Boy and I stopped in Hammett, Idaho this weekend to look at a historic schoolhouse. It’s for sale. I think I should buy it. 6,800 sf. on 2 acres for $86,000. Like, hot dang! Of course! But then again, there are a few mitigating factors. Perhaps the chief of which being that the place is a health hazard (chock full of lead paint, asbestos, and pigeon guano) and probably shouldn’t be entered without a hazmat suit. Followed closely by the fact that it is located precisely in the middle, of the middle of nowhere. And that it needs a little bit of work. Like new fascia, windows, plaster, plumbing, electrical, heating, and a visit from pest control. The attic is a veritable chicken coop. None of this deters me. I’ll take it.However, Boy may or may not be as enthusiastic. I could see him eyeing me suspiciously while evil thoughts circulated through my mind. Like, “It’s fine! All it needs is a little paint.”And, “Wouldn’t this make a nice living room?” I’m already starting to decorate. This is the west facing room and would become the living/school space. It has a wood stove and would probably be the only warm room in the house all winter, unless someone actually succeeded in turning on the boiler. Boy was telling me that people used to opt for high ceilings to deal with the heat, since air conditioning wasn’t an option in 1906. When you got cold you just burned something. A whole lot of something. This is the east facing room. It is more pleasant but should probably be sacrificed to provide a bunk room for the children. No one wants to go to sleep with west facing windows. The picture below is the long gallery. I would tear down the ghetto partition at the end and the long empty walls would make a wonderful place to hang pictures. Can’t you see our family portrait taking center stage? I could pretend that I wasn’t shacking up in a semi-condemned building in Hammett, but was actually living in a manor house in Shropshire. At least I would try really really hard. The view looking back. Flanking each side of the stair well on the first floor are two matching boy and girl bathrooms. I really dig this. Like, it thrills my soul. Individual toilet stalls, a bathtub stall with claw foot tub, and the nastiest shower stall you ever saw. Nasty, nasty. The washer and dryer hook-ups are also in here with room for everyone’s clothes. I don’t think anything demands enthusiastic procreation quite like the presence of numbered bathroom stalls. There is probably a ten kid minimum on a place like this. A quick, not to scale sketch of the first floor. Just in case you’re lost. And this is where the going gets rough. Check out the kitchen. I was afraid to go in. The people who lived there three years ago left their lunch in the sink. My reserve faltered. I kept repeating to myself, “I’m sure all it needs is a little paint….” The refectory. A pass through from the kitchen to dining. My practical husband pointing out the giant hole in the wall with his flashlight. Ha, a mere flesh wound. Paint, it just needs a little paint. Another map. The hatched off places are ones where I was simply too afraid to go. One was the boiler room, the other storage. I barely made it into the basement to begin with. The second floor held even more wonders. This is water damage prior to the new roof. Hear that? It has a new roof. Good as new, let’s buy it! Some people, however, fail to catch my enthusiasm. You’re looking at him. Map of the second floor. Looking down the landing.The master suite. Yes, that is a life size statue of JarJar Binks. We found his head leering at us in another room. The crown jewel of the establishment is the auditorium. The children loved it. I would like to keep it wide open and possibly rent it for events. But otherwise use it as a gymnasium. Although I think a pool table would still be in order. There were also the remains of a stage curtain and podium. Fun could be had in here. Imaginations could run free. The secret stage entrance. Yes, those are bird droppings. I actually don’t think they should show this house without offering potential buyers face masks and copious amounts of hand sanitizer. But this is the best part. In the back corner behind a pair of double doors was a slide. Yes, that is correct. Gideon kept coming up to me and telling me about a metal slide going out of the house upstairs. I was like, “Yes, that’s nice son.” Then I found it myself. Are you kidding me? This kind of awesomeness could be mine? Who does not want one of these? The boys were sold. Let’s move in. The principal’s office. Outfitted with wiring to the megaphone in the hall downstairs. “Gideon, in my office now!” N-E-E-D. The excited party of explorers. I was wise and did not show them the dumb waiter or route to the attic. Both of which were covered in bird poo. Okay, so maybe it needs a little drywall and a little paint. The hundred year old balustrade, sturdy as the day it was made. Practically gold plated in a hundred layers of lead paint. That stuff is invincible.The entry hall downstairs. I love the curves in the railing. Out the front door. Rahab did not like it at all. The grass poked her. She was going to sit and cry on the sidewalk. “I don’t want to live here!” Apart from new windows the other looming large expense seems to be sealing and painting the fascia. I don’t even know what you would do with all the contaminants in the attic. But the place is so hot. Just look at it. The foundation is square and all the walls are plumb. It’s magnificent. And slightly horrific at the same time. Even Boy was a little enchanted. He would love to irrigate the yard and bring it back to life. You can see all the stumps of the trees that used to be there. They even had their own orchard. I think only three live trees were left. The slide exit. I would paint it all red to match the front door. The view. Yes, welcome to Hammett.You know you wanna. We traveled down the road another 7 miles to Glenns Ferry to meet our family for a picnic. Hammett isn’t actually a town so Glenns Ferry would be home base. Having never actually traveled off the freeway, I was surprised to find that it is actually quite a nice little place. It’s sunk in a little valley along the Snake River. If you look on Google you will see that the valley is a tiny green island in a vast ocean of desert. I was telling Marc that this must be where all the sissies on the Oregon Trail decided to get off. You can only walk so long through Southern Idaho before your standards start to slip. Good ’nuff. On the way home we drove back through Hammett. Hammett is a little less ambitious. It has a highly suspect quickie mart/cafe on one side…. And a seedy looking motel on the other. End of town. Now fetch me my U-Haul.