"Not all those who wander are lost" J.R.R. Tolkien

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Homeowner Highs and Lows

I love having my own house.  I love knowing that I won't have to pay for nail holes or damage inflicted by my children.  No, they haven't yet but it's only a matter of time!  I love that I can paint my walls Olive Green, Pumpkin Toast, and Columbia Blue.  I love looking at my backyard and imagining fresh produce for a summer evening al fresco meal and gorgeous flowers on a spring morning.  I love talking about the renovations we'd like to do over the next twenty years.  A second bathroom rates highly by everyone!

What I do not love is when the heat exchangers on my furnace crack in half two weeks after closing and I don't have a landlord to call.  Or when my dishwasher suddenly refuses to drain and I find myself bailing slimy, murky water by hand at five in the morning.  Then there is my toilet which, all the sudden, is intermittently making asthmatic sucking and gasping noises.  Very disconcerting when actually sitting on it!

The good news is that our seller purchased a home warranty and all of these things are covered, minus service fees and installation.  More good news is that we know for sure our home is extremely well insulated because it took two weeks for the brand new furnace to arrive and be installed.  Two weeks without heat, in January!  We ran two tiny space heaters (RV leftovers) and stayed reasonably toasty.  We won't get a whole new dishwasher and it will take two weeks (must be a standard!) to get the parts but it will be good as new.  As for the toilet, we'd love any suggestions from anyone who has even a thimbleful of plumbing knowledge.

We have several small issues with both our plumbing and our decrepit electrical system; we realize these will be major areas of renovation.  Is it horrible to find myself half-heartedly hoping they will both go kaput before the warranty runs out?

Tomorrow marks our one month anniversary in the house and the honeymoon has not worn off yet.  Each of us agrees that it is even better than the "perfect" house we were in last summer and even though we'd love to spend time on a sandy beach somewhere south during these grey, Salem days, we are all quite content to be putting down roots!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Moving into your own home is one heck of an adventure!  We didn't get the keys (for one bureaucratic reason or another) until the evening of the 15th.  I spent some seriously long hours painting and cleaning; the refrigerator had taken on a fuzzy green life of its own, unfortunately.  We had an amazing crew of friends help us move; as one group was hauling in boxes and furniture, another group was tearing out the upstairs carpet.  By Christmas Eve afternoon I was hanging the last pictures and having a celebratory Scotch.  Then I had a nap in preparation for midnight mass, which is where, no matter what is going on, my Christmas always comes together.

To make the season even more interesting we've had four trips to Urgent Care/ER, two cases of strep throat, an actual Staph infection, a broken furnace and a partridge in a pear tree.

Just kidding about the partridge.

Our first house guests arrived the day after Christmas - Donald's parents.  His mom, Bev, will be staying with us for a few weeks while his dad takes an extended hunting trip in Arizona.  We thought we would kick off the New Year by having our rector do a house blessing followed by an open house.  If you're in the neighborhood, swing by.  Bev and I have been baking for two days so I promise you won't leave hungry!

If you can't make the open house, we would love to see you whenever you are passing through.  I hope that our paths will cross during this New Year!  Until then, may your year be bright with promise and brimming with hope.