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Super stormy day here in New Hampshire! We’re down to the last part of the journey into our new house. There’s still things that could go wrong (where’s some wood I can rap my knuckles on? Hard?), but right now the final walkthrough with the builder is today, closing on the mortgage is next Wednesday, and move in is next Saturday – 8 days away. And what do you know? Possibly snow next Saturday.

I did go out to the house yesterday for a quick check, since I was in the neighborhood. The inside is pretty much done, with only a couple fiddleybits still pending. The outside was being focused on pretty hard when I was there, with the back patio being put in. So close.

Problems in Rural America

This is a bit of a rant, but I’ll keep it short. Danica and I absolutely depend on good Internet connectivity for our work. When we originally were going to purchase this land and build a house in Newbury, NH, the first thing we did was ensure we had decent cell connectivity on the property, and then ensure that there was high speed Internet available. Luckily for us, all the houses next to us had just — the year prior — got fiber, so we were golden. I called TDS Telecom to ensure we were good, and they said, yep, no problems.

Fast forward to today. Tomorrow is our installation, so I can be certain of being good on Day One. I get a call from TDS Telecom, saying, oops, there was a mistake, and it looks like it won’t be available until January. So, we’re scrambling now. The only other solution is satellite (and no, Starlink isn’t available until mid-2022). Very expensive, high latency, with very high bandwidth overage fees — and oh, a required 2 year contract. So this afternoon I’m making the drive up there and see how our Verizon hotspot serves us. It’ll be an interesting holiday season!

Hiking the Sunset Hill Trail in Newbury

Yesterday was a brisk, sunny day in New Hampshire, and we didn’t have anything on the schedule that was pressing. So, after running a couple quick errands, we drove to the trailhead of the Sunset Hill Trail in Newbury and did a bit of hiking. It was perfect weather — in the high 40’s and the ground was mostly dry. Depends on the species of tree, but these still had a bit of cover left. In a few weeks all the deciduous trees will be bare. Winter is coming.

As the article said, there were huge logs put in several stretches of the trail you had to navigate that were put in for erosion mitigation. Great opportunity for me to put on my Teaching Dad hat. Even though I was actually wearing my Grandpa’s Sox hat. After about an hour and change, we made it to the summit.

Lake Sunapee!

A great hike! Of course, us being us, there were some minor injuries — I ripped my hand up a bit on a fall (got tripped on a huge hiking stick), and a couple of the family band got some minor twisted ankles. Lesson: everyone in the family needs honest-to-God hiking boots now for New Hampshire, and I shouldn’t run alongside kids with hiking sticks!

And no, Tigli was NOT tired after this hike.

Old New Hampshire Houses

One thing I’ve noticed since moving to New Hampshire is that a lot of the very old houses have a placard by the door that says the year they were built. Late 1700’s and early 1800’s are common. It gives some perspective to someone coming from a state that was founded in 1889 (Washington) and 1859 (Oregon).

We considering buying one of these old farm houses for a while, but discarded it in favor of building new. I just suspected that I wouldn’t have the time to give the house the kind of effort that it required, and these old houses require a lot (unless you have the money to have someone on call all the time, like in Murphy Brown — remember that show?). We’re now staying in one of those houses in Sunapee. I don’t know how old it is, but at least 1800’s — it doesn’t have said placard. And I’ve discovered another reason why building new might have made more sense. I don’t know how prevalent this is in these ancient abodes, but jeez, head trauma!

Crack! Yeah, the only person that’s escaped rubbing their sore skull has been Clare. I’m sure you get somewhat used to it over time, but probably not 100%.

Almost Done!

After work today, I visited the house to drop off a thermostat (after going with Ecobee, it’s hard to go back), but honestly, to check out the progress. It’s been several days since I’ve seen it, so I was antsy.

Appliances in!
Siding almost on!

Due date is the end of next week, and talking to the foreman… probably? Most likely? Crossing fingers.

Cold Morning in Sunapee

Now it’s starting to feel like winter. Yes yes, it’s coming. 28F when I took Tigli out for her morning walk, and my gloves are still in storage. Builds character, though. Just a couple quick photos that I snapped, as it’s worth it.

Leaves are just about gone!
Sunapee Water Works.

Halloween In Sunapee

We were almost to the new Airbnb on Sunday afternoon, and discovered that the street it was on was closed off for a “trunk or treat” town event. Now, Sunapee is a town of about 2000 people, depending on the season (probably way less post-summertime). It’s an old town, dating back to the early 1800’s, and definitely has that New England feel. It definitely felt more… Halloween-ish.

Luckily the girls had their costumes, so we were able to take advantage of the discovery and do some early trick or treating.

Candy seeking kids (and grown ups)
The most patriotic severed leg in New Hampshire.
Hole in One gets you a full size candy bar!
The take.

Last Full Day at Ragged Mountain

Today’s the last full day at the Airbnb’s that treated us well over the past couple months. Ideally we’d be moving into our new house today, but circumstances have sabotaged those plans, and tomorrow we go to a new Airbnb in Sunapee. Today I’ll post a few photos from the area. Today it’s pouring rain, so getting any new beautiful photos here won’t be forthcoming.

The fall foliage is just about given up the ghost.
Cheerful oddity in an abandoned golf course.

Old Sunapee

On Sunday the 31st, we move out of our current Airbnb and into a new one for 10 days (yes, the house isn’t quite done, but getting close — electricity was being hooked up today!). We have the address, so before picking up the girls from theater practice, I checked it out.

Classic New Hampshire house.

It’s within walking distance of St. Joachim, a 3 minute drive from the school, and a block away from Wildwood Smokehouse, which is going to take a lot of money from us in the upcoming years. I don’t know what the inside looks like, but it’ll totally do. I had some time, so I did a bit of driving around the area, as I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while. Wow, beautiful day for some photos.

Stunning day.

Back to Back Birthdays

11 years ago yesterday, I was the proud new father of my youngest daughter. She was also an early birthday present — the best one in my life. They were good birthdays for the both of us, but of course, a bit strange and off kilter, since we’re 3000 miles away from our PNW friends and still haven’t driven roots into the New Hampshire ground. Things are quiet tonight, with only the sound of the light, cold rain falling outside. In that spirit, I offer you a couple quick things, and I’ll call it good.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are talented artists, and they have a burgeoning book company, Bread & Barley Books (go buy some books now!). Recently they created a very cool letter scheme with scary monsters, just in time for the haunting season. They sent these, which are too good not to share!

That perfect mix of scary and cute!