I’ve lived in the new house for one week now, as of 4 p.m. today. My feelings and thoughts so far:
In general, the house is feeling like a home but New London doesn’t. I miss my old town and my friends, routines, and places there.
What I miss about the old house:
- the deck (a lot): being able to blend almost seamlessly the inside and outside is very important for me from spring through fall.
- the fence around the yard for the dog: taking her out on the leash is cumbersome and inconvenient for both the dog and me, and will only enworsen with winter
- the bathrooms: man, I can’t wait to renovate these! It’s almost impossible to shave my legs in the showers. Our old bathrooms had been renovated, looked great, and functioned well, with tile and hardwood floors and a roomy shower and shower/tub combo.
- the whole-house lighting and dimmer system: we could control most of our lighting — including exterior lights — and some appliances like the coffee maker and the Christmas tree lights from two panels (one upstairs, one down) and it was so handy. Having to walk all the way into a dark room to turn on a light feels very retro and not in a good way. I also miss the dimmers in the kitchen and bathrooms particularly, but we are remedying that one room at a time.
- decent cell service: because the house is heated through electrical coils in the ceilings, we have almost no cell reception. I have to be near a window, in the corner of certain rooms, in the garage, or outside to be able to make and receive calls.
What I like about the new house:
- cable service: so much faster than in the old town. I really notice it when uploading photos.
- the spacious rooms that feel so capacious even in the midst of the packing mess of paper, boxes, and stuff everywhere.
- the carpeting: surprisingly, because I have always had hardwood floors and always loved them. But this carpeting — which is uniformly plush, neutral-coloured, and new throughout the house except bathrooms, kitchen, and one hallway — feels cozy, warm, and somehow has the feel of the beach. What I don’t like is the linoleum, in the bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room and hallway — most of it, like the wallpaper, is obviously peeling, and it will eventually be replaced with hardwood.
- how close I am to everything in town, whether walking or driving. My old town was very walkable and nothing was very far away, but this is an improvement even on that.
- the privacy and beauty of the yard: though much hardscaping and landscaping needs to be done, the yard has apple trees, a birch, majestic spruces, peonies, and some interesting perennials and shrubs. There’s also a sort of hedge on both sides, a strip of wooded area behind, and a knoll on one side, all of which combines to give us a lot of privacy.
- the effectiveness of that electric heating system in the ceiling: there are thermostats (some programmable, some not) in each room and the halls, so heat can be calibrated very precisely. We can warm the rooms we are using.
- the amazing gobs of storage space throughout the house: an oversized garage with upper story, two attic areas off the upstairs bedrooms, three clothes closets for the two upstairs bedrooms, a large utility room and two utility closets, three linen closets, a separate walk-in food pantry, two large coat closets (haven’t had those in 15 years!), a walk-in closet in the master bedroom plus another clothes closet there, a sports equipment closet, 60 shelves of bookcase some of which sit atop 6 very large cabinets (spanning about 20 feet), all kinds of counter and cabinet space in the laundry room, plus a large shed in the backyard. Truly l’embarras des richesses.
- back-up heating sources: a pellet stove, a wood stove and a wood fireplace. I do miss the ventless propane stove we added to the old house, though: no muss, no fuss.
- light: many large windows in most rooms, except the dining room, which has a small window and is sort of dark. But it has sconces all around the walls (on a dimmer!) and it gets natural light from the living room it adjoins.
- more than enough electrical outlets every place I can imagine ever needing one.
Houses aside, I am feeling tired, low-energy, not the least bit interested in making connections or meeting new people, content to be home with the dog all day and with my spouse at night. The numerous, necessary superficial chats I’ve had with service providers, banks, credit card companies, etc., to change our address, cancel or start service, etc., plus the emails, texts, phone calls and Twitter/Facebook interactions with my friends, seem to be giving me enough social interaction for the moment.
Eventually I will reach out, take some walks, go to the coffee shop and library, check out the bookgroup and college classes, etc., but not for now. Now is the time for unpacking, grieving what’s been lost, and letting energy collect for what comes next.