They bought the farm. It’s a phrase in contemporary slang that means they’re dead or in some way wiped out. In the case of Milton Korn and Honey Bloom, it had good connotations. They agreed on the farm with two houses on ninety-three acres so they could accommodate Mrs. Korn and Honey’s friend Shawna.
“Maybe I should live in the guest house with my mother, so I can continue taking care of her,” Milt said.
“Don’t you think it’s time you gave that up?” Honey said. “I agreed to go partners with you to buy this place ‘cause I thought we’d be good together sharing space.”
“Okay, okay, don’t get your undies in a twist,” Milt said. “I abide by my commitments. We will be housemates.”
They drove to the farm an hour outside the city to have a final look around before going to the nearby notary to finalize the deal. As is the usual case with an old farmhouse, the ceilings were high and the windows were tall, usually from knee height to well over eye level. The glass in most of the windows was original, as identified by the ripples and irregularities and an occasional bubble. Small windows on either side of the large stone fireplace were stained glass designed as rows of tulips.
The floors were made of wide hardwood maple planks, wider than could be found today. They had been well worn over the decades and would require refinishing. The hardwood floor extended into the elegant dining room and on into the massive kitchen typical of century farmhouses.
The second floor could be reached by two separate stairways. In the front of the house near the front door, a wide staircase with an ornate bannister of basswood led up to the four bedrooms. Another smaller staircase led up from the kitchen to the master bedroom. Traditionally in old farmhouses, the back staircase was to facilitate the wife getting up and going straight down to the kitchen to start the fires and get breakfast ready.
“Who’s going to get the big bedroom with the convenient stairs to the kitchen,” Milt said.”
“Nobody,” Honey said. “There are three other bedrooms to choose from, so we don’t need any conflict over that one. It should be a common space where each of us or both of us can sit and read or write and even paint.”
“You would make your studio in there?” Milt said.
“Sure. It has windows on two walls where tons of light spills in,” Honey said, “and you can use half the space for whatever you want. You won’t bother me while I’m painting.”
“What about when I’m writing?” Milt said.
“If you felt like it, you could write in the big room with me while I work,” Honey said, “or choose the third bedroom as your own office and writing space.”
“That’s alright with you?” Milt said. “You won’t have any exclusive space.”
“I’ll have my bedroom to myself and I won’t have to be alone in the studio when I paint,” Honey said. “I like your company, Milt. Maybe someday you’ll pose for me.”
Milt stood in the middle of the room for a moment, visualizing himself standing naked before this stunning woman. His irrational fear was that he might get an erection while she’s looking at him standing there like Michelangelo’s David.
“Don’t worry about it,” Honey said. Milt wondered if she could read his mind. She walked over to him and bent to kiss his cheek.