There were big changes in our household this year. Our population doubled when JT and KC moved in with us last June so they could attend graduate school without adding an extra hundred thousand dollars to their growing student debt load; said dollars would be only for the sake of paying rent to an absent landlord in the City. We remodeled the basement – and I mean re-modeled – stripped it out to the foundation and reconfigured the walls - and started anew with all new materials to create some living space for the two study-bugs.
We finally (finally!) installed central air conditioning, which for some in the northeast seems like an extravagance, but Realtor TT has seen more than one house sell for that single feature alone. So we increased the marketability of our property, even if we never turn the darned thing on… har, har. It works great, and what a blessed relief when it’s 98 degrees outside with 99 percent humidity.
KC thinks a summer in southeastern New England is more brutal than a summer in Orlando. And there is no built-in pool in the back yard. Only a garden and the three-season perpetual workout machine usually referred to as the lawn.
We converted our furnace and domestic hot water to natural gas. The high-efficiency furnace is a true wonder. We’re always comfortably warm now and yet the radiators never give off any searing heat. My thermostat is set at a steady sixty-nine-and-a-half degrees for the first time in the twenty-five years we have owned this house. Sixty-eight was a luxury on the coldest days, thanks to the incredibly growing price of home heating oil.
It’s beginning to sound like a DIY Happy Homemaker Christmas letter. Sorry. I’ll get to the point.
For all of the big changes in this house this year, the biggest one is quite small in stature, unless of course you have been a guest, and if you have been, I sincerely hope to hear you sigh with relief when you hear the news.
The bathroom doorknob has been repaired.
You may now enter and exit the bathroom without fear of eternal incarceration and the embarrassment of having to cry out for help. It’s almost a miracle. I’ve lived in this house my whole life, save for the first five years of my marriage. I’m closer to sixty than fifty, but that’s the subject of another blog on another day. For fifty-five plus years, I have known the doorknob on my bathroom to be tricky at best, and there would not be a house guest who for the first time did not find themselves locked in and requiring instructions from the hallway as to how to open the damn door. We were told it couldn’t be fixed. It is a non-standard door and knob, thanks to my father, who did nothing in standard fashion.
One night our babysitter locked herself in and had to crawl out the window and go around the house to have JT let her back inside.
We believed the gospel. We drank the kool-aid. We suffered. Finally the doorknob refused to turn at all and TT was compelled to cast aside the story and seek the truth. Earlier this week, I came home to find that the knob had been re-installed and it worked better and easier that it had for my entire life. It’s the smallest thing, but the energy in this house has changed in subtle ways that I can’t really describe. Some might call it Feng Shui. I give it no name, except Thanksgiving.