My nemesis, my love, my old house

My nemesis, my love, my old house.

Nothing else defines “love-hate relationship” for me like my old house. This morning we went out to look at the garden, and passing by the kitchen, a chipmunk darted out from what was supposed to be a sealed coal chute. Yes, my old house was originally coal fired. No, there shouldn’t be room for a chipmunk to enter the coal door. Checking underneath it, we found it had rusted away, leaving a nice ‘munk portal.

So it goes. When you think you have done the maintenance — most recently new chimney flashing in copper, new screen porch weatherstripping, new soil to regrade the backyard — there is some more maintenance.

Sometimes I dream about a new or newer house. As my neighbor said recently (he owns one too), “Do you really need a basement? Wouldn’t a larger garage do?” But in a new house, would I have oak and maple floors? Would I have three fireplaces and four bathrooms? Would I have a fruit cellar (and a coal room)?

This old house has become part of my life. And as we know, on all fronts,
life is maintenance.

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