Going home again ...

Kendall Holmes


So there I was a little a year ago August driving from the Home Depot inAugusta, Maine, to our summer cottage 20 miles south.

Normally I'd have hopped onto the Maine Turnpike to get back to the cottage.Today I took the back road -- avoiding the Turnpike -- out of fear that the loadof windows crammed into the back seat of my convertible might become airborne ifI drove faster than 30.

So I took the back road -- the road less traveled, the road that took me pastour old house.

This was the house we'd restored a decade earlier. The place we'd intended to live inforever. The place we'd sold after only a couple years when central Maine'ssagging economy made a magazine job (and its steady income) in Washington D.C.look mighty attractive. The place we'd missed ever since -- even as its currentowners let the paint fall off, and even as they let the weeds grow high.

And there it was: A for-sale sign.

I slowed down, then drove away, aware all the while that I intended to buythe place back -- and equally aware just how goofy the idea seemed.

Sure, Deb and I had been talking for years about moving back to Maine fromthe D.C. suburbs. And sure, we both missed our old house.

But going home again? Buying our old house back?

Not likely. For one thing, it was already August. School started in less thanthree weeks. Not exactly the best time to move 650 miles north.

For another thing, most of my income came from a job with a dot-com startupin Florida. Commuting every other week from D.C. to Florida was one thing. Butcommuting from Maine to Florida? Mainers like to say you can't get there fromhere -- and given the state's remote location, there's a reason the saying haspersisted into the 21st century.

Still thinking things through logically, I drove back to the cottage and gaveDeb -- who was already back in D.C. -- a phone call.

"Our old house is for sale," I said. "Let's buy it," shereplied.

And so I called a Realtor friend. And then I plunged into airline schedules,to see if I could get from Maine to northern Florida without making three orfour stops, and without paying thousands of dollars each trip.

I was thinking about flight as relates to jet schedules.

I should have been thinking about flight as relates to pigeons.

More on that next time.

About the Author
By Kendall Holmes, The Old House Web

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