Hey! Straw’s Not Cheaper
Homes are where the heart is. Houses are where the wallet is. My place is both. It breaks my heart that my house is a money pit. So, I felt the homeowner’s pain while reading the Indy’s “Builder of Straw Bale House Hopes to Spare It from Bulldozer.” The city wants the owner to finish fixing it up or they’re threatening to bulldoze it down. The owner’s hope springs eternal, so far, 10 years worth of hoping. I used to think like that about my house. True grit. And it was this hard headedness that gave my hired contractors nicer homes than mine in the end. But I’ve come to my senses now. I won’t need a threatening abatement letter from the city. I’ve scheduled the bulldozer for next Monday. I’m chained to my house and waiting. Please take my house off the historic list on Tuesday. On Wednesday, bury me where the 133 underground wires were planned to be. There’s room now for me.
Unlike mine, the straw bale house sounds like one worth saving. The homeowner has scavenged lumber and building stuff from all around town. I can’t say for sure, but I believe my missing electric meter may have ended up there. I can’t prove it because I can’t find clues in the dark, but there are no hard feelings. I’m happy to lend my light to your project. Your sweat equity is a noble one and it’s my own darn fault for not staying up at night to protect my house’s utilities.
The straw bale house is unique. The walls are insulated with straw bales left over from Halloween. Other holiday touches abound. Dried and pressed Valentine roses are the wallpaper throughout. Wall to wall Easter Bunny slippers carpet the hardwood floors. July 4th hot dogs are strung as moveable and edible room dividers. Christmas elves on shelves are positioned for security. Leftover turkey carcasses from Thanksgiving have been installed as wall sconce covers.
But the grandest of all grand designs is the 6,000-pound tree in the middle of the living room. And yes, you read the last sentence right. The tree is in the living room and the living room furniture is outside where the tree should be. This feature makes the straw bale house the winner of inside/outside design. Even the hummingbirds have nested in the living room, while the owners have learned to suck sustenance from outside. The tree is so large that it supports the second floor. The upstairs is full of hibernating wildlife catching a good season’s rest, while the evicted owners living outside shiver at their animal squatters represented by carnivorous lawyers espousing 9/10th land possession rights.
So, an appeal goes out to readers, who have been shown their own pet doors from time to time, to become volunteers and help these owners get back inside and reclaim their inalienable rights that the home is where the heart is. That’s their human heart. Hey volunteers! Straw may not be cheaper.
Crantz tells the Indy that the open room interior design was the beginning of the end of this story.