Friday, May 9, 2008

How we got here-Maine

Hello everyone. This is my first attempt at blogging. I even had to read a few to understand what a "blog" was. I'm from the age of write a letter and wait for a reply. They now call that snail mail. Hmmmm..... I am originally from Florida, Jacksonville to be exact. One of the few who were actually born there. I lived there for 36 years and felt like I needed a change. I had just been through a amicable divorce and wanted to live somewhere else. My son had just gotten married and would be staying in Florida, my daughter and I found a wonderful, quaint, however expensive town in New England, Portsmouth, in which to relocate. I had always dreamt of the cool fall days with leaves changing, snow on the ground for Christmas, summers not so hot that I melted by noon. Ok, now you know that I'm a dreamer. The closer the day for the move came, the more homesick my best friend Alexandra (Alex) became. She had originally lived in a nearby town named Newington and had moved to Florida after her not so amicable divorce with her two teenage sons in tow. Jacksonville had left her disappointed with the crime and general nasty temperament of much of the population. She was ready for a change. I had just met a gentleman who had decided that Florida didn't hold anything for him and would love to add himself and his two kids to my caravan north. So, all three families loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly, hills that is.... oh wait that was the Beverly Hillbillies. Sorry, we all loaded up Ryder trucks and moved to Portsmouth, NH the land of no income tax but property taxes to choke the average income earner. This is where we remained or near there for about 10 years. We did love the cool falls with changing leaves, the winter with snowy surprises and the manageable summers. Hey, the first time in my life that I didn't have the ac on from March-December. How nice. I can always add a coat when it's cold but society really frowns on running around in your birthday suit. Alex found a lovely house in Epping, NH and I found one big enough for my expanded family in Raymond, NH. Everyone was happy. Alex's oldest son got married and had a beautiful daughter. Her youngest son is working and still looking for the right woman. My longtime boyfriend we will call T and I combined families well. The kids really seamed to get along well. We even had two of his other children move up from Florida to live with us. We went through graduations, marriages, births of two beautiful granddaughters and one grandson. My oldest daughter went on to start a pipe and tobacco shop in Dover, NH. Our next to oldest had a daughter and is still in college, our youngest son is graduating high school this fall and will attend college. Our youngest daughter had a beautiful daughter and is living with us now. Ok, I really got off track...Maine, how we got here. Well, Alex and I remained best friends and it seemed that our families were always at the others house. We often talked of living in a rural area and starting a sheep farm. Now please keep in mind that neither of us have ever raised sheep. That didn't seem to be an issue to either one of us. We both have been nurses for many years so getting employment wasn't an issue. We had two homes with duplicate bills, taxes that made us cringe. We had a moment of inspiration! Why not sell both houses and find a big farmhouse that would be great for holidays when all the kids could gather around. Well, I know that most of our friends thought we had lost our minds. T is a long distance trucker and was often on the road. He didn't mind relocating. It seemed like a sure thing. Now for the reality check. No where in New Hampshire is there enough property and reasonable taxes to allow for our farm. We had to look elsewhere. Viola, we found Maine. We came across a 55 acre farm with a one hundred sixty year old house, three story barn on the Internet. Well, we just drove up one winter day in December 2006 and took a look. Please understand that when they take pictures for the Internet they take them from the best angle possible. The house was in great condition if you don't need running water, heat (Maine remember), electricity and of course plumbing. The barn looked big. That is the best I can say. The bones are good but it sure could use a face lift. There was a dead calf by the door. Yes, and the door was a garage door someone had poorly installed on the front of the barn. There were pigs in two stalls knee deep in some foul smelling liquid, cows in the pasture who frequently left their enclosed area for neighbors homes, yards, etc...
Oh, I must not forget, the back door of the house was just about one foot shy of reaching the frame. Do you get the picture I'm painting? To be fair there had been work done on the house. The floors were stripped to bare wood, wallboard had been installed in the rooms and one of three bathrooms had been completed. No running water but it looked good. Remember when I said earlier that I am a dreamer? Well so is Alex. Not a good combination. We thought, we can do this. It would be fun. We are women, hear us roar. T thought I had lost my mind. That was until he came out and sat on the back porch with millions and millions of stars overhead, quiet, quiet, quiet. It was beautiful to us. So Alex and I both put our houses on the market at Christmas with the slump in housing sales just starting with a vengeance. And we waited and waited and waited. My house sold in July of 07. I can honestly say that I would rather be stoned to near death than sell and buy a house. It is painful. People are just not nice. The woman who signed the contract on my house decided the day before closing that she really didn't want the house after all. She thought that she would just loose her deposit. No, my wonderful real estate agent said. She has packed all of her belongings and moved to Maine. You will loose much more than that measly deposit. All said and done we had to get an attorney to push her into closing. We actually signed the papers in separate rooms. I wanted to perform a lobotomy on the #&%#%. Alex's house sold and she was able to pack everything and move to Maine too. So here is where our saga begins. Maine, the last frontier. No running water, no electricity in most of the house, a furnace in the basement but no duct work and winter on its way in three months. What were we thinking? So here we start with the "blog". If you are so inclined to return and follow our misadventures both Alex and I will be blogging. You will get to know our families for better and worse. Nice to meet ya'll. After all we are southerners and from away. This Post written by Kelly.

1 comment:

nasus33 said...

It looks great Mom! It describes our trip well :) Cant wait to here more and see the pictures when you get them up. Keep up the good work!