Skip to main content

Moving to Maine

 I bought a new project. After some serious deliberation and discussions, we bought a house in Maine, and have moved there at least temporarily, and possibly for good.

The story:

In spring, our daughter decided to attend NYU, and while heartbreaking that she'd be so far away, she is thrilled with the opportunity. Fast forward to this summer, and we flew back with her to see NYC and get her all set in her dorm at NYU. 2 weeks of quarantine showed that they were not really able to accommodate her vegetarian diet. In addition there was some serious fear that they'd close campus again and kick everyone out of the dorms. 

So, I flew back to NYC late this summer on 1 day notice and moved her to an apartment. She's now there with her best friend. For the first time, I really enjoyed NYC. It wasn't as crowded, there were great places to eat (and you could get in), walking around was easy and fun. 

As my daughter was talking about the east coast, my wife and I started having serious discussions about what was "next" - was California where we wanted to live out the later stages of our lives? The cost structure for staying was just not in our favor. So just for fun, we started looking at other places. Requirements: along a coast, not too hot. North Carolina had some attraction as my older sister lives there and that might have been fun, but wayyyyy too hot. We looked all over - Oregon, Washington and a bit in New England.

Then the fires hit. Clearly the west coast was not a good option - my wife has bad asthma. This was the 5th year in a row of bad fires. I left for my second trip to NYC to move my daughter into the apartment. 

Just before I returned to California, my wife and son got on a phone call and asked if they could go to Maine - they had found a house and wanted to see it, and get a feel for the area. Of course, I love New England, and we had all been cooped up too much, so I said yes. I got home, the next day they left.

My wife and son were having a blast and on the second day I got "the call". Cay called and said "oh my god, sell the house, sell my things, sell the cars, we need to move here" Needless to say this was concerning. She had never lived anywhere colder than Pacific Grove, CA. My son, wife and I got on a facetime call and talked for a while about what it would mean. I thought my son would object, but as he put it, there was not much to look forward to in Pacific Grove. All classes were remote, and as the area supports a lot of military families, over time many of my son's friends had moved to the east coast and other far flung places. Liam felt he'd have new opportunities and was not only willing but WANTED to move, and the sooner the better. 

I put in an offer which was accepted (thank goodness) and we bought the James Merrill house in Falmouth, Maine. 

The house was built in 1738 and has a storied past. It was remodeled in 1770 and again in 1970. Any other remodels are lost to the annals of time. It is really interesting, but of course needs some updating.

I'm hoping to blog a bit about the journey here. Hopefully I won't bore you too much!


Popular posts from this blog

Nor'easter and Unpacking

The movers finally showed up. Scheduled for Saturday, I was happy they were delayed as we had a Nor'easter come through with rain/snow mix and strong winds. Of course, we lost power and internet as well.  What was a little disconcerting was the time it took to restore power. Lost power Friday night and didn't get restored until sometime Sunday afternoon. It got a little cold in the house as the pumps for the radiant heat are powered by electricity. Thankfully it wasn't a super cold front that moved through - high 20s and low 30s. Still it made me wonder why so much of the house is powered by electricity - the ovens, cooktop, pumps, etc. are all electric. We were quite happy when the power came back on so we could all warm up. Unfortunately the internet was still down. We didn't get restored until late Monday. Spectrum was not a great partner in the outage, listing status as "investigating" even when the service was restored. At least with comcast I was getting

Final move...

Well, I spent last weekend doing the final packing of the old house. We closed on Tuesday before thanksgiving and we're thrilled needless to say. It's been a lot of work packing up the old house, and I can only begin to imagine what will happen in the new house. I'm not saying I'm not going back to California someday, but at least for now, we're going to try something different. Of course, the day I left for California, a pipe burst out by the pool house. Luckily my son saw it and after a few hours, we were able to get some help to shut off the water to that pipe. Shutting it off meant we had to first shut off water to the house, which resulted in the main valve now having a leak. We'll see our new plumber Tuesday or Wednesday to sort things out.  The trials of an old house are endless, but frankly it's a bit fun when I'm home. When I'm not home, it's not so much fun.

Adventures in wiring an old (very old) house

I'm an engineer. Let's just start there. I'm an engineer that has built out many datacenters. With thousands and thousands of wires. And lots of power. I realize most houses don't have the kinds of requirements data centers have where wires change from time to time. That said, wow. The wiring in the new house is "special" to say the least. There are some bright spots - even though most of the outlets are two prong vs. 3 prong grounded, many have a consistent ground wired to the metal boxes. That means I can somewhat easily change out the outlets. Which is good as many (most) are so worn that they won't hold a plug. I'm even more impressed (depressed) by the amount of telephone/alarm/fire alarm/intercom (!!) wiring that runs through the building. The basement (yay! I have a basement!) is an interesting rats-nest of wires.  I was referred to an electrician by my real estate agent - who was in construction for a few years before transitioning to real esta