rose crown
  • Chic mum crown
  • Chic rose crown
  • Chic tulip crown
  • Cool hyacinth crown
  • Cool pansy crown
  • Cosmos crown
  • Cute lily crown
  • Dark Cosmos crown
  • Gold rose crown
  • hyacinth crown
  • Lily crown
  • Lovely cosmos crown
  • Mum crown
  • Pansy crown
  • Rose crown
  • Tulip crown
  • Windflower crown
  • Cherry-blossom pochette (spring seasonal)
  • Log pack
  • Cherry-blossom umbrella (spring seasonal)

Fleeing the City, A Trip to Olive Town Day 1&2

While not a fan of Harvest Moon games from the very beginning the franchise is celebrating 25 years this year—they didn’t hit my radar until around Sunshine Islands for the DS in 2009—I have played just about every title since then. Some I liked a lot. Some not so much. I still get excited every time a new game releases.

Today my Japanese copy of Story of Seasons Pioneers of Olive Town came in the mail. I popped it in and started my journey. Please bear in mind that I’m playing 98% blind. I have not endlessly researched bachelors and bachelorettes. I honestly don’t know who they are. Watching the Nintendo direct trailer is pretty much all the info I have.

When the game started it asked me if I wanted to play on or offline. It didn’t give any explanation to the difference, so I don’t know what that means really. I chose online. In between loading screens I think it shows other players pictures. Maybe this is all it does? Time will tell.

It also asked me the pointed question of whether I wanted to play normal or easy mode. Easy mode grants you:

  • more money from the the shipping box

  • less stamina loss

  • easier to raise relationships

  • more skill points (I think this is related to tool use)

  • cheaper items in shops

Ordinarily I would say “I’m not a filthy cas!” but times being what they are—hello thousand pandemic hobbies and new (online) Japanese class starting next week—I decided to play on easy mode.

The game starts with the usual character creation. Slightly unusual (but becoming more the norm) in that there was no option for sex. There were more feminine haircuts or eye styles and more masculine styles, but you aren’t limited to one style for girls and one style for boys. Of course I didn’t take screenshots while creating my character because that would have been too convenient to show you. There aren’t a terribly great amount of options, you choose skin color, hair style, hair color, your eyes, eye color, you can have odd eye color, voice, and stance (one is “powerful” one is “meek”), and pick from a jumpsuit or a skirt.

My character ended up looking like this:

yumiko

Yumi and her motorbike

After you make your character you go to another creation screen in which you pick out the color for your bike. You then zoom off away from the city toward Olive Town to recapture the memories of your Grandpa and his farm. If it sounds very Stardew Valley, it is, but Story of Seasons came first.

to Olive Town!

To Olive Town!

It was during the cutscene as I was vrooming along that I noticed the video was a wee bit choppy. It wasn’t horrible, just noticeably not smooth. 

My bike started blowing black smoke as I arrived in Olive Town, but the mayor was there to greet me and get the game started. He had some questions for me, the usual “what’s your name”, your birthday, and “are you a boy or a girl”—how rude.

After which the mayor took me over to my shockingly dilapidated farm. It looks nothing like it did when I was little staying with Grandpa. But never fear, the mayor tells me about tools that can help with that and promises to stop by tomorrow to teach me how to plant things.

my rundown farm

What happened to Grandpa’s farm?

I spent the first day oblivious to the fact that I had tools in a tool pocket. I picked a few flowers, found some wild onions, attempted to make nicey nice with a stray chicken, and introduced myself all around town. It was in town that I noticed the game was *really* choppy. Inside shops and houses it seems ok.

Speaking of town, there were all sorts of shops, but it’s easy to get around. They’re all clustered together and they seem to have pretty standard hours. Most are open until six. I didn’t take note of whether they are closed on certain days. They had a grocery store which only sells ingredients for cooking, a restaurant, hotel and cafe which serves lighter fare, the usual general store, and animal store plus a few more.

grocery store items

Some of the grocery store’s wares

I took a video walking around town hoping to capture the choppiness. The video looks ok to me? Maybe it’s my tv? There’s nothing really going on in the video. Just me walking around town.

I also took a video meeting the Cafe owner. You can see me perusing the different menu options and looking at the drinks.

I spent the day looking around, noting places that were closed off to me:

the mine and a collapsed bridge

the mine and a collapsed bridge

When it was time for bed I went to bed…in my tent…this hearkens back to New Horizons.

tent sweet tent

I played one more day in game. True to his word the mayor came back in the morning and gave me some seeds and told me how to plant them and to water them every day. After the short explanation he left me to my own devices and told me he’d be back the next day to talk about the axe and hammer.

I couldn’t figure out where the watering can I supposedly had was though. Eventually I realized I had a pocket just for tools and I had to drag them to my bar to use them. Once I figured that out I planted some turnips, got around to getting rid of some grass, rocks, and trees. I was happy I didn’t have to wait to use the axe or hammer until the explanation.

Sometimes HM/Story of Seasons tutorials are soul crushing. They make you play six limited days teaching you  the basics before you can truly start the game. Fortunately so far Olive Town tells you what you need to know and then leaves you alone without restricting your activities.

The mayor—in Japanese his name is Victor, I don’t know what it is in English—gave me a well and a tree to plant, so I put those down. It doesn’t seem that you have to water trees. I put mine out of the way and couldn’t water it.

My new well

 

It’s also easy to tell what you have and haven’t watered, which is nice. And you can easily pick up the well and put it somewhere else if you don’t like where you put it. The gameplay seems easy and, except for the pocket for the tools, intuitive.

I was able to level up my scythe skill to 3. I now get three clumps of grass with each swing. hammer and axe got to 2, but my stamina started to go so I  called it a day. But it’s easier to chop wood and rocks now.

So far it’s pretty classic. Except for the choppiness I’m liking it. More to come!

 

Duplicate DIY

The following is a list of duplicate DIYs I have available. Ignore the letter in parenthesis at the end as that just helps me notate which character has it.

  • Apple Wall (s)
  • Bamboo bench (s, d)
  • Bamboo doll (ゆ)
  • Bamboo floor lamp (s)
  • Bamboo-grove wall (d, d)
  • Basket pack (ゆ)
  • Boomerang (ゆ)
  • Butter churn (ゆ)
  • Coconut wall planter (s, d)
  • Cosmos shower (s)
  • Garden wagon (d)
  • Gold armor (d)
  • Golden dishes (s)
  • Ironwood bed (d)
  • Ironwood cupboard (s)
  • Log chair (ゆ)
  • Log garden lounge (s)
  • Log stool (d)
  • Medium Cardboard boxes (d)
  • Money flooring (s)
  • Music stand (d)
  • Natural garden table (ゆ)
  • Pan flute (ゆ)
  • Paw-print doorplate (d, ゆ)
  • Pear wall (d)
  • Pond stone (d)
  • Pot (d)
  • Rustic-stone wall (s, d)
  • Shell fountain (s)
  • Tiki torch (ゆ)
  • Wooden-block stool (s x2)
  • Wooden simple bed (s, d, ゆ)

DIY Recipes

The following is a list of DIYs that I have for both of my Animal Crossing New Horizon games. As of 5/5/20 it is up to date for both my US game (Ardani) and for my JP game (みや島). I’ll post a list of extras in the next day or two.

I would be happy to craft anything on this list for materials.

USJPNameTypeMade JPMade US
XXFlimsy AxeTool✔✔
XXStone AxeTool✔✔
XXAxeTool✔✔
XXFlimsy ShovelTool✔✔
XXShovelTool✔✔
XXFlimsy Fishing rodTool✔✔
XXFishing RodTool✔✔
XXFlimsy NetTool✔✔
XXNetTool✔✔
XXFlimsy Watering CanTool✔✔
XXWatering CanTool✔✔
XXSlingshotTool✔✔
XGolden watering canTool✔
XXVaulting PoleTool✔✔
XXLadderTool✔✔
XXStar WandTool
XXBamboo WandTool
XCosmos wandTool
XCherry-blossom wandTool
XXBunny Day wandTool
XXCampfireHousewares✔✔
XXBonfireHousewares✔
XXTiki torchHousewares✔
XXClotheslineHousewares✔✔
XScarecrowHousewares✔
XXSimple DIY workbenchHousewares✔
XMini DIY workbenchHousewares✔
XWooden stoolHousewares✔
XXWooden chairHousewares✔✔
XWooden mini tableHousewares
XXWooden end tableHousewares
XXWooden low tableHousewares
XXWooden wardrobeHousewares✔✔
XXWooden chestHousewares
XXWooden simple bedHousewares✔
XWooden double bedHousewares
XXWooden full-length mirrorHousewares✔
XWooden waste binHousewares
XXLog stoolHousewares✔✔
XXLog benchHousewares✔✔
XLog dining tableHousewares✔
XXLog round tableHousewares✔
XXLog garden loungeHousewares✔✔
XXLog chairHousewares✔
XLog bedHousewares✔
XXLog decorative shelvesHousewares
XXLog stakesHousewares✔✔
XXWooden-block stoolHousewares
XWooden-block chairHousewares
XXWooden-block tableHousewares✔✔
XXWooden-block bedHousewares✔
XWooden-block bookshelfHousewares
XXWooden-block stereoHousewares✔✔
XXPlain sinkHousewares
XPlain wooden shop signHousewares
XNatural garden chairHousewares✔
XXNatural square tableHousewares✔
XXNatural garden tableHousewares✔
XRocking chairHousewares
XSwinging benchHousewares
XGrass standeeHousewares✔
XHedge standeeHousewares✔
XXMountain standeeHousewares
XXTree standeeHousewares
XTea tableHousewares
XXRocking horseHousewares
XXMusic standHousewares✔✔
XXAcoustic GuitarHousewares✔
XXDoghouseHousewares✔
XBarrelHousewares✔
XXButter churnHousewares✔
XXBirdhouseHousewares✔✔
XXGarden wagonHousewares✔✔
XXStallHousewares✔
XXSignpostHousewares✔✔
XAngled signpostHousewares
XXDestinations signpostHousewares✔
XSleighHousewares
XXTire toyHousewares✔
XXTire stackHousewares
XXBrick ovenHousewares✔
XXBrick WellHousewares
XXSiloHousewares
XStone stoolHousewares✔
XXStone tableHousewares✔✔
XBirdbathHousewares✔
XXDrinking fountainHousewares✔
XXFountainHousewares✔
XGarden rockHousewares✔
XXFlat garden rockHousewares✔✔
XTall garden rockHousewares
XXMossy garden rockHousewares✔
XStone archHousewares
XXOutdoor bathHousewares✔
XXSauna heaterHousewares
XXSimple wellHousewares
XXWave breakerHousewares✔
XZen-style stoneHousewares✔
XXStone lion-dogHousewares✔
XXStone tabletHousewares
XTall lanternHousewares✔
XXPond stoneHousewares✔✔
XCherry-blossom pond stoneHousewares✔
XXIron garden chairHousewares✔✔
XXIron garden tableHousewares✔✔
XXIron worktableHousewares✔✔
XIron closetHousewares
XGongHousewares✔
XStandard umbrella standHousewares✔
XXWater pumpHousewares✔✔
XXJail barsHousewares
XIron frameHousewares
XKettle bathtubHousewares
XXManhole coverHousewares
XBarbellHousewares✔
XXIronwood chairHousewares✔
XIronwood cartHousewares
XXIronwood tableHousewares✔
XXIronwood low tableHousewares✔
XXIronwood bedHousewares
XXIronwood cupboardHousewares✔
XXIronwood kitchenetteHousewares
XIronwood DIY workbenchHousewares
XGarden benchHousewares✔
XGolden seatHousewares
XXGolden casketHousewares
XXGolden toiletHousewares
XHay bedHousewares✔
XXOrange end tableHousewares✔✔
XXPeach chairHousewares✔
XApple chairHousewares✔
XApple TVHousewares✔
XPear wardrobeHousewares
XPear bedHousewares
XPalm-tree lampHousewares✔
XXBeekeeper’s hiveHousewares✔
XTiny LibraryHousewares
XXWooden bookshelfHousewares
XScattered papersHousewares
XXCardboard chairHousewares
XCardboard sofaHousewares✔
XCardboard tableHousewares
XCardboard bedHousewares
XSmall cardboard boxesHousewares
XXMedium cardboard boxesHousewares✔
XXLarge cardboard boxesHousewares✔✔
XOil-barrel bathtubHousewares
XXGiant teddy bearHousewares
XStreet pianoHousewares
XSpace shuttleHousewares
XSatelliteHousewares
XXRobot heroHousewares
XAries rocking chairHousewares
XXTaurus bathtubHousewares
XXBamboo benchHousewares✔✔
XXHearthHousewares
XDeer scareHousewares
XBamboo basketHousewares
XXBamboo floor lampHousewares✔
XXBamboo speakerHousewares✔
XBamboo stopblockHousewares✔
XXBamboo dollHousewares✔✔
XXGreen-leaf pileHousewares✔
XXBamboo noodle slideHousewares✔✔
XCherry-blossom-petal pileHousewares✔
XCherry-blossom branchesHousewares✔
XXOutdoor picnic setHousewares✔✔
XXBlossom-viewing lanternHousewares✔✔
XShell stoolHousewares✔
XXShell fountainHousewares✔✔
XXShell tableHousewares✔
XShell partitionHousewares✔
XShell archHousewares✔
XXMum cushionHousewares✔
XXCosmos showerHousewares✔
XXTulip surprise boxHousewares✔✔
XRose bedHousewares✔
XXPansy tableHousewares✔
XLily record playerHousewares
XXBunny Day stoolHousewares✔✔
XXBunny Day tableHousewares✔✔
XXBunny Day wardrobeHousewares✔✔
XXBunny Day vanityHousewares✔✔
XXBunny Day bedHousewares✔✔
XXBunny Day merry balloonsHousewares✔✔
XXBunny Day festive balloonsHousewares✔✔
XXBunny Day archHousewares✔✔
XXUnglazed Dish SetMisc
XXWooden Table MirrorMisc
XXWooden-block ToyMisc✔✔
XRingtossMisc
XXMatryoshkaMisc✔
XXUkeleleMisc✔
XXWooden FishMisc✔
XDecoy DuckMisc
XFirewoodMisc✔
XCutting BoardMisc
XXRecycled-can Thumb PianoMisc✔
XTrash BagsMisc
XXModeling ClayMisc✔✔
XXClassic PitcherMisc✔✔
XXPotMisc✔✔
XXAroma PotMisc✔✔
XXKettlebellMisc✔✔
XXGold BarsMisc
XXGolden DishesMisc
XXGolden CandlestickMisc
XLucky Gold CatMisc
XGolden dung beetleMisc
XXSucculent PlantMisc✔
XTerrariumMisc✔
XPeach Surprise BoxMisc✔
XCoconut juiceMisc
XXCherry speakersMisc
XInfused-water dispenserMisc
XXDocument stackMisc
XXBamboo candle holderMisc
XBamboo lunch boxMisc
XBamboo sphereMisc✔
XXSteamer-basket SetMisc✔
XXBamboo-shoot lampMisc✔✔
XCherry-blossom bonsaiMisc✔
XXShell lampMisc✔✔
XXWindflower fanMisc✔
XXBunny Day lampMisc✔✔
XXWobbling Zipper ToyMisc✔✔
XXBoomerangWall-mounted
XBone doorplateWall-mounted
XKey holderWall-mounted✔
XXLog wall-mounted clockWall-mounted
XWooden-block wall clockWall-mounted
XWooden-plank signWall-mounted✔
XXPaw-print doorplateWall-mounted
XTimber doorplateWall-mounted
XFossil doorplateWall-mounted
XXIron wall lampWall-mounted✔
XXIron wall rackWall-mounted✔
XCrest doorplateWall-mounted
XGolden gearsWall-mounted
XPotted ivyWall-mounted✔
XFloral swagWall-mounted
XHanging terrariumWall-mounted✔
XOrange wall-mounted clockWall-mounted
XCherry lampWall-mounted✔
XXCoconut wall planterWall-mounted
XBamboo wall decorationWall-mounted
XCherry-blossom clockWall-mounted✔
XCool windflower wreathWall-mounted
XMum wreathWall-mounted✔
XXCosmos wreathWall-mounted✔
XXPretty tulip wreathWall-mounted
XLily wreathWall-mounted
XDark lily wreathWall-mounted
XFancy rose wreathWall-mounted
XPansy wreathWall-mounted
XXBunny Day wall clockWall-mounted✔✔
XXBunny Day glowy garlandWall-mounted✔✔
XXBunny Day wreathWall-mounted✔✔
XGolden wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXGolden flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XWoodland wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XModern wood wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XWooden-mosaic wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXDark wooden-mosaic wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXCabin wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XStacked-wood wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XGarbage-heap wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XGarbage-heap flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXRustic-stone wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XBasement flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XGold-screen wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXJungle wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XJungle flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XBackyard lawnWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XCherry wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXCherry rugWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXOrange wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XOrange rugWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XPeach wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXPeach rugWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XXPear wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XPear rugWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXApple wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XXHoneycomb wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XHoneycomb flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XXClassic-library wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXManga-library wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXMoney flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XStarry-sky wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XStarry wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXBamboo flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXBamboo-grove wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XXLight bamboo rugWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔✔
XDark bamboo rugWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
Xcherry-blossom-trees wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XSakura-wood wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XCherry-blossom flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XSakura-wood flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔
XXSandy-beach flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXShell rugWallpapers/Floors/Rugs
XXBunny Day wallWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔✔
XXBunny Day flooringWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔✔
XXBunny Day rugWallpapers/Floors/Rugs✔✔
XXRecycled BootsEquipment✔
XXKnight’s helmetEquipment
XIron ArmorEquipment
XXArmor shoesEquipment
XGold helmetEquipment
XXGold armorEquipment
XGold-armor shoesEquipment
XLeaf maskEquipment
XXLeaf umbrellaEquipment✔
XStraw umbrella hatEquipment
XBamboo hatEquipment
XTraditional straw coatEquipment
XXGrass skirtEquipment
XXKnitted-grass backpackEquipment
XXOrange umbrellaEquipment
XCherry umbrellaEquipment✔
XPeach umbrellaEquipment✔
XXPeach hatEquipment
XPear umbrellaEquipment
XXPear hatEquipment
XApple hatEquipment✔
XXBasket packEquipment✔
XCherry-blossom umbrellaEquipment✔
XCherry-blossom pochetteEquipment✔
XCosmos crownEquipment
XLovely cosmos crownEquipment
XTulip crown Equipment✔
XChic tulip crownEquipment
XPurple hyacinth crownEquipment
XRose crownEquipment
XChic rose crownEquipment
XPansy crownEquipment
XXEarth-egg shellEquipment✔✔
XXEarth-egg outfitEquipment✔✔
XXEarth-egg shoesEquipment✔✔
XXStone-egg shellEquipment✔✔
XXStone-egg outfitEquipment✔✔
XXStone-egg shoesEquipment✔✔
XXLeaf-egg shell Equipment✔✔
XXLeaf-egg outfitEquipment✔✔
XXLeaf-egg shoesEquipment✔✔
XXWood-egg shellEquipment✔✔
XXWood-egg outfitEquipment✔✔
XXWood-egg shoesEquipment✔✔
XXSky-egg ShellEquipment✔✔
XXSky-egg outfitEquipment✔✔
XXSky-egg shoesEquipment✔✔
XXWater-egg shellEquipment✔✔
XXWater-egg outfitEquipment✔✔
XXWater-egg shoesEquipment✔✔
XXEgg party hatEquipment✔✔
XXEgg party dressEquipment✔✔
XXBunny Day crownEquipment✔✔
XXBunny Day bagEquipment✔✔
XXMedicineOther✔✔
XXFish baitOther✔✔
XXPan fluteOther✔
XXPitfall seedOther
XCorral fenceOther
XXVertical-board fenceOther✔
XXCountry fenceOther✔
XSpiky fenceOther
XBarbed-wire fenceOther
XXSimple wooden fenceOther✔
XLattice fenceOther✔
XXImperial fenceOther
XXBrick fenceOther✔
XXStone fenceOther✔
XXIron-and–stone fenceOther✔
XXZen fenceOther✔
XXRope fenceOther✔
XXIron fenceOther✔
XStraw fenceOther
XXHedgeOther✔✔
XXBamboo lattice fenceOther✔
XXBunny Day fenceOther✔✔

Never Fall in Love

On August 16 of this year (my 43rd birthday), my husband and my Persian cat, Carrie said goodbye to the bay area and our condo of five years and trundled along in a Uhaul hauling our electric Fiat which could only move under its own power for 100 miles. We headed for Salt Lake City with only the glimmerings of a plan.

About a year ago my husband had a spate of funerals to attend in Vernal, UT where his family lives. They had him brooding over mortality, and the fact that we had no family or ties to the bay area other than a job that has been very good to him for the better part of a decade. When his mother reluctantly disclosed that she had cancer he began seriously considering moving back to Utah closer to family. And when he asked work whether that would be possible they gave him a green light to work remotely. 

That’s how we ended up driving across the desert in a Uhaul with a disgruntled cat, a disgruntled me (who wants to spend their birthday in a Uhaul?) our condo sale not finalized, and a 1 bedroom apartment that we had never seen awaiting us.

We initially thought we would look for a house in the Heber City area. It’s a bit closer to his family, but not a terrible drive to Salt Lake. I was on board with this plan even though the only place I’ve ever been to in Heber is the WalMart. His family are not city people. They do not drive in Salt Lake. We didn’t think they’d come to Salt Lake. But since his mother got sick they come to the city for treatment. She came for treatment two days after we arrived and over dinner she asked us if we were looking for a house in Salt Lake. We hadn’t been. Looking in Salt Lake was like having our cake and eating it too.

I am not a country girl. I grew up in the suburbs of southern California. I went to the University of Utah on a whim. It’s where I met my husband. My best friend from high school also went to the University of Utah, but after college he stayed in Utah. He lives in Millcreek with his wife and 3 boys. My husband and I often stay with them before heading out to Vernal to visit his family.

After having my husband’s parents open our eyes to the fact that Salt Lake was on the table for home buying I did what anyone would do in this day and age. I took to the internet. Our condo hadn’t closed yet. The date kept getting pushed back. We didn’t have a realtor. I didn’t initially think I’d look over by Millcreek. I didn’t know where the heck to look. Or what to look for. All of the real estate agents we meet tell us “oh you know what you want”. And no, we don’t. Not really. I mean, I thought I wanted a new house in Heber with a Hallmark kitchen (you know, the giant kitchens they’re always baking cookies in in their Christmas specials). After living in an 1100 square foot condo for 5 years that seemed like something I should want. 

I stumbled on the Victorian house in Millcreek and I loved it. I didn’t want to. It has stood on this earth generations longer than I have. It is not new. It has a galley kitchen. A feature that ordinarily is an automatic no for me. But the kitchen is sunny. And wide. And I can see myself making Christmas cookies in it, without the island so prevalent in newer homes. After looking at the pictures of the house it dawned on me that it has no garage. I have an electric car. No. I thought. Can’t work. I thought. But I still had to see it.

On August 31st, the day after our condo closed, my husband and I drove around the valley in my orange electric Fiat, and looked at open houses. We made a list of times and addresses. We stopped whenever we saw a sign for one that we hadn’t written down. You never know which house could wow you. We saw a lot of remodeled kitchens and bathrooms. We saw a lot of houses where people dwelled in their basement. We saw beautiful dark woodwork that sucked the light out of the room. We saw uneven fun house floors, houses with jacks in their basement.

The Victorian was later in the day. I was hoping to go see it, and like so many houses that day, find that deal breaking flaw since we didn’t have funds yet. Unfortunately I was enchanted. There were koi in the pond! I wanted to show the koi to my Persian cat. She’s never seen fish. Or a pond, come to think of it. I could see myself on the covered porch with a book watching the porch light sway in the wind. I loved the add on to the back porch. The huge wraparound windows. I can almost see the snow blanketing the little garden out back. I love the molding. I love the lights. We had to jettison our dining room table on the move because it wouldn’t fit in the moving truck. I imagine scouring estate sales to find a table worthy of the house. Oddly I want to find pieces I think the house would like. I’ve never thought in those terms before. I’ve always just thought oh, I like this table. But about that house, that I think looks on my 43 years and still calls me a child, I think that house needs furniture that it likes. I’m not certain it would approve of my electric reclining couch with USB ports. But at the same time, I think, that house has seen the rise and fall of generations. Maybe it’s up for a little change.It has certainly seen its share. And while I have no children, I want to invite my best friend to bring his 3 boys over to run up and down the stairs, maybe to skin a knee on the stones outside. They live 2 miles down the road. They could visit all the time and steal peaches from the peach tree, like I did on our second visit. I want to have a giant Christmas tree and host my mother for the holidays. She’s upset because at the same time I moved further away, my niece moved to Chicago. I want them both to come for Christmas and sip cocoa by the fireplace and fall in love with that house like I did.

When we decided to move I bought a book about moving. It told me not to fall in love with a house. And against its advice, that’s exactly what I did. Because I can see myself there. I can see my family there. And I don’t want to. I’m kicking and screaming and telling myself that my stupid electric car should not exist with a heavy gauge extension cord until a suitable garage that the house would approve of could be erected.

But our condo took too long to close. And we couldn’t put in a serious offer on time. And then our bank would not call us back even after we deposited more money than I’ve ever seen in my life. So I am clinging to the idea of this beautiful old house and praying the mortgage lender calls this morning and green lights our loan so that we can put in a backup offer and this dream that I didn’t know I had can live for at least a little while longer.