Sunday, June 27, 2010

The other voice of doom, I mean neighbor, from last week

The second discouraging encounter I had doesn't fit so tidily into a stock movie script. I spoke to the woman who lived in our cabin one owner ago. She and her husband now live in town with their three children, and I had called her to try to set up a playdate for Forest. Although perfectly friendly, as one who “didn't last” she did not have anything more positive to say about our place than, “it's a beautiful spot.”

On the flip side, she was more voluble: “Yeah, it was after the seven weeks we couldn't drive the road, and I was hiking in and out with a one-year-old on my back along with gas for the generator, that I told my husband, 'We're moving to town.'” Fair enough.

When I asked her if the cabin was very cold she said they had burned 14 cords of wood one particularly hard winter, “and we were never quite warm.”

I asked, sorely hoping the answer would be “no,” “Did you have under the house sealed off?”

“Of course.”

'Doomed,' I thought to myself, 'doomed.'

Aaron has partially convinced me it is different now. Lots of time and money have gone into the road and by all reports it is improved. Additionally, the most recent owner of this cabin sprayed insulating foam wherever she felt a breeze coming in. Okay. Both good. But I can't believe filling in the cracks is enough to make this cabin comfortable in the winter. And according to our across-the-way neighbor, this road did inspire an entire town to move. Yup, our town center, now located more than five miles away, used to be on this road, but after enough washouts the post office and everything else were relocated to a more sensible spot. At this point, the town will no longer even maintain the road and much of the $6,000 worth of gravel that was put down five years ago has already washed away. Our house is off-the-grid, and so is our road. All plowing and washouts are our responsibility, along with the nice young couple across the way and Mr. Bread Truck.

I am so curious how long we'll last.

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