The Sow’s Ear; Getting to Know You

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This is how I feel tonight. And Homer was SUCH a good traveler today! Marsh and I went up to the house with Annie and Homer, met the plumber (who also happens to be our nearest neighbor — he walked over), puttered around trying to do useful things, let the dogs get acquainted with the property a little, then did business with the town office on the way home.

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Annie mostly fussed while we worked, but relaxed enough to appreciate a new windowsill and sun. Marsh tore down some more wood-grain contact paper, vacuumed all the debris from previous work, and consolidated oak scraps. Most important, she took stock of the house for the first time since the closing. From a common footing we are better situated to toss around goals, priorities, ends, and means. It feels really good.

I got the third and final entryway lockset installed, this time on the “front” door (where I had had to use wood filler).

The plumber evaluated the plumbing, which involved many variations of the word “frickin’,” and imprecations against the builder and previous owner (and his former neighbor). Not a pleasant guy (the previous owner), by all accounts, and even less inclined to observe any niceties such as plumbing or building codes and standards.

On the other hand, the plumber expressed surprise that the property had been on the market at all — there never was a sign, he said several times — and “lots of people wanted to buy it.” By which I think he meant mostly himself. So we’re the lucky ones, while he stands there and opines that “if it were him,” he’d tear out ALL the plumbing and start from scratch.

Just so you know: That’s probably what we’ll do. There’s not that much anyway, and it will make everything else so much easier. While he took pains to assure me that it was “up to what we want to do,” I’m not sure in the final analysis that he would accept the work if it meant kluging new stuff on top of the existing sub-par — and in places, illegal — design.

We can’t really start in earnest — e.g., test the well, pump, and water heater — until there’s heat in the house. And as of this writing, no bids yet from the heating company.

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The views south and east, respectively, from Marsh’s office window. Pictures by Marsh. I’m happy to see her absorbing the light, angles, sounds, and vistas. She is undaunted.

Marsh also met the mail lady, who admired our mailbox, assured us it is not too high, and left us the form which will officially activate rural delivery at our address.

Later, I met Amy at the Town Office, who explained everything you ever wanted to know about garbage collection and recycling and took our money to register the dogs. So we have shiny Troy tags for all three.

It was a gorgeous day, 50 and sunny, with more traffic than I’d seen before passing the house — perhaps because it was a Monday.

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Homer took up station faithfully, barked at unfamiliar noises, and sank into the melting snow.

Tomorrow: More follow-up on various business items like insuring the car, and work starts in earnest on the key prerequisites to all the other work, chiefly that of shoring up (or replacing) the central load-bearing beam.