I was watching an episode of House Hunters last night, and one of the homes featured a bathroom with a urinal. Predictably, the husband was thrilled and the wife, mortified. This made me wonder why urinals in home bathrooms aren’t common, because that’s a trend I could get behind.
Or in front of, as the case were.
I guess it just comes down to practicality. With a traditional couple, only one can use a urinal, but both can use a toilet. Too bad. I’d be flush with excitement to have one installed.
I also got to wondering why homeowners don’t install electric hand dryers in bathrooms. Sure, most of us just use a towel or our jeans (don’t judge!), but you’d do less laundry that way.
For the record, I also wouldn’t mind a dumbwaiter, laundry chute, and boot scraper. These things may all be out of vogue, but boy are they efficient.
Speaking of houses, I’ve got some really big news to share: Tara and I sold our house in Nevada!!
If this is the first you’ve heard about us owning a house in Nevada, it’s because I’ve rarely mentioned it. And really, “us” is just a formality; Tara added my name to the mortgage just a couple of months ago, though technically because Nevada is a community property state, it was half mine the moment we quit living in sin and said “I do.”
But really, the house was hers. Once upon a time it belonged to her grandparents, but she and her ex bought it in 2005. By 2012, the ex was history, and she moved in with me in Washington. She immediately put the house on the market, where it languished for eight long years. If you think real estate is a great investment, usually that’s true…but Ruth, Nevada isn’t much more than a dot on a map. It makes neighboring Ely—already a remote small town in northeastern Nevada—look like a bustling metropolis in comparison. It’s hardly a place people seek out to live. Ruth used to be a company town and its sole industry is still the copper mine, which has opened and closed many times over the years. The population was 440 ten years ago, and it’s probably lost people since. The town’s biggest claim to fame is that it served as the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel Desperation, whose title alone is telling. Ol’ Steve stopped in Ruth on a cross-country road trip in 1991 and, no shit, thought all the town’s residents were dead.
I’m not making this up.
Ruth isn’t entirely without charm. Sure, the streets are dusty and the mine is noisy. Many of the houses are in disrepair, and you’ll find old appliances riddled with bullet holes within city limits. But I’ll always have fond memories of my first trip to see Tara before we were even a couple. We hopped on her ATV and took off on the dirt roads around town, collecting garnets. The high desert landscape, with its sagebrush and bristlecone pine, holds a certain allure—and the night sky is alive with a billion stars. And when I stayed in that house over Christmas and New Year’s Day a few weeks after an extended hospital stay, it felt like a homecoming.
Still, we were ready to be rid of the house years ago. Tara had renters twice. The first were assholes who trashed the place and skipped town owing rent. The second were much more conscientious about rent and basic upkeep, but being a long-distance landlord is challenging. When they moved on earlier in 2019, she decided not to bother renting again and shuttered the place.
Finally, a month ago, she had an interested buyer. There had been a few nibbles over the years but nothing more, so neither of us held our breath. It’s why I never mentioned the house or possible impending sale on my blog; I didn’t believe it would actually sell, and didn’t want to jinx anything. But this guy was motivated (why?), and yesterday, the sale closed.
Hallelujah! We are finally free and clear of that thing!