Getting to Know You

Looking down from balcony.

I am having such a good time, getting to know my new home. Some things, such as the wonderful, changing scenes in my windows, day and night, are a constant delight. Others like the faint hoot of the wind blowing through the vents in the roof —sort of like blowing on top of an old coke bottle— and the constant, but again, faint, whoosh of wind in my chimney pipe take getting used to.

After living in Spork for half a year, my house seems enormous! And Oh! That counter space —of which I manage to use every inch. My son commented that he likes to keep his island countertop free of stuff, which I admire but can’t seem to achieve. Where would I put the vase of flowers, the bowl of fruit, my gorgeous new Kitchen Aid mixer, the soda siphon, the flour and sugar canisters I’ve had for four decades the ? …. well you get the picture. I am trying, but I fear a clutter-free zone is beyond my grasp.

I am trying very hard to declutter the island but not succeeding very well.

What makes it hard is the box after box after box that came out of storage labeled, “decorative glass,” or “good ceramics” or “good china” “Silver bowls” filled with neat things that all have some story attached to them. I am distributing what I can to kids and sibs, but some treasured items, like my dollhouse just have to go. Sigh.

Now that I have a real house to play with, my dollhouse has to go.

When Andrew came by yesterday to work on thresholds and other small punch list items, I tried to come up a list of complaints he might be able to deal with but came up empty. Thus far everything seemed to be working. Then it rained for the first time in weeks and we heard the plunk, plunk, plunk of rain on metal. The chimney leaks! It’s hard to imagine that it hasn’t rained since the chimney piece and stove were installed but if it did rain, the problem wasn’t noticed, and it’s a bad leak. Last night I had to put a towel on top of the fireplace hood so I could sleep.

Andrew said he would come back today to check out what’s going on the roof. The hope is that it is a simple flashing issue and not something deeper in all those layer of rubber and insulation. It is only one spot but it is a doozy.

Aside from this problem, I have no complaints, as yet, but a couple of disappointments. The cement floor looks terrific where it marbled, but in several areas — most notably in the kitchen and around the edges, this marbling didn’t happen and the floor looks like, well, concrete — like in a garage, with a rougher texture than the rest of the floor. I’d hoped that the final polishing and sealer would shine this up but it didn’t really.  I don’t know when in the process something occurred or failed to occur but like I said it’s disappointing. But not really a big problem as I will want some kind of floor covering in the kitchen anyway — my son suggests a cork mat— because standing on concrete can be hard on the feet. The other bad spot is under the dining room table and not so noticeable and can be covered with a rug — another thing of which I have way too many.

Most of my cement floor has this lovely marbling.

The kitchen not so much.

Whether the radiant heat in these concrete floors actually works has yet to be seen. The weather has been so warm and the house holds the daytime heat so well —good on ya George— neither the radiant heat downstairs nor the registers upstairs have kicked in. Andrew assures me that Owen tested them and they will keep me warm when the weather cools.

Another small annoyance is no electric outlets on the floor. I seem to recall asking for a couple but it didn’t happen, so I had to jury rig with extension cords and Gorilla tape to get my sofa lamps lit. Oh well.

Had to tape extension cords to floor to get these lamps lit, but they look swell.

Still waiting for awnings, glass doors for showers and my big red “24” number to put on front of house. Also waiting for my new area rug for living room, sofa/bed and TV stand for den/spare bedroom. I am all hooked up with cable but this room is still a mess with boxes and stuff. Eventually this will be where I watch TV at night. For now, what little time I have for TV I’m watching on my tiny Spork TV in the living room. I really don’t like having a TV as focal point in my living room and this will go as soon as the room is cleared and transformed into a cozy den.

Speaking of Spork, like my dollhouse this miniature home is rather hard to part with. It is all cleaned and ready to go to Ellsworth RV where they will take it on consignment. So, last chance for anyone who wants to escape the Maine winter in a perfectly splendid 32-foot land yacht.

Karen has done a great job getting Spork shipshape for sale.

After Spork is gone we can start landscaping as living on a pile o’dirt is not the plan.


The  Porta Potty is gone!! for the first time I can see 24 from the road without a bright blue outhouse in the foreground. Looks pretty damn good!

So Long Porta Potty, it’s been grand.



Just needs a little landscaping!

Nan Lincoln

Nan Lincoln

The former arts editor at the Bar Harbor Times writes reviews and feature stories for The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander.
Nan Lincoln

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