Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Another Roller-Coaster Winter?

It snowed on Sunday. Right in the middle of October, it snowed. It didn't blanket the yard in white, but it was, nevertheless, snow.

This week, by contrast, is expected to be mild. Though last night the temperature fell below freezing, again, and there was frost on the ground at the Seacoast (where I am as I write), the days are already getting milder and the predicted lows for most of the nights heading into the end of the month are much more tolerable.

I see a trend here. I see a winter with especially cold periods followed by tantalizingly mild weather, followed by bitterly cold periods, with no time to adjust to any of it. I see that I'd better get our heat up and running.

I have to throw in an apology for the recycled picture on Sunday, brought on by a busy Saturday that included William's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's, which is nearly a tradition among the boys' circle of friends. I still can't believe that William is nine. When we first moved to New Hampshire, leaving Karen and William behind for four months, William wasn't even walking, and Daniel hadn't even been born. And here they are growing so fast, both in school all day with homework to do at night.

And Thomas, of course, is an adult. When we moved here he was in the last year of elementary school. Now he has his own car. I best not think about it; time passes too quickly and too little gets done, and it's a bit depressing.

At least we are living in the new house, a house that is, for the first time in the memory of my two younger boys, not for sale, not being shown to strangers. A house that we can put our own individual stamps on, with chalkboard paint, bold colors, and lots of pictures on the walls. A house that is anything but neutral. A house occupied by artists.

Of course we have to finish making it into a house first, with basics like heat and more than one working shower and window casings and baseboards. But even these tasks can be done without thinking about what would appeal to a buyer. What a relief!

Now all we really need to figure out is where to find the time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, William!

William is nine today! I haven't had the chance to wish him a Happy Birthday, because I left for work when he was still asleep, and he's at school as I write this.

William asked for a birthday dinner at Hart's Turkey Farm on the other side of the lake, so that's what we're doing right after I get home from work. It has to be an early dinner, because it's still a school night, but we'll make it a fun celebration of a big event.

Wow. Nine years old. Yikes!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chilling Out

The nights are getting cold, and the days are not all that warm. But we're not ready to turn on the heat yet. To save money this winter, we are postponing turning on any heat until the First of November.

Of course, this is made easier by the fact that we haven't bought our propane for the season, and that only one of our three heaters has been installed (and it's slated to be moved). All of that will come on time for that wonderous day after Halloween when we can say "crank up the heat."

We won't need to crank it up too far; this house is far better insulated than the old one, and we are not inclined to keep the inside of our home as swelteringly hot as are some of our New England neighbors. Which is odd, when you think about it, coming to New Hampshire as we did from the land of perpetually mild weather, Los Angeles. Maybe we've just adapted to Karen's childhood, during which she lived in a 1920s WPA house in New Jersey, not the cheapest place to heat.

Not that even our new house will be saving us a lot of money this year, with expectations for an especially cold winter, though not as snowy a season as the last. But if we made it through last winter in our drafty modified camp, we can certainly make it through this one in our cozy new house.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Looking Forward

Living in the new house is something of an adventure--only the boys have anything approaching a finished room--but no one seems to be pining away for the old house, much to my surprise.

We all seem to be more interested in settling in to our new house, our only house, and making ourselves as comfortable as possible in the meanwhile. I think it's because we had been anticipating this for so long. We had the old house on the market for more than four years, planned the new house for more than three, and spent more than two years getting the new house from excavation to occupancy.

I would expect to be a bit disappointed after all that time to be living in a house that's still unfinished. But I'm not, and I don't think anyone else is either. Determined, is more like it. Determined not only to work toward finishing the house, but to make the house feel like a home even before it's a finished house.

And it's not as though it's a perfect house. We keep finding more things that the builders did badly. Not things that will keep us from living in the house, but things that require attention, like siding that's falling off, and a tub that won't quite fit right because the walls it's bewteen are not exactly the right distance apart, and a concrete floor that was poured badly. To name a few.

But it wasn't built as a dream house. It was built as an affordable house, relatively cheap to build and cheaper (compared with the old house) to heat. And on that score, so far, it has not let us down.

And even with open walls, unfinished floors, and boxes and furniture stacked all over the house, it already feels like home.