Saturday, June 06, 2015

4050 Up the river

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."
 --Sir Winston Churchill--


Last Monday, June 1st, I drove up to the country house in the morning to meet the a/c man in the afternoon, to discuss getting central air there.   The house has a 30-year-old water-based heat pump for a/c, but the well water is so hard and so silty the coils are clogged up, and it hasn't worked in years.

It hadn't been too much of a problem when I lived there for several reasons:
- There were only a few days in July, usually, when the outdoor temp got over 90,
- I could pop the attic hatch and open the basement door, and then the attic fan pulled cool air from the basement,
- Since I was there all the time and could keep "on top of it", it never got out of hand.

But the past few summers there have been whole weeks with outdoor temps well over 90.  And if I arrive at the house and it's already super hot in there, I can't get it cooled down enough in an afternoon to be able to sleep there.  Plus, age seems to have made me much less tolerant of temperature extremes.

So, I need central air to get anything done up there.

I settled on one of the largest and oldest family-owned heating/cooling/plumbing companies in the area - they have lots of people, support a variety of systems, and their reviews are very good.  The owner himself came out to look at the place.  It's all good.  I have confidence.  He sent a chart of all my options as to size and add-ons, and I've chosen the middle one as being adequate and the best price.  So now I'm just waiting to hear when they can get started.  He said it would take one day (!) to install it and have it up and running, and then one day to remove the miserable heat pump.  And he did give me a price for the whole job, NOT an estimate.

The deck across the back of the house is rotting.  I had thought I'd have to replace the whole thing - it's over 30 years old.  I had expected it would cost a fortune.  But when we were walking under it, he said no, only the decking needs replacing.  It's not rotted, just all dried out and warped from the sun.  He said the underpinnings, posts and beams, are fine.  Wow!  That means I can just hire the Hairless Hunk to replace the deck!  I'm excited.

I'm pretty dense sometimes.  I told him how much I love the area, and how I really would like to keep the house, but it's just too much to keep up.  He asked if I'd be happy with a townhouse or condo.  I am so dense!  It was like a revelation!  Yes!  I could sell the house, and find something else, maybe something tiny, like an efficiency apartment.  Heck, I'd mainly be going up there for events and stuff, not to just sit inside, so I don't need more than a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and closet.  

Yeah.  I'm getting excited again.

I went online and searched for condos and such in north-western Dutchess county.  There's not much in the areas where I'd want to live.  There's new "senior housing" right in the village, that would be ideal, I've seen the place, it's nice, they have 1-bedroom apartments, balconies, pool, the usual, but they have income limits - and I'm past the limit by a bit.  (If I could invent a fake husband to share the place with me, then I'm within the limits for two.)  There's nothing like apartment buildings anywhere near the village.  I guess there are downsides to rural living.  I do want to find someplace in the Rhinebeck-to-Tivoli area, though.  I really like all the farms and orchards, historic mansions, woods and trails, the fairgrounds, all that.

And mainly, the CLEAN AIR!

Oh, well, plenty of time to work on that.

I returned to the city house on Wednesday, late.  

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