Sunday, June 3, 2012

This Old House ...

by Bee Sting
June 3, 2012

What was the key element that was the deciding factor in purchasing your home?  During our 47 years of marriage, we owned four homes - from NH to Delaware, back to MA, and our final home (yes, final!) here in New Hampshire.  Fifteen years ago, we purchased an old New England home.  We liked the home and the area, but the "key" factor was the yard.  My husband had landscaped part-time for years and now he had the most beautiful yard to work in, with huge pine trees for shade and a front yard where we held numerous family picnics, surrounded by the touch of my husband's "green thumb", where flowers bloomed all summer.

The size of the yard filled with trees is quite unusual, considering the fact that we were only blocks away from the State Capital building.  Our home is close to shopping, hospital, and all necessities, but sits on a corner lot, completely fenced in, and large enough to make you feel as though you are in the middle of a lovely state park, with the fragrance of pine needles covering most of the yard.  Oh, how we loved our trees!

Here's a family photo of some of the grandchildren in our yard (please note the trees):

Fifteen years seems like yesterday!  

But 15 years takes its toll on an old house.  While we kept up with the maintenance of our home, there was one thing we put off doing and that was having a new roof installed.  My beloved husband passed away two years ago, August 2010.  (This also seems like yesterday.)  For the past two years, I have neglected the upkeep of the home and that is a big mistake for any homeowner to do!  I just did not have the heart to sit outside or enjoy the yard since loosing my partner.  

That roof did not get better with age.  As a matter of fact, this past winter we were very fortunate not to have the usual snow storms and ice, or I'm sure the roof would have caved in on our heads!  That, and the fact that one very large tree limb was hanging over our roof.  So, the priority this summer was finding a good roofing contractor and getting this roof replaced.

The first thing I did was have a tree company remove all the limbs and branches touching the home.  One of my son's now lives with me and is helping to put the home back in shape.  He found a tremendous "roofer" and the work began to replace the roof two weeks ago.  Yeah!

File:Camponotus sp. ant.jpgHowever, half the roof was completed when the contractors ran into a serious problem - low and behold, on the side of the roof where the old pine tree limb hung, Carpenter Ants had invaded the the roof!  They used that tree limb as a bridge to my roof, got under the shingles, and damaged a large portion of the wood under those shingles ... so much so, that before the roofers could complete the job, they first had to replace the wood that those busy ants had destroyed!  I have no idea how long these pests had been at work on my roof, but the unemployment rate does not prevent these "carpenters" from working 24-7 to destroy every thing in its path.

I have not been blogging frequently this past month, only because this little upset has kept me busy with contractors, during the same time that the family is also preparing for one of my grandson's wedding - the wedding is this coming Saturday, June 9th.

I say this to apologize for my absence these past few weeks, and to warn anyone who may be putting off installing a new roof.  The removal of the pests, the additional work to replace the damaged roof became a costly affair - one that could have been avoided if we had had the work done perhaps two years ago!

The new roof was finished on Friday - thank goodness!

Now, I can look forward to a beautiful wedding this Saturday.