Well, we finally officially own the house, so now there’s plenty of work to do. We have a young architect working on converting the dock to a rowing one and dealing with some encroachment issues (a stone wall at the edge of the patio is on land that actually belongs to the Army Corps of Engineers). Luckily for us, Ted’s parents like the house and have been there a few times making friends with the neighbors and taking stock of what needs to be done; it turns out they are really good at recognizing problems that I’m not sure I’d have noticed (e.g. dealing with a, overgrown wisteria that had the potential to damage the deck). They decided to “camp out” in the house last week on the way to a family event and sent us the following email (reprinted with permission, names and some details removed for privacy):
Dear Paula and Ted
Synopsis of camping adventure. Camping good, digs great!
First stop – city hall. We took care of the water deposit & scheduled the water turn on time. Found a small library in the city hall building. It has 2 computers available for anyone to use which might be helpful if you do not have a computer connection or WiFi available.
The person who was to turn on the water arrived at the house about the same time as we did. He was very nice and helpful giving us the phone number for Lane Electric. We played dumb about the water already being turned on. Since electricity was not turned on, I contacted Lane Electric. The clerk knew the water was supposed to be on. They sent out a tech. immediately to turn on the power.
We came prepared with 2 AAA maps & were able to find the Bob Straub Parkway/126 connection to Springfield & on to I-5. It came in very handy not only for going “to Town” for dinner, but also for driving on to the wedding.
As night approached, the challenge of the lights began. We soon discovered the light switches did not have a consistent on or off position & when there were multiple switches in a line there wasn’t a consistent pattern of which turned on lights or fans or for which rooms when more than one room was involved. Of course the room that had no working lights was the master bedroom. But, we had a full moon to light up the room. We will let you have the challenge of learning the light maze for yourselves.
We bought a cheap queen air bed to sleep on. We have never had a water bed, but this air bed must be the air equivalent. With all of the windows and skylights in the master bedroom, we were able to fully appreciate the full moon’s light. Ted, we left the air bed at the house, so if you want a moving camping experience, you can sleep at the house until the furniture arrives. Once we got used to everything, we really did sleep.
On Thursday & Friday we worked on clearing the large weeds & dead wood from the yard & containers and watered the front to encourage any plants still alive & to soften the ground so that we might be able to later dig out volunteer oak trees springing up across the front. We were working to give the house a more lived in/cared for look.
We went to Lowell’s finest (only) Mac’s Cafe for dinner one night. We were pleasantly surprised. It was fine and quite popular on Friday night. We ate breakfasts & lunches at the house. We had brought the electric cooler you gave us several years ago. It worked great for a small refrigerator. As we ate breakfast, we watched rowers skimming across a perfectly smooth lake. An eight had a small motor boat moving along side the shell. We thought it might be the UO rowers. Later we saw a fellow standing on a small flat board or shallow boat paddling from side to side. It appeared he was concentrating on limiting his movements to his upper body. It looked like a real workout for him.
We talked to R, the next door neighbor. K (Ted’s father) was charming as always. He even gave R some of our tomatoes which R seemed to appreciate.
We went to the wedding on Saturday. Had a great time, saw lots & lots of family. The outdoor evening wedding was beautiful. Unfortunately a cold wind came up during the reception dinner and chilled everyone to the bone. Last week it was in the 100′s there and Sat. the high was 70F. By the reception, it was in the 60′s with a 12 mph wind.
Back at the house on Sun., we checked all of the house outlets, finished cleaning up, packed up and drove home. All in all we had a very nice time. We found the house’s setting so beautiful and very relaxing.
So Ted will have plenty to work on when he goes to the house in a few weeks. Meanwhile, today we get to go look at some apartments here – I’m pretty sure most people get to be finished with that once they’ve bought a house!