May 2013: Summer | Notes Archive

I know why people our age stay put ! It's easy to talk about "downsizing", but accomplishing it is another thing altogether. When we moved to our cottage in Acworth in 2000, it was meant to be for keeps. One of life's secrets is that change is inevitable as long as we are truly living. Along came the unique opportunity to live in a tiny house, in an iconic NH village , and we were hooked. The work and emotion has been staggering.

Selling a dear old house in a rural hill town:
we were not prepared for what that means in this financial climate. The economy is in recovery we are told, and we were determined not to let our deep feelings for our house complicate the marketing process. We priced it to sell with no illusions, even though our years here had been brimming over with joy. We poured all the love we had, and all the treasure too, into the house. No stone unturned. All the needed upkeep was addressed constantly, and lots of sweet extras as well. A season didn't pass by that we didn't bestow some gift upon the house (just like reassuring those we love with indulgences). We got it back ten thousand-fold, because those of us who love old houses know that they are alive, not just bricks and mortar.

But... selling the house has been moving from one's own reality into that of strangers - a month with potential buyers from the western part of the country, who finally succeeded in finding enough flaws and risks to decide against it; buyers from nearby, wanting iron-clad reassurances that all would always be well, bidding, withdrawing. Altogether, three full-price offers, each with its unique caveat. Oh yes, we have been tested. Warning: Be wary of the "building inspector" - the guy who is hired by the buyer to probe for bad stuff, and who digs deep until he hits paydirt. I spent more than a week during the first deal, researching and writing a rebuttal to a grossly unfair inspection. All the while, the heart aches, because the house is treated unfairly and that is like a member of the family being bashed. Even family members don't shelter us in the wild storms of NH, provide comforting solace during very personal hard times, celebrate all the birthdays and holidays with loved ones, keep the beloved animals safe.


I will miss the subtleties of life at the house on Lynn Hill -the arrival of the families of birds each spring, nesting under our noses so that we share the entire experience; the flora, particularly the profusion of blue forget-me-nots on every corner of the property, especially blanketing the shaded woods; the amazing lilacs, the NH State flower, busrting out in glorious bloom and fragrance at every door (planted there by the first settlers); the ubiquitous woodchuck, whose home under the garden shed is a perfect launching pad for foraging and feasting all season; the invisible deer, who love Hosta (not my favorite, so they are welcome to it); the ancient crabapple tree, certainly 19th c, which we have pruned and coddled and gathered from for delicious jelly; and all the living and breathing essences of country life at its fullest.
Thank you, dear house. you have left your deep mark on us.

We move forward to a new life in a village, walking distance to every possible errand, and also three delightful eating spots, from the homey lunch counter (our favorite) to the sublime 10 star restaurant (not very often!). In the coming months, please read here about how we are re-discovering a way of life, bustling with people and activity, farmers markets and band concerts on the Green, and which includes town water and sewage - my first since 1971.