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For my non-North American readers, there was a popular Public Television show  titled “This Old House.” It chronicled the rehabilitation projects of hapless homeowners in various towns and cities around New England. We the audience, as homeowners, cringed at the upheaval and cost, then sighed in perfect, green jealousy at the gorgeous results.

My home never made the list of make-overs. As I gaze around at what “needs” fixing, I question why we as a species, ever moved out of caves. I understand why people turn to retirement communities and condos at a certain stage of life; the upkeep on a physical structure and its surroundings is no small matter, both in time and money. In the ten years I have lived in this spot, I have faced repairs from roofs to septic systems, heating systems, water systems, all these systems that keep life tolerable. Two years ago a total paint job was necessary.

I am not a DIY kind of gal, by any stretch. Just reading the how-to articles bores me to tears. Hand me a hammer and your going to get bent nails and a whole lot of foul language. Ask me for a screw driver and I will reply, “Plus or Minus” because that’s just how I roll. So when it comes to major repairs, I call in the experts, or as I like to refer to them, “the cheapest and least intrusive of repair folk.” This, of course leads to misunderstandings regarding schedules and final outcome of said jobs. Like, they never finish when or as I expect them to. That being said, the repairs have held up rather nicely, which is not to say there isn’t always another “system” that is always on the verge of self-destruction…

I picture the rest of my generation living in convenient condos or tidy suburban homes with mature landscaping and a paid off mortgage. They spend their Sunday going for a good healthy run followed by brunch and the newspaper, maybe a walk to a favorite café to dine outside.

I started my day with a drive to the grocery store. Alice was pleased to be out and about early. The nearest store is ten miles down the road. We found her a shady spot near the entrance so she could be entertained and returned home just in time for me to head to the barn.

As I pulled up the driveway, the new filly was cavorting as only young things in Spring can do. I parked and met Lauren at the fence as the little, spider-legged girl leapt around the water trough. It needed to be dumped and refilled which lead to lots of scratching of a small butt and neck while we waited. She is a remarkably self-confident little horse and I marveled at her inquisitiveness.

Night and I struck out alone, seeking new trails off the usual routes. The wild turkeys were irritated by our intrusion but we saw no other wildlife. As she galloped up on winding, hilly road, I tucked my head to her neck and whispered,  “Triple Crown!”  She flicked an ear in acknowledgment and dug in deeper. I let her pick the pace through the fields and down through the woods to the barn. When people say, “Oh you ride a horse? But how is that exercise if you just sit there?” Exactly, you can not just sit there.

Back for lunch and to attack the projects on my home owe-nership list…nah, I don’t want a condo yet…

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6 comments on “This Old House

  1. Touring NH says:

    I think I’d be happy to live in a cave. But, I’ll settle for Waldo, not that there aren’t systems constantly requiring attention in an RV too (the fuel system comes to mind – damn, I just filled him last week!) But at the end of the day, when we settle in on our decks, patio’s or indoor/outdoor carpets, we remember It’s home and it’s ours!

    1. Indeed, home really is where the heart is Laura!

  2. Nothing really ever changes. When I had my business years ago I did a lot of work for people in Dublin, Hancock and Peterborough who thought just like you do. And I’ll tell you something just so you’ll know; 3 of my customers did move into condos, one to the end of Pine Street near 101, one out by the High school, and another on Old Street Road, and they kept me busier than the ones who kept their houses!

    1. So downsizing doesn’t equal less work? Guess I’ll just stay where I am for now!!

  3. Marie Keates says:

    There is always something to do when you own a house. Luckily Commando is quite handy about the palce and I don’t mind a bit of painting and decorating. We have also recently paid off our mortgage which helps a little when paying for everything that decides to die on us. The latest is the French window in the gym. Sigh… Your place looks lovely if a lot of work to paint. I love the Buddha, my front garden one is very similar but red.

    1. I like thinking we both have Buddhas in our gardens…

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