Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Last stop for this crazy train

Percolating in the back of my head for the last three weeks was the probably the largest, riskiest, most creative scheme I've had yet.  So large, risky, and creative, that to most people (including myself, immediate family, and strangers on the street) it seemed borderline crazy.

The facts: an abandoned property with a condemned home was being auctioned off by the county treasurer's office this past weekend.  The property's backyard is adjacent to our own backyard.  The lot is 0.43 acres, is just 1 mile south of a state university, is just a couple of blocks west of our city's pedestrian friendly downtown, is around the corner from a forward-thinking gardening non-profit.  The home's listing claims it is 2500 square feet, with 7 bedrooms.

Right away I think: total green rehab (solar panels by SolarYpsi, geothermal heating/cooling, local tradesmen to do the work), Bed & Breakfast, Retreat Center offering sustainability skill-sharing events (breadmaking, knitting, spinning, couples retreats, gardening, canning, etc, etc, etc), with a couple of friendly alpaca decorating the backyard.

This idea lived on and gained momentum in my head while I talked it up to anyone who would listen, including a handful of city officials.  The conversation's purpose was to work out the details, gauge public reaction, and gather ideas for funding.  All of those things were successful!  Ah, but, another bidder, with a more concrete plan (and hopefully fewer city ordinances to amend), is now the owner of this property.

I was surprised and disappointed, but a little bit relieved when the auction ended with the word "Sold!" next to the listing.  I hope the new owners are alpaca-friendly!

Thanks to all of you who rode this crazy train with me, smiling and nodding politely while I unfolded this idea out before you!


  1. I am disappointed. I was still coming up with ideas. Maybe the person now owning the property will be open to some of your craziness -- a new partner in your wonderful creative environmentalism.

  2. Don't stop dreaming and scheming. Dreams and schemes come true.

  3. Two years ago I applied to a tenure track position that I was so incredibly unqualified for, but in my head I talked up my premature credentials and research focus (other than being ABD with no college teaching experience) to be a perfect fit. I was so excited about this position because it was located in Dubuque, IA, a super cute, up-and-coming little city on the Mississippi where my partner is from. I approached it with the same feverish enthusiasm that you have with this venture. The job did not pan out (as any sane person could see would happen), but it helped me see that Dubuque is the perfect place for us, an idea I was reluctant to consider before I found a job I could see myself doing there. Now, we are planning to move there this summer with other and more realistic but equally as exciting job prospects in sight. I kind of see your B&B as a similar experience, kind of a test run where you can play out in your mind how you want it all to be, but it's just not quite the right time. Perhaps in two years, it'll all fall into place :-) I believe you in Keri! And I think this is a wonderfully amazing idea!!!