Living the life of Riley … in Riley

Laugh Tracks in the Dust

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Well, faithful readers, Nevah and I have finally moved and settled into our new home and our new fiber optic internet connection (it’s fast) is up and running.  So, it’s column-writing time once again. No more excuses.
We moved Oct. 7 and with a lot of good help got the entire move done in one trip. We spent most of the first week, unpacking and finding an appropriate place for the main items. That process is still on-going in the garage.
So now, I’m happily reporting that I’m “Living the life of Riley … in Riley” — both literally and figuratively.
Our new home is just outside the little town of Riley, Kan., which is in the northwest corner of Riley County. Our daughter and son-in-law have a home a mile away. Also, since we have downsized, it made sense to change the name of our property from Damphewmore Acres, to Damphewer Acres.
After living in our new home for almost two weeks, I can list a growing number of things about our new home that make living here the “Life of Riley.”  Many are features that a hairy-legged, pot-bellied ol’ country boy like me would have considered “fantasy land” in my youth. And, I’m not talking about them to brag, but to express wonderment and amazement.
First, in our former home, we had to carry groceries the full length of the house and garage — probably 40 yards — to the kitchen.
In our new home, it’s less than 20 steps from the garage to the kitchen, humongous pantry, and deep freezer. That’s good for 80-year-old backs and knees.
We have a huge kitchen island that serves as the hub for all things that happen in the main living area. It’s particularly handy for using the electric skillet, crock pot, or grill. Another nice feature is that I don’t have to stand on my head — like I did in our former home — to get cooking pans or to get food storage containers out of drawers. They are all thigh-high accessible from drawers that expand when you pull them out. Another feature of the kitchen drawers is they won’t slam shut. They have cushioned closing and shut themselves the last few inches.
Another lazy-living feature is a propane-fueled fireplace that can be turned off and on and flame-adjusted with a handy-dandy remote control. So, can the ceiling lighting.
One more feature that I appreciate is the shower control. It has a control that  lets me set the water temperature in advance, so that every time I turn the water on, it flows at my preferred temperature without fiddling around with the control. No more freezing and scalding getting the water adjusted.
Both the new kitchen range and the microwave have features that let us adjust to multiple cooking and reheating conditions. As a constant snacker and cheese eater, I appreciate that our new refrigerator has a separate pull-out drawer for access to cheeses and deli-meats. It even has an easy-access  “snack zone.”
The sliding doors to our back patio feature internal “mini-blinds” that are enclosed between the glass panes. I can raise, lower, or tilt the blinds with a simple control device.
All in all, I guess Nevah and I are living a “Rurlban” lifestyle now. We are urban enuf to hook onto city sewer, so we don’t have to mess around with a septic tanks or sewer lagoon, but we are rural enuf that we had to dig a well for our water supply. That’s turning  out to be a good deal so far because the well has a high capacity and we won’t have a monthly water bill. In addition, the new water softener the builder installed doesn’t require the use of any softening salts. It uses two big replaceable cartridges instead … and the softened water is plant safe.
Our new home is north-south oriented, so we have perfect viewing of sunrises and sunsets. But, the plat is flat as a pancake with no trees for shade. Just for nostalgia’s sake, I’m going to plant a “memorial oak” sapling that I brought from our former home. And, I’m in the process of trying to plant a lawn while the area is still in a drought.
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One interesting thing happened here. When we went into the post office to set up our new address, the postmistress saw the name “Milo Yield” and exclaimed “so, you’re the one!” Then she told me her parents live in rural Wyoming and read my column every week. They had informed their daughter to keep on the watch for me when I moved to Riley. I told her to have her parents drop by for an intro whenever they next visit her.
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A farmer sadly told his doctor, “I can’t pay you, Doc. I slowed down doing all the hard work I needed to do on my farm — just like you advised me to do — and I and went broke.”
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A harried farm wife dented the family pickup on a trip to town to fetch parts. In tears, she went to a local body shop and asked, “Can you fix this fender so my husband won’t know I bent it?”
The body-man replied, “Nope, but I can fix it so you can ask him in a few days, how he bent it.”
Words of wisdom for the week. “Experience may be a great teacher, but it overloads its students with homework.”
Have a good ‘un.

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