It was inevitable. Here we are -- the second day of the new year -- and I am fretting about the old.
Having failed to take Kim’s sage advice to dump my house in 2008, I am now stuck with the equivalent of a white elephant.
It is a great house. The artistic result of craftsman hands in the 1920s. And plenty of character that comes with age.
But it is no longer my home. It is merely a piece of property. And like an aging dowager, it needs a bit of care to keep it drifting through the equivalent of Petrograd salons.
The big decision is windows. When I came north in 2010 to work as a trainer for six months, I intended to save enough money to purchase new windows. The current house windows are a potpourri of 1920s double hungs and 1950s metal cranks.
They need to be replaced. But replacing them will start an avalanche of repairs. New wall paint and paper. Refurbished hardwood floors. Updated carpet.
Ideally, I would do that only when I am ready to sell the house. Because any additional living in the house will inevitably lead to wear and tear.
But these are not the days to put a house on the market in Salem. And, looking at the housing market recovery figures, that day may be well south of my entry into the Medicare system. Or crypt. Whichever comes first.
The only reason to start the work now is to borrow the $40K or so I will need at a record low interest rate. Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you that my work session last year did not result in a pirate’s treasure of doubloons. Somehow, it went to cruises and a lot of visits to El Gaucho.
Like most things in life, this one is a false choice. Either repairing the windows or letting them be will most likely lead to the same result.
That is one lesson I learned long ago. Simply picking a path is the choice we are given. There are no guaranteed outcomes.
And I wish a certain group of politicians would realize it.