Our first stop in Kansas was at the home of my sweetheart’s cousin. They live in a very rural part of Kansas – it’s very quiet there. I loved hearing the birds singing from early morning until late afternoon.
From the front their home looks like a ‘regular’ house but their home is unique – it’s built into the side of an earthen berm. The entire back of the house is encased in earth! There are no windows at the back of the house but there is a lot of light inside because of the design. Windows along the front and a ‘skylight’ down through the earthen roof make everything seem bright and cozy.
My sweetheart’s cousin’s husband told us he is trying to encourage growth of a certain type of short grass because he doesn’t want to mow his roof!
Most of their home is made of concrete, including the ceilings. It’s quite strong and very energy efficient. Cool in the summer. Warm in the winter. And very cozy inside.
I didn’t take many photos of the interior of their home. We were too busy chatting and touring and spending time together. At the front of their home is a wonderful sunroom. You enter the sunroom through French doors in the dining room. It's filled with sunshine and shadows and places to sit and relax. It was a good place for a quiet rest or a good chat with family. When you walk through their front door a little window in the entry way gives you a peek into this sweet place.
The sunroom is warm and inviting. The wood panels on the ceiling can be opened or closed to let more or less sunshine into the room. The position of the panels depends on the time of year and the needs of the plants (and people!) in the room.Plants have been planted right into the ground along the front windows. They don't seem to know they aren't outside!An industrial farm shelf unit holds the biggest cactus I’ve ever seen inside a home. Obviously it loves where it was placed many years ago.
I loved the way sun and shadow filled the sunroom every morning while we were there. My sweetheart's cousin and her hubby often eat meals at the old table when it's just the two of them.A little, old wooden bench, an old crock and a vintage watering can had been carefully placed beside the flowers. It looks like someone was doing a bit of work and just left them there.Even the top of an old, rustic, wooden cupboard was filled with an interesting collection of things to see.Time went too quickly and soon it was time for us to go. I left wanting a sunroom of my own and wishing the quiet visits we enjoyed there could have continued. That’s the sign of a good visit – when you leave wishing you could stay much longer - and when your host and hostess want you to come back and stay longer next time!