Saturday, December 8, 2007

Saturday, December 8 - Packing and Getting Away

There won't be many more entries to "View From The Front Porch." The closing on the house here almost certainly won't happen now, so Barry and I are beginning to pack glassware, going through clothes and books to cull what we don't want or need (or what won't fit any more -- Barry is SUCH a good cook, a third of my shirts won't button now).

We spent yesterday driving around the Danville-Lancaster area looking for houses, and we have found 10 or 11 that would suit our needs and our price range, and psychologically, we are prepared to move. It's going to be easier this time, as we can make many trips instead of one, and we won't be moving far. At least 5 of the houses are within 5 miles of here, with the most distant about 20. All are out of "The Knobs" which is good, because we would always wonder, "what if" as long as we stayed in the Knobs.

Of course, there will be changes in mailing addresses, telephone numbers, utilities (maybe we can keep Intercounty Electric, or maybe we'll find a cheaper provider), new drivers' licenses and registrations, etc. Hopefully we'll keep Windstream for the phone, internet and satellite - they're a great company with which to deal. It will be a pain, but we've done it before and we'll do it again.

Althought this place is - or was - perfect for us, we're rationalizing now, normal reaction, I guess. The back lawn is on a gully which may slide into the valley within the next few years. The fish pond, which we love, may become more work and more expense than we want to deal with. The electric furnace is expensive to run even with the cheap cost of electricity here. The erosion issue, which we can probably correct, will take time, work and money. The house needs staining and waterproofing all around -- whether we do it or someone else does, if something isn't done soon, the carpenter bees will have eaten all the siding.

Anyway, we're getting away for the weekend -- going up to Lexington, staying overnight, just to take a break.

The birds we will miss. We probably won't see some of the species out in the flatland that we see here, and that's sad -- though we have enjoyed the pileated woodpecker and half a dozen cardinals, yellow-bellied-sapsuckers, nuthatches, Carolina chickadees, etc. But, we'll find birds to enjoy wherever we move.

Most of the places we have looked at have enough land to have a good-sized garden, and have what appears to be good soil. Several have garages and/or storage buildings, and enough lawn to need the riding ower. All have heat pumps -- we won't consider one without that source of heat and A/C. Many of the places are stick-built rather than double-wides, and that will make a difference in house insurance costs. Most are nearer a fire department than we are here, which will also cost less in insurance as well. The Brush Creek Voluneer FD is abaout 15 miles away over back roads! And since we won't be buying the shed here, we'll have extra money to put into the purchase price of the new house.

As far as the Waterville house is concerned, there's good news and bad news. I have a showing Sunday, and I told my realtor, Paul Bard, of Century-21 Surette, what my bottom line is -- basically I'll take about ANYTHING for it just to get rid of it. That's the good news.

The bad news -- the furnace quit in nearly 0 temperatures, and one (maybe two) of the baseboards has frozen, requiring a plumber to come out at 9PM to deal with it -- which Paul is handling for me. The plumber was there all day yesterday, and I can't wait to see the bill! Barry's daughter, Karen, drove by the place to check on it, and noticed the light attached to the thermal timer was on. That means the temps were under 45 in the house -- she called in a panic thinking someone was in the house. Thank goodness she did, or the damage would have been MUCH worse! Karen, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Paul Bard -- THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

The oil tanks are full, so I probably won't have to buy oil very much. Plus if the place sells (YES, PLEASE, MAKE IT SELL) I can sell whatever oil is left.

OK, got to get back to going through clothes, and checking out a couple of more houses. I'll keep writing the "View From The Front Porch" as long as I have an internet connection and we're living here. What will I call the blog after we move? Any ideas?

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