Thursday, July 23, 2015

Meeting the neighbors and from that naming the NH place

Hi friends,

So since we bought our NH place, we've been meeting some of the neighbors.  The first neighbor we met is a long-time resident of the neighborhood.  Felicia, her husband and daughter live in a lovely home toward the bottom of the hill.  One one of our first visits, when we saw a car in the driveway, we stopped in and introduced ourselves.  It was really neat the following week when we were checking out a local church to spot her in the congregation.  I whispered to Bob, hey isn't that our neighbor Felicia?  We went over after the service to say hi.  She was very friendly (both at her front door and at church) and she gave me a name for a pet groomer in the area.

She told us about the other neighbor that lives further up the hill, next to us.  She mentioned the guy is a doctor in Cambridge.  We keep watching for someone to be home there and have seen a car in the driveway every once and a while, but each time we drive up to say hello, no-one answers.  Ivan thinks the car we see is a worker doing some work on the place.  Now that summer is here, we might encounter the Cambridge Doctor.

Then two weeks ago, we saw a car at the bottom of the road and some work equipment.  Bob stopped and chatted with Mike.  Mike is the owner of much of the undeveloped land abutting our property.  Mike was there harvesting some trees for firewood.   He has owned the land for a long time and told Bob all about the different owners of our place.  I guess many years ago, the first owner was a politician in Boston.  When he owned the place it was a small place, just 3 rooms - a living room, a bedroom, a bathroom and probably just a galley kitchen. He called it 'Poland Lodge.'  Everyone called it that and when he had some heat in Boston, he would escape to his lodge till things quieted down.  There were several other owners and several renovations - first the expansion to include the two bedrooms, expanded bathroom and kitchen.  Then later another renovation (by a different owner) to add the mudroom, loft and upstairs bedroom.  And lastly the final renovation to add the enclosed porch.  Mike had seen the place in all it's various renovation stages.  Bob encouraged him to stop by sometime.  I hope to meet him this summer.

So, the same weekend Bob met Mike, I met another neighbor.  This neighbor was not one I had any idea lived in the area.  I was driving up the hill (on the dirt road) in the late afternoon when I saw movement in the woods just up the hill from Felicia's place, but not quite to the Cambridge Doctor's place.  At first glance I thought it was a large dog.  Then I thought wolf.  Then a small black bear scrambled across the road, a reasonable distance from my car, but clear as day, just the same.   I arrived at the Cabin and I don't think anyone believed me, but Ivan hurried out the door going to look to see if he could see the bears tracks or evidence of the bears living space.  The next week, Sarah and Ivan encountered Little Bear in just about the same spot.

I'm glad our neighbor is a little bear (remember about the size of a large dog - maybe a German Shepard) and not a big black bear.  I imagine little bear will stay in his area and not venture up to our cabin.  There are lots of berries (raspberries, blackberries and blueberries) so I'm hoping he is content to eat his berries and not come to our place looking for food.  There has been no evidence that he has been at our place.  We are very careful to not leave any garbage out in the shed or outdoor area, but I'll be extra diligent and I won't be leaving Tank and Joey outside unattended.  I did a quick google search and found several reports of black bears in our area.  It seems they generally leave humans alone, but it does say use caution around them and absolutely don't feed them!  Once they get acclimated to human food, it can be dangerous since they'll do whatever it takes to get to your food.

So, after meeting all these neighbors we decided to finalize on a name for our place.  Everyone liked the idea of calling it a lodge.  We do have comfortable accommodations and have been hosting guests there often and the term lodge implies a restful haven, which is what the place is to us.   We wanted to also include reference to our neighbor little bear, so the name 'Little Bear Lodge' was conceived.  Now, Sarah and I will be creating a nice welcome sign with the name on it.  We'll have some fun with that.

What do you think of our name?  What do you think  of our neighbors?  Thanks for visiting my blog today.  Have a great day.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The porch glider

Hi friends,

Do you have any childhood memories of a place that represented happiness and love?  I have several places that fit that bill.  One such place, was my grandparents (and later my aunt's) lake house.  The lake house was originally called 'the cottage' when I was small.  It was owned by my grandparents and was a small two story place on Canandaigua lake in upstate NY.

My sister and I loved going to the cottage.  It meant time with our cousins, afternoons spent on the raft, evenings spent at Roseland (the nearby amusement park) and mornings spent on the porch.

One of my favorite spots was on the glider on the porch.  It was old and creaky, but how fun to sit in the glider, looking out over the small lawn and lake and socialize with the family.  The porch glider just overwhelmed you with the feeling of SUMMER.

So, as we were looking at how to furnish the porch at our NH place, when I saw an ad on Craig's list for a porch glider, I was all over it.  How fun to have our own porch glider at our weekend getaway.  I had to do a little convincing of the others - Sarah and Ivan were skeptical.  Bob's concern was how to transport it, but we contacted the sellers and made plans to see it.

I also reached out to my cousins, to verify that my memories of a porch glider were accurate.  They confirmed that the glider is a great addition to the porch so we continued our pursuit.

There were two gliders for sale in NH.  One was quite close to our place, the other was on the other side of the state.  We decided to look at the nearby one first.  Why make life difficult.

This Craig's list encounter was a tad challenging.  We arrive to location only to be greeted (after a very long wait) by a tearful women.  She was an emotional wreck.  The glider was her mothers and her mother recently moved from her home to a family members house since she was suffering with dementia.  This glider was the first thing this lady was selling from her mothers house.  She was a basket case.  We were empathetic and tried to be encouraging 'our family will hopefully get many years of joy from this, like your family did.'  It wasn't obvious what the right thing to say was.  We just talked to the lady and tried to be understanding.  After about 20-30 minutes, we had made plans to return the next day with a rental truck to take it away.  We felt too bad to haggle over the price, but she was asking a reasonable amount.  Who knows, maybe that was her bargaining technique all along.

The ironic thing was that as we approached the house, Bob says 'let's just get in and out, no telling stories of our whole life and becoming best friends with the lady.  Simple transaction and we go.' Well, obviously that didn't happen, but I wasn't the one doing all the talking.  She showed me her mother's wedding dress, talked about memories of her mom and didn't actually cry, but teared up on numerous occasions.

The next day with the truck was kind of more of the same.  She heard us pull up and ring the doorbell, but didn't come to the door for almost 5 minutes.  She apologized and said she had been up all night crying.  At this point we wondered why one of the other family members wasn't doing the transaction.  This was obviously very difficult for her.  Her mood brightened considerably when I took out 8 twenty dollar bills, so we took the chance to escape (glider in the back of the truck) and headed off.

The glider fit perfectly in the corner of the porch.  We removed the cushions and took the cushions I got from my neighbors garbage and re-sized them.  We added a blanket (or two) as a temporary cover and everyone has enjoyed sitting on the glider, enjoying the warm breeze and the creaking, comforting noise of the old glider.  Sarah is tasked with making cushion covers.   We'll have fun picking out fabric and working the sewing machines to finish it up.  Or, if we don't get motivate, we can leave it 'as is' with the blankets on it.  That was how the porch glider at the cottage was always decorated and it didn't take away from the charm one bit.