We've been in our new home for two months now, boxes are all unpacked, furniture arranged, light fixtures installed; all that remains are a few pictures to be hung and a few window shades to install. This is our new home thanks dear friends whose home it was for 14 years before we moved to Mafraq. Planning to spend at least a year back in the States on an extended leave, they decided they wanted to give up their house and offered it to us, sparing us the laborious task of searching for a new apartment in a city where good rentals aren't readily available, let alone realty companies or want-ads to help you find them.
Our "flat" is the bottom floor of this traditional middle-aged Jordanian home. A young couple lives in one of the flats upstairs and the other is presently empty. As you can see, we have a large front yard with lots of dirt--which Dear Husband ordered in shortly after we moved. We brought the stones from our garden in Amman and a few perennials, which we are getting planted. (And, the trees were pruned today, after this picture was taken)
The big tree on the left is a bitter pomegranate--not sure why anyone would want one of those, but it is pretty--and the the little (look hard) tree on the right is a sweet pomegranate which Dear Husband recently planted. He likes symmetry! We have about five olive trees, seven or eight lemon trees, and a small pomelo tree. Oh, and a lowquat tree. I'll take another picture in the spring when, hopefully, the flowers will be more visible. I am so thankful for this yard! It is very unusual to have such a big yard in this city. When I look out the front windows, I feel like I am looking out into a park.
Into the house...
This is our second house in Jordan to have a south-facing sun room. I think every house should have a sun room, even a small one, and it is to this room that people gravitate for a few moments alone in the morning or afternoon with a book and a cup of tea. When Oldest Daughter was still at home, the sun room was her favorite place to practice the violin. I miss that.
This is the straight-on view when you come through our front door. The large double doors lead to the family room and the interior of the house.
To the right, is a narrower set of doors which lead into the sitting room, or guest salon and dining room. Traditional Arab homes have doors which close off guest rooms from the rest of the house so that men can visit the husband while the rest of the family, particularly the women, can carry on with living, uninhibited, in the rest of the house. Dear husband sometimes has guests which I never even see.
To the left is the sitting area of the sun room, and more plants. I'm not very clever with houseplants but I have learned of two that love direct sun: ivy and ficus. Thus I have have three ficus trees and three ivies happily thriving here. The nifty old black trunk (It has Ramallah via Jerusalem stamped on the side) on the left is my... linen closet. It really is. Jordanian homes usually don't have built in closets, instead we have cupboards, wardrobes, and trunks for storage.
This photo shows the the bright sunlight steaming through the sun room window. The bars on the windows are for protection. Robberies are rare and they say that the iron bars are the reason why. I'm used to them now and they even seem kind of decorative. They also offer protection to small children who like to hang out upper-story windows.
This is my new-ish succulent garden. Two or the plants are aloe-vera, which we really do use to sooth burns and other skin irritations. The others are new to the market here and I jumped on the succulent-fad band wagon a bought a few for our home. They remind me of my California childhood, so for me it is a retro-garden. I'm hoping to plant a succulent garden outside this spring.