Just Jazam

Jazam. The name is enough to make me like living here.

I wasn’t so sure about it at first. The place, that is. We got here in the dark after an eight-hour train ride from Sydney, and it felt so cold and empty and kind of spooky. Big, naked windows everywhere. Echoing, concrete-walled rooms and corridors. Rugged floors that made you resolve to keep your flip flops on. And later, stories of snakes and rats in the kitchen.

But we found ourselves here, and there were seven weeks ahead of us, and the more we got used to it, the more we started to see the character in the place and to like it for what it is. Apparently no one wants to leave Jazam after having lived here for a while. $400,000 is a bit beyond our range though, even if we did want to move to Australia. 🙂 So we’ll enjoy it while we’re here, and dream of all the things we would do to it if it was our house, and be ever so glad to walk back into our double-wide in Gervais when we finally are home again.

It really is quite the place. You don’t get much of anywhere without walking a ways . . . there’s seven bedrooms and three bathrooms, not to mention two kitchens (only one currently in use), and two big open living areas. There’s also a wide, windowed hall with bedrooms branching off from it and a wood stove at the end. There’s a mezzanine above the main living room, and the steps upstairs curve around the corner instead of having a landing. There’s a circular staircase outside and a long side porch ending with a big deck that has a swing on it. There’s so many little cubbies and closets apart from the main rooms, and I can just imagine breathing new life into it all and turning it into a splendid place.

Eric and Will are working on that, although they’re mainly just getting it to the point where it can be sold. They’re finishing the upstairs, including paint and new floors, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s all done. Some of the downstairs floors are getting a revamp (or maybe just a finish) as well. It will feel like a different place when they’re done, and if I were Will, I’m not sure I’d want to sell it as soon as it’s finally finished. It’s such an interesting old house.

But words will only tell you so much about it . . . and pictures will, too. You have to be here to really get the feel of it, but between pictures and words you can at least get an idea. 🙂

Jazam from the circle driveway out front.
The front porch looking toward the wing of the house where we stay (behind that row of windows). All that rugged concrete you see out front will hopefully be tiled before we leave.
And while we're on the front porch, here's the view back toward the road.
This big open area (and maybe the kitchen as well) was the original house. Now it's just a wide passageway from one end to the other. The poles down the middle are holding up the mezzanine (the upper walkway). And those concrete floors are supposed to get cut and polished to look like slate. I so much hope it gets done before we leave!
It's a bit hard to show the mezzanine from either the top or the bottom, but this picture tries to. Through that door on the right-hand side of the picture is the kitchen.
This is the half of the kitchen we use. The other half is mostly just big, open floor with a couch and a few chairs.
Most evenings find us eating supper at the counter with Will and chatting for at least a couple of hours.
This deck is right off the kitchen. If you want to get sun on these cold, rainy days, the swing is usually the perfect spot. And if you want to see kangaroos, either this deck or the one above it is the best place to do it.
The view is just lovely back here, and up in those hills is where the kangaroos usually are.
Will has been spoiling us in just the way we like best....with Australian sweets. First it was TimTams, then it was mud cake, and right now it's these amazing frozen yogurts on a stick. And he didn't just buy one box either. There's three. :):) But anyway, you can't tell it, but we are on the porch swing enjoying some sunshine with our yogurt and coffee.
This long porch runs from the deck in front of the kitchen down to the other end of the house.
Will tells us it's usually a lot browner and drier around here this time of year. I told Eric before we left the States that we'd probably take the rain with us, and we have. 🙂 The grass has to be kept mowed down because the snakes don't like to go in mown grass.
If you keep walking around the house, you'll get to this side, which I think is the prettiest. (The circular staircase is at the left-hand side.) We live in the room that has the windows right beside where Eric is working.
And the view from this side of the house is so pretty, too! Down in the corner you can just see part of Will's garden, which is giving us potatoes, green beans, onions, sugar snaps, and tomatoes.
This picture isn't of carrots, but it made me think of carrots: they have the best carrots ever here, much sweeter on a much more regular basis than you can get in Oregon.
And then if you keep walking, you get back to the front of the house to where a bunch of these big, brown snails live.
I guess you can decide if he actually ate it or not. 🙂
Behind the green door behind Eric in the last picture is our many-windowed wing. Eric just trimmed the faces all those windows yesterday, and he and Will reset some of them. We live in the second room on the left.
This is looking further down the same wing. (The door is different because this is an older picture and Eric has since replaced it.) At one time Will rented out the four rooms in this wing to backpackers.
This hall branches off from our wing and connects back to the main living area. On the left is a laundry room and a big closet, and on the right are two bathrooms side by side.

And that's just the downstairs and the outside. Most of the work is going on upstairs, so it's hard to know which pictures to post.

This is what the mezzanine looks like from the top. It will get cleared off and have a new floor put in before we leave. At the moment I hardly even like walking on it cause it feels like I'm going to fall through. When it's all done though, it will probably be one of the coolest features of the place.
This is the main area of the upstairs. There's a little kitchen off to the right (you can just see the start of the counter in the corner). Eric ripped out a cubby in both corners (explaining the orange paint) and a bench seat along the far wall that Will said was a rat run. He also framed out the far wall and dry-walled it, and today they're mudding it.
This is an older picture that shows some of the kitchen, as well as the door out to the upper deck. You can also see the "rat run."
I had fun watching Eric rip out the cubbies. He made a snowman in this one. 🙂
And before I show you the room where the biggest amount of work is getting done, I'll show you the huge pile of stuff that used to fill up that room. (Well, some of it came from the main area, too.) They just hauled it out and threw it over the railing of the upper deck.
And finally, the room that is getting turned from a huge junk pile into a pretty cool master bedroom.

Eric works as much here as he does at home, if not more, but it's kind of like he's working from home, and I can go watch him or help him as much as I want. 🙂 I like that. It helps alleviate the boredom that comes from not living in your own house and from not bringing along any books to read other than what you have on your Kindle. (And who wants to read on a Kindle for more than half an hour anyway?)

Not that I know much about ladders, but I'd say that's a pretty cool one. And not that I know much about carpenters, but I'd say that's the best one. 🙂
Turns out I'm no good with a screw gun, but the floor was so hard the holes had to be pre-drilled anyway, so Eric put me to work setting screws so it wouldn't take him so long to screw them later.


So there you have it. Jazam. And two happy Oregonians who can't wait to come home. 🙂 Exciting things are always more fun when you're back in the comfort of your own living room and can tell stories about them instead of living them. But we're making sure they're fun right now, too. 🙂

And maybe if we could, we'd transport Jazam back to Oregon when we go. We just might miss this place.


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