Blog Repair and Update: Site Down Until Monday
I’ll be in a place with no power, no Internet, no phones, no connection to the modern world.
Walter, Allan, Jeanine and I bought a house up in Down East, Maine.
For about six years, the four of us have been in search of a house that we could all share as a family. Something that each of us owned a part of, and none of us had before- a home to go to, although there have been times we looked at homes to share as one family.
We decided there was too much invested in each of our communities to ever leave them. I love Newton. I also love Jamaica Plain. The way things are? I get both.
But for years we trekked to the Berkshires, we trekked to Maine, looking for “the place.” We looked at lots with doublewides parked on them, we looked at land with nothing built, we looked at so many houses, vistas, and views… over and over. Nothing fit. Nothing was quite right.
Two years ago, we agreed on a piece of land in Down East. The views were stunning and we could build from scratch what we could not find.
Last week, at the end of ‘Dads camp,’ we went over to the land. We sat, well, I sat, Walter worked, Jeanine looked at possible layouts and the kids complained about being there. Allan asked me if I'd ever seen the cluster of Victorian cottages at the end of the peninsula. No, I hadn't, so Jeanine, Allan and I drove down the dirt road.
All these "cottages" are the size of regular homes anywhere else. They are huge and beautiful, crafted in another age and still true to their beginnings- not one of them have electricity or running water. It’s been their choice to stay that way since they were built in the 1880's through the 1900's.
As we drove in, we passed a realtor’s sign.
As we drove out, Allan and I said… oh, just pull in. We’ll go take a peek.
The kids groaned, Jeanine groaned, but the car stopped.
What we found was a cottage built in 1900 from wood found, it is believed, from a shipwreck by a sea captain for his daughter and HER FEMALE COMPANION. It's the only thing on that point I'd call a cottage- it's fairly small, there is a bathhouse that has compost toilets, it has solar powered pumps for the running water, - completely off the grid and completely green. There are propane lights and a propane refrigerator- stove... and…
There is a geodome on the property, just a little bit away. In 1975 a Buckminister Fuller a geodome was installed. Ugly as shit and yet... the kids love it. It has all propane lights, it's own kitchen, own bathhouse.
The whole place is 25 feet from the highest of high tide marks.
It's stunning. When we all went to look at it the next day, we walked around and were blown away by the whole space. It's what we've been looking for - the four of us- for 6 years.
It's perfect. It's green- what Allan and Jeanine wanted most of all. It’s antique- what Walter and I wanted all along- and it's on the water.
We bought it.
And I'm absolutely beside myself. I’m scared Jeanine’s going to walk out the door. The whole thing will crumble before I walk in the door.
On the other hand, it's a property that goes on the market once every 30 or 40 years. Could it wash away? Yes. We're basically buying the right to build close to the ocean on that parcel of land.
It's great and I'm really anxious about it.
And haunted? The hair on the back of my neck was standing on end in the driveway- but seeing as most of the history is of lesbians owning the place (from what we can tell, there were at least two lesbian couples as owners) I'm going with it.
When we walked through, Walter went to take a picture with Jeanine's camera- small digital thing with the screen on the back- nothing fancy- in the living room. There were about four horizontal, purple-ish "streaks" in the camera.
Clustered around the piano.
What's that? He asked.
Never seen it before, I said. We then turned it on and off, still there.
Maybe it's the light in here? I said. Beyond grasping for straws here. It wasn’t the camera.
Walter and I looked at each other. He said, Well, at least they are friendly.
Bottom line? It is what this "family," all of us, have been looking for. It’s perfect.
Yet... so much is still in turmoil and undecided. I want to shout with joy.
And I want to cry. It makes me so sad to think we’ve worked so hard and it could all fall apart in an instant.
Until Monday, I'm also going off line. I’m going to learn how to operate propane lights. I’m going to kayak in the sea out my front door.
And I’m going to learn how to use a compost toilet. Yikes.
Till Monday… and I promise a full report.